Orioles are finally in pennant race — but where are Baltimore baseball fans?

August 08, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

too. He’s the one funneling $158 million per year into MASN and fighting with the Washington Nationals about how much will go into his pockets vs. Ted Lerner.

And the team on the field every night? They’re almost like the players in the movie “Major League,” really. A ragamuffin crew – at best – fighting clawing, scratching, overachieving with an unlikely cast of pitchers and 4A players participating and contributing to wins (and many errors) most nights.

Want more proof that Buck Showalter is a miracle worker?

This is a still frame from MASN’s spring training coverage regarding their potential starting pitchers in March:


This was what they were working with before Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and now Zach Britton tanked on them this season.

It’s really amazing how this 2012 season has turned out for the Baltimore Orioles, who are now 59-51 and are tied for the final playoff spot in the American League. I’ve watched baseball for 39 years now and I have no rational explanation for how the team wins games.

But in the midst of a four-game winning streak, I’m going to the game tonight with my wife.

Two more asses in two more seats. And I won’t spend a nickel. I don’t even drink from the fountains when I go to Orioles games.

But I want them to win — every night.

And I truly want to see what it would look like NEXT month with Orioles in a September pennant race while the Ravens play every weekend.

Sadly, the current Orioles players are the real victims here in Baltimore. It isn’t Adam Jones’ fault that the ballpark is empty. He’s on Twitter, giving crap away, fighting with people, feeding his ego and trying to engage Baltimore Orioles fans at every turn.  He’s also a helluva baseball player who desperately wants to win and almost certainly doesn’t understand the depths of the fan base’s apathy regarding the franchise.

If he’s conferred with Greg Bader, he probably thinks I’m part of the problem when I’m really part of the solution.

I don’t know Adam Jones at all but I know he doesn’t like all of the empty seats night after night at Camden Yards.

Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, who have been subjected to nothing but losing here, are healthy and playing good baseball. Wei-Yin Chen has been sensational. Jim Johnson has been remarkable and so has a lot of the bullpen a lot of the time.

And yet last night with tickets discounted and the team on a three-game winning streak, the crowd was a “friends and family” affair that looked like less than 10,000 people in the ballpark.

So, why aren’t people coming to support the wunderkind Baltimore Orioles of 2012?

Why not, indeed?

School night?

Too hot?

The team isn’t “for real yet” in the middle of an August pennant race?

Ticket prices are too high?

Concession prices are too steep?

Too much trouble to come downtown?

I might get shot in downtown Baltimore?

Blah, blah, blah…

Plain and simple, Baltimore really isn’t “in love” with the baseball team anymore. And that’s WHY I did all of the Free The Birds stuff in 2006. As a guy who’s been a thermometer for where the Baltimore sports fan’s temperature has been since 1984, I predicted this six years ago.

The opposite of love isn’t hate — it’s indifference.

And most of Baltimore is “indifferent” to the Orioles and “in love” with the Ravens.

And, really, the Ravens have earned your love, time, money and respect with wins — on and off the field in the community.

I won’t give Peter Angelos my money because he’s wrecked the franchise, which has injured my business and my personal life and what I loved most in the world the first 25 years of my life – the Baltimore Orioles.

Oh, and he’s been incredibly mean to almost everyone I know who hasn’t kissed his ass and padded his already flush pockets. And on Friday I’ll light a candle for my friend Mike Flanagan.

That’s why I don’t go most nights and that’s why I don’t give them more than $3 per month that the local politicians allow him to extract from my cable bill.

But why don’t YOU go?

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