An open letter to Adam Jones (and anyone else who doesn’t like Orioles attendance)

August 31, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

in them. Clearly, Angelos, who is making $100 million this year on the Orioles, has no conscience or concern for the embarrassment of an empty stadium in a pennant run.

If he did, he’d tell Greg Bader and the ticket department to drop the ludicrous “day of game surcharge” as a first move olive branch.

But the Orioles’ leaders on the field – not just someone over there at The Warehouse with an advertising budget – have to make me want to spend my money and come and cheer for them. Someone has to make me make the immense effort to come and support the Baltimore Orioles of 2013 and beyond with my hard-earned money.

Here’s a good question for Adam Jones: where will Buck Showalter be this offseason?

Every great organization takes its cue from its leader. And as great as Showalter has been at rallying the troops and leading these men into baseball games all summer, he hasn’t exactly been a “man about town” as an ambassador of season ticket sales during the off-season the past two years. And truth is, he knows better because he “sold” baseball in Arizona as the Vice President of Everything with the Diamondbacks.

And no one is more charming or “big league” than Buck Showalter. I’m a big fan of Buck. He’s done a great job getting the team winning again but he’s hardly been a reason that people have purchased tickets.

The fans also realize this as well: by any statistical measurement, what we’re seeing is a fluke for the 2012 Baltimore Orioles. A fluke we’re enjoying, but a fluke. The Orioles have scored 548 runs and surrendered 592. They’re also 72-58 and would be in the playoffs if the tournament started today.

It’s not our job at WNST to “recruit” paying customers for Mr. Angelos. He’s done everything he can do to end my career, my business and wreck the city’s already shaky sports psyche. And at & AM 1570 — the leading sports media conversation vehicle by any current measurement on the web — we talk about the Baltimore Orioles about six to eight hours per day. Even now with the Ravens beginning another purple campaign, the Orioles are relevant and interesting enough to discuss and watch on TV every night.

But for some reason, as a community, we’re not all that interested in coming downtown and participating in 2012 Orioles Magic as paying customers. That much is obvious.

It’s eerily reminiscent of the Baltimore Colts ownership and quick demise. The Colts won the Super Bowl in January 1971. They stunk for three seasons but by 1975 they were relevant, fun and winning and fans were so pissed at Bob Irsay about the way he ran Johnny Unitas out of town that they wouldn’t even fill Memorial Stadium during the 1976 & 1977 seasons when Bert Jones and the Sack Pack were amongst the best teams in the NFL. They stunk again from 1978 until March 28, 1984 when Irsay brought the Mayflower vans and moved the team to Indianapolis.

The Orioles aren’t moving anywhere except deeper into the pockets of Baltimore sports fans via our cable television bill and more MASN money. Angelos is printing so much money that he’ll be giving Adam Jones $85.5 million whether we show up or not. And by the time Jones gets to the final year of his deal, it’ll be time for Manny Machado or Zach Britton or Dylan Bundy to get $100 million of Angelos’ money. Oh, and the beers will be $10 at the ballpark and the seats will be $40 by then.

And someone should tell Adam Jones that the seats behind him are $35.25 next weekend when the Yankees come to town. That’s a bleacher seat. That’s too rich for most people and the empty seats are the result.

The Orioles have reaped what they have sown in the community. And the Ravens have earned the hearts, minds, wallets and spirit of the Baltimore sports fans. It’s interesting to read Adam Jones’ comments in regard to the local love for the color purple and that no Grand Prix traffic mess would keep Ravens fans away.

He’s probably right about that.

As I wrote two weeks ago, I’m starting to believe that Orioles fans and Ravens fans are by and largely two different core fan bases throughout the world.

But don’t blame me. I’m the only guy in Baltimore running a full orange bus to New York on Saturday to support the Orioles vs. the Yankees and eagerly awaiting

12 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    I hear attendance is up 20% this year? Couple of comments about your history the Colts.Fans did show up to the games after Bert Jones reinvigorated the team in 74.75,76.and 77. It was only after the owner refused to pay the key players what they were worth, then traded them all away in 78 and 79 that the fans stayed home on Sundays. As for Adam Jones comment on Twitter. Hey Adam just hit more home runs and play the game don’t fret over empty seats.Its going to take a long time to get the older fans back in the seats and right now we have not won anything yet. It’s just Buck Ball until the fat lady sings.

  2. radar303 Says:

    10 cents a day to watch EVERY Oriole game in Hi-Def??? Hardly seems like stealing $3 a month to me. But hyperbole is hyperbole. In fact, the argument that MASN “sucking” 3/month out of our pockets is one of the reasons WHY people DON”T attend the games is counter intuitive and illogical. WATCHING the games on TV is closer to why people don’t attend.

    With Season Ticket sales so low that is the reason we have not seen the spike in attendance. It is always the following season after a successful campaign that we see the big increases. If we don’t see a huge gain NEXT YEAR than I would agree that the O’s will struggle to get to 2 million on a yearly basis.

    As a critique of the Orioles I would tend to think that the marketing staff is “out of ideas”, disillusioned and out of touch. This we can put a the feet of management. And to go even further I also they have bought into the idea that the fans are to blame for not showing up to support this very LIKEABLE team. That is a horrible stance.

  3. O's Man Says:

    A lot of people blame good TV coverage for lack of attendance, but it’s not fully true. The NFL really took off as a league and became our national pastime because of how accessible it is, and how easy it is to watch on TV. This created fans and now they show up.

    It could be argued that hockey has the opposite problem. It’s dreadful to watch on TV but so enjoyable in person, so that’s why attendance is near 100% for almost all the teams, including the Capitals getting tons of fans from Baltimore on school nights, with a longer drive, and more tolls to get to the stadium than we have to get to the Orioles.

    Which of those two categories does baseball fit under?

  4. Matt Says:

    Well written article Nestor. I give you credit for sticking up for the fans when a multi-million dollar athlete calls them out for not showing up. The part about showing face in the community and not counting taking $50 for an autograph session was hilarious, yet sadly true. I don’t feel one ounce of sorrow for someone getting paid that much money to play a game that in all honestly could care less about Baltimore.

  5. mattmoose Says:

    I think that Adam Jones should personally sponsor dollar dog days every sunday In the stadium. Its one of the main reasons why fans are not at the games. The food is to expensive.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Who cares about all the other stuff!!!! The Orioles are in the playoff hunt. And this team has busted their tail. Let’s get out there and support them.

    LET”S GO O’S!!!!!!!!

  7. Ron Cogar Says:

    Nes why don’t you keep having vigils every opening day eve at the Brooks Statue , it works!

  8. Dave Says:

    Who remembers that time Glenn said “Go F*** yourself Adam Jones” and (edited by WNST)?

  9. Bud Becker Says:

    Dear Nestor:
    It remonds me of the 1970’s when I was promoting national act concerts and Sly and The Family Stone were one of the biggest acts in the country. However Sly was unreliable and his sold-out concerts often turned ugly with audiences waiting 2 – 3 hours for Sly to finally get there and perform. Finally he got “straight” but by then the audience had enough! The big line with concert promoters was “SLY IS ON TIME AND THE AUDIENCE IS LATE!”

  10. eric Says:

    I couldn’t have written it better. Where are all the media types/fans who ripped WNST for years for saying winning alone won’t bring fans back? I went Wed for the first time since 2005. I’ve probably watched 90% of the games during these 14 years of misery but going to the park just is not a fun time anymore. Charging the same price for beer as the Ravens even though you have 73 more home games? Game day surcharges,parking prices, its just not worth it. But the guy above hit it on the head: selling 10 k season tickets is killing this season. No bandwagon fan wakes up and says “Hey let’s buy tickets for that Mon night game a month from now” They buy seats for a weekend game. The only people out there on Mon-Thu are the season ticket holders. Hopefully a season of winning bumps that to 15 K in 2013.

  11. Dan Says:

    Don’t get upset Adam , this is it. 16,000 fans have their own team in Wash. 16,000 are home or at a Bar watching on HD TV ( in great numbers I might add) , which leaves 16,000 , about 2 mil a year at the ballyard. That’s twice as many as the great teams of the past ’69-’70 -’71 would draw . And 2 million fans a season is not to shabby . Dont believe all that bull about Angelos or prices , or game day premium , or losing . It’s just the reality of Balt. baseball. We are not New York , Boston, Chicago , or Philly . We is Baltimore . A football town.

  12. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    An open comment for Adam Jones:

    Hey Adam, if you like to donate some of your millions of dollars for me to drive 7 hours to an Orioles game, weekend accommodations at the Hilton, pay nearly 3.80 @ 15 gallons for gas (pennies for you, I know!) and then return me home, I will be more than happy to attend more games. But you know I’m just a blue-collar worker who barely clears $1,000 every two weeks after taxes.

    When you get to the divisional playoffs and World Series more than Earl Weaver did, you can then run your mouth off. When we fans hire you to be our PR agent, then you can run your mouth about us not filling your owner’s seats. Otherwise, SHUT-UP AND PLAY BALL.

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