lot of change, either. And it’s certainly not any fun.
And one more thing: I’m kind of bored with the name calling, the midget, the Napoleon stuff, the “I’m a very available individual” soundtrack, the blah, blah, blah.
At this point, none of that really serves any purpose.
I’m almost 38 now, and I’ve made the many, many mistakes of growing up in front of you for the past 15 years (and that was NOT always pretty, four hours a day, five days a week I assure you!). I’ve gone from angry to belligerent, to frustrated to frightened to paranoid to indifferent to now, just plain sad.
But I want to be bigger than all of that today.
I want to simply cast one final public vote on how I feel and why I, personally, feel that way.
And today is a chance for everyone and anyone to speak their minds one time as a civic, united voice.
Wear black, wear purple, bring a sign, write a message, buy a shirt, tip a panhandler, buy a beer at a local pub, eat a sandwich and enjoy yourself.
Today is YOUR day! Let’s resign ourselves to having fun, enjoying the whole day, if not just simply sending a positive message to the entire sports and baseball world that we’re angry but we still love the BALTIMORE Orioles!
And if Peter G. Angelos and his family own the BALTIMORE Orioles into perpetuity, and continue to run it exactly in the fashion they have for the previous 13 years, that’s OK too. Because I’ll realize that I had one final day, one final chance, much like on that day, and rich with irony that again, it’s against the Detroit Tigers just like in 1991, to think of my Dad, and 33rd Street and all the magic that I enjoyed the first 30 years of my life with the Orioles, who will then be referred to as my “first wife.”
Today will be the official divorce for me.
I guess after today, I’m officially now married to the Ravens, and we can just post-date the wedding certificate back to November 1995, because they really did have me, much like Jerry Maguire, at “hello.”
The purple clouds, the beautiful field, the roar of the crowd, the taste and smell of the tailgate, and a chance at a glimmering, shiny silver trophy each year — my new wife can give me what you never did, Mr. Angelos, a championship. And best of all, I actually feel like she hears me when I talk to her and adjusts in some subtle way, like she did after that 6-10 disaster last year.
We’re growing together — the Ravens and I — through the good and the bad, as it should be. We’re making beautiful music and memories together — hell, we’ve made two already in the past 10 days, which is two more than I’ve had with the Orioles over the last 10 YEARS!
I have the pictures, both mental and physical to prove it. The Ravens are calling to me and have been for a decade. I’ve heard it and felt it, but you’ve ignored it and you’ve ignored me and everyone in this town — people just like me, with the same memories, the same pride, the same love of the Orioles and baseball but without a microphone or a radio station to voice their own displeasure about how unwelcome we all feel rooting for our own team.
But, I promise, you’ve ignored me for the final time.
It’s sad for me Mr. Angelos, but much like my Pop and I did to the Colts…much like I did to my first girlfriend…much like I did to my, Pop, in 1992 in that casket in Essex, I’ll say one final goodbye.
Cause, I swear, I’m not going back for more abuse or neglect from you and your franchise.
And here’s why. Despite the fact that Peter G. Angelos has been a very charitable man in both political campaigns and in helping people with his money in this city, I only know of his name for one reason.
Mr. Angelos bought the love of my life and systematically wrecked her and my love for her.
He’s a helluva lawyer, but those “lawyerly” wins and loses don’t add up to much when the public gets to register a vote, as they’re doing today.
You can’t question the law: it’s right there in writing. Baseball in Ball’mer ain’t so simple, hon.
He’s just been, simply put, a TERRIBLE baseball owner. Just terrible!
And he certainly appears to be (and again I’ve only spent 2 hours with him and that was 10 years ago) one of those guys who is never, ever going to give up or give in to doing the “right” thing and sell the team to Cal Ripken or Steve Geppi or Chip Mason or whomever?
Let’s be honest (and maybe brutally so): If Peter Angelos was a guy who routinely “did the right thing” regarding the BALTIMORE Orioles over the past 10 years, we’d never have been in this predicament and we could all be using today to fill the stadium to decide whether it’s us or the Tigers who is getting home field advantage in three weeks for the first game of the ALCS, right?
So, will the “right thing” happen and will a power movement today by the citizens of Baltimore and the fans of the Orioles, bring upon some humility and dignity where heretofore there has been none?
Or will Angelos be so offended that he digs in even harder and continues to watch the franchise bleed from what Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline.com last week called, “this self-inflicted gunshot wound?”
But, geez, I don’t know that it can get any worse than it is. I’ve spent two years rooting against them and I honestly don’t even watch now and I won’t be watching in the future to a team that I don’t feel at all welcome in supporting.
So, this is it for me: I’m coming downtown, I’m paying my $9, I’m casting my final ballot, and I’ll move on with respect, integrity and