E-5…O’s drop the ball with Brooks

July 03, 2008 | Drew Forrester

In an effort to keep the lunatics from chiming in and saying, “there goes Drew again, bashing the Orioles for no reason”, I ignored the Brooks-gets-his-award-in-York-instead-of-Baltimore story. For a day.

Tuesday night in York (PA), Brooks Robinson was honored by Rawlings as their Gold Glove “Best Defensive 3rd Baseman Ever”, a summer-long program they’re producing to honor the game’s all-time great defensive players.  Brooks is a part-owner of an independent minor league team in York, so it makes sense for him to be there…but he can sign autographs there any night he wants.  It’s not like #5’s appearance on Tuesday was a once-a-summer visit.  Still, the stadium was packed with adoring, applauding fans.  When he accepted the award in York on Tuesday, Brooks said to the overflow crowd…”I don’t get treated like this very often, believe me.”

Why did Brooks receive the award in Southern Pennyslvania and not in Baltimore?  The Orioles were home on Tuesday night against Kansas City.  Why didn’t he receive his award at OPACY? 

Who knows?

The club doesn’t answer questions like that from members of the media who care about the subject and would like to know the answer.

WBAL Radio’s Steve Davis is absolutely in danger of having his press credential revoked after his show last night.  He crushed the Orioles on the subject of Brooks not receiving the award in Baltimore.  It felt good to actually hear someone else in town take the team to task for shoddy treatment of their legends.  Maybe “Ira Silverstein” can start harrassing Steve instead of me.

Robinson’s association with the Orioles has been rocky for the last several years.  A few years back, the team wanted Brooks to be involved with the team in a community-relations capacity.  Brooks told the club from the outset that he’d like to have a role here, but that his lifestyle and business committments would prohibit him from making it a 12-month, 5-day-a-week gig.  What did the team do?  They told Brooks they had a great position in mind for him but that he would need to be in Baltimore “full-time” to make it work.  My sources tell me Brooks looked at that as an attempt by the team to merely satisfy the applicant pool — in other words, the club offered Brooks a position that they KNEW he wouldn’t accept, thereby having the right to say, “we offered Brooks a position but he didn’t want it” when the media and fans asked the club why one of the team’s most popular players ever wasn’t part of the organization.

There are a lot of good things going on at The Warehouse these days, but their decision to black-list media entities that aren’t part of their “rights holders network” means we always don’t learn the truth about situations like the one that happened Tuesday night in York, PA.  Even the good things they’re doing don’t receive the exposure and credit they deserve because they aren’t willing to work with ALL members of the media. 

Brooks Robinson should be honored in just about whatever manner HE feels comfortable with in Baltimore.  One of the reasons why baseball exists in Baltimore is because of him. 

There’s always been a huge disconnect with the current-day group of folks running the club as it relates to just how the Orioles franchise was built.  The people who bought tickets to see Brooks in the 60’s and 70’s helped keep the team alive long enough for this cash-cow edition of the franchise that exists in 2008. 

The powers-that-be at The Warehouse have a job in baseball in Baltimore because of folks like Brooks Robinson.

Someday, maybe they’ll realize that and treat their legends with more respect.