Orioles Magic and 666: The Number of The East

September 27, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

mother or your father more…

I have flights booked to Kansas City next Friday morning. The Orioles could be hosting a wild card playoff game on Friday afternoon. Will I change my flight?

I’m not really sure…

I do know that I’ll be in Kansas City for the football game and it might be a blast to host a party in Missouri for some Ravens’ fans watching the Orioles play in a bar on Saturday night as the Birds host an ALDS game from a sold out Camden Yards.

And, of course, the playoff games will be sold out at Camden Yards, but this latest rash of empty seats in the biggest games of this generation should have anyone who has concerns for the Orioles concerned about the attrition and disinterest of the community at large.

As an example, when will the city start stringing up orange lights?

When will downtown glow “orange” the way it does purple in the winter when the Ravens enter Festivus?

I don’t have all of the answers but I’ve been involved in Baltimore sports media for 28 years and all of our best ideas have been “borrowed” by the Orioles already.

We told them to treat the community better. They’re trying amidst the absurdity that the freaking owner of the team can’t show up for a statue dedication and shake the hands of the aging men who built a franchise that he’s sucked $1 BILLION in profit from over the past 20 years while he’s wrecked all of the joy for them.

We told them to put Baltimore on the road jerseys. They fought it for a decade and then caved in to sell some very sporty swag.

We told them to put the cartoon white panel hats back on the team so they all look like Rick Dempsey and they did it. And then they sold a helluva lotta hats.

We told them they should honor their legendary players and they’ve found a way to build a living rock museum behind center field that evokes the best memories of my childhood.

So, what’s it really going to take for Baltimore to fall in love with going to baseball games again?

Clearly, it’s more than just “winning” because they’re doing that. And there have been 15,000 to 20,000 seats empty for the most part all month. The White Sox series crowds were disgraceful.

Here’s where the “new ownership would solve all of the problems” argument commences but that’s for you to make or for me to make on another day. For now — or at least for the next few weeks — the team on the field is exciting enough for me.

Other than the exorbitant prices of concessions and tickets and parking, etc. I’m not sure there’s much to say to improve the mojo of Baltimore sports fans to come to the ballpark.

My No. 1 priority would be getting the players into the community and introducing them to the people of Dundalk, Towson, White Marsh, Owings Mills, Catonsville, Glen Burnie and every other place they expect people to come from on gamedays.

If Adam Jones really wants Baltimore people to care about him, he might want to rethink his position to get the hell outta here and instead of #LEGGO tweets from

9 Comments For This Post

  1. eric Says:

    Disagree on the luck part. Bad run differential caused by Arrieta,Matusz and Hunter in rotation and injuries to Markakis and Hammel in July. Since Aug 1st run differential is plus 54 and that’s playing NY,TB,Det and Chi a combined 18 times

  2. Calvin @ JHH Says:

    I don’t think this team is lucky, but I agree with most of your article. Was looking at the Bromo Seltzer tower last night and I was wondering why not use Orange lighting since the O’s are playing?

    The O’s have 14+ yrs of making up to do with this city and one great season will not change people’s attitudes.

  3. David Says:

    I agree with mostly everything you’ve said, esp the tailgating! I am a die hard Orioles fan and do everything I can to see as many games as poss. from central pa. Normally that amounts to somewhere between 3-10 games a year which says a lot seeing as how they cost me between $200-$300 per game. But I live a lot close to Pittsburgh and I love Baseball so I see games in Pittsburgh as well. The pregame atsmophere in Pittsburgh is 1000 times better than Baltimore. It’s a great time drinking and partying before the games and there is suprisingly less crime than one would think! It’s about having a good time not causing trouble. It seems that its not only not promoted in Baltimore but its discouraged and even banned. My final statement is if you want the people to come out LET THEM HAVE FUN! LET THEM PARTY A LITTLE BEFORE THE GAME! They seem to know the concept for ravens games.

  4. Dave Says:

    With all due respect Nestor, I find this article to be hypocritical. I agree with your premise: The Orioles should be doing more, if nothing else based on the idea that you can always be doing more and better. I think the Orioles have been doing a pretty good job of being more involved in the community, which is saying something because they have always been very involved in the community.

    But you know who could be doing a lot more, mainly because this person has spent so little on the Orioles? You. I appreciate the fact that you’ve led bus trips to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. However, consider this: each of the people who went on one of your bus trips spent more to go on that trip than you have spent on the Orioles all year. Your hatred and disdain for Peter Angelos has driven you to the point that you would rather give money to the Yankees and Red Sox than the Orioles. You have the power to do so much to help the Orioles, but you are doing virtually nothing when you consider how much you could be helping them and supporting them. Talking about them isn’t enough Nestor. It’s time for people like you to rally support for the Orioles.

    Put aside the past Nestor. The Orioles have proven repeatedly this season that they don’t care about the past, they care about now. Why can’t you do the same?

  5. Jeff Says:

    The tailgaiting thing has something to do with the agreement with Maryland Stadium Authority doesn’t it? I don’t see why tailgating couldn’t be allowed at, say, 10 home games throughout the season, roughly the same amount as the football season. Why not allow tailgating at Opening Day, most Sundays, and other high profile games if the team is in a pennant chase?

  6. charlie Says:

    not until the o’s and the ravens play each other do i need to choose between them. until then, there’s no reason for a baltimore fan not to feel entitled to root for both teams.

    that said, it’ll take more than this season to erase the bitterness over lord peter angelos’ lousy behaviors. but winning is a great start. keeping lord peter locked up in the broom closet would also help.

  7. P Gavin Says:

    More Hypocrisy and Band Wagon Jumping. Boasting about bus trips is so shallow. They are part of the business model for the radio station. Unless they are done “at cost” and no profit is made, then Nestor can crow about being a supporter of the team. In an complete reversal of “The Godfather” it is “personal, not business”. With every appearance on radio and EVERY single blog entry highlighting “mistreatment” by the O’s management how can any rational person think otherwise? If I am listening to Drew’s show, I know that every time Nestor chimes in he will go to his talking points. They are stated the exact same way EVERY single time, is there a teleprompter in studio?

    I find it humorous to the delusion(in Nestor’s mind) that Peter Angelos has any thought about him at all. A grand conspiracy against a small station that in traditional measurables has little impact is ludicrous. That is your mountain to climb and not that all of your competition is spreading lies about your “ratings”. Always blaming others speaks to an inherent weakness of what you want to accomplish. Look in the mirror and think about all of the people you have fired(and brag about that fact as well) before casting stones about how the O’s have treated people. Intimating that Flanagan’s problems may lay at the feet of Angelos is bordering on some dangerous ground.

    Now laying claim that your heart is torn between two loves is nuts. Since the Ravens have come to town they also have been part of the equation(business, not personal) in promotion of the radio station. You cater to and pander to them because you need them. Baseball(due to it being an everyday thing) has never lent itself to “guys in the community” like football. Totally different animals. And to have access to players, again not really part of how baseball has ever been done. Baseball players are way different than other team sports, most are too cool for school types, the play of the game lends itself to that. it is generally not communal(hitting and pitching are solitary acts). Baseball may need to change, but to say that the Oriole Management is doing to you in particular is disingenuous.

    Get off the talking points, it is so tired and trite. Nobody cares if you go or not, but to beat on the same drum over and over and over again accomplishes nothing.

  8. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    With 6 games remaining DON’T count on the Red Sox rolling over. They would like nothing better to have PAY-BACK from what happened last year. Knocking the O’s out of the playoffs would make there pitiful year worth while.

  9. bill Says:

    dude- any money you are spending on ANY ticket is a tax write off for you,so just shut your pie hole….

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