So about 90 minutes ago, I get a phone call from Matt Palmer of The Examiner. He says, “Drew, I called the Orioles today in reference to your story about re-storing Baltimore to the road jerseys and Greg Bader has issued a statement denying your report.”
I checked my e-mail and see some dude named Neal something or other who has some kind of internet-site e-mails me to say that he contacted the Orioles and Bader got back to him with a prepared e-mail refuting the story that the O’s are going to have Baltimore on the road jerseys in 2008.
First, let me state the obvious:
And this is essentially what I said to Matt Palmer at 1:30. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the Orioles are denying the report that they are going to change their away jerseys in 2008. What were they going to do today? Issue a press release that says, “OK, since the story is out, we might as well go ahead and confirm it.” Of course not. They’re going to do what they always do…the WRONG thing. They are absolutely not going to lend any credence to the story I talked about today. I’ve had two very promiment Baltimore media members contact me this morning/afternoon to say, nicely, “Damn you…I heard this story two weeks ago but I didn’t run with it…” So I’m evidently not the only guy in town who’s caught wind of this since late April.
I even received an e-mail late this morning from someone who noted that Stan Charles addressed this very subject in his latest edition of The PressBox (read it here) and Stan is as close to the O’s as anyone in town, so if he’s hearing it too, wouldn’t that fall under the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” theory?
Now, on to more pressing matters.
Here’s the $64,000 question. Why would the Orioles reply to Matt Palmer, some web-site-baseball-fanatic named Neal and, as I’ve just heard, Roch Kutabko…and NOT reply to me yesterday (or today)? Evidently, Kubatko has talked to someone “high-up” who has also denied the story. Hmmm…why, then, when I asked them the exact same question(s) yesterday, did I NOT get a response at all? Wouldn’t it have made sense for them – Bader or anyone else with a sense of what’s smart and what’s right – to reply to one of my e-mails or text messages yesterday and say, “Drew…I’m not sure where you’re hearing this but it’s not true.” After all, that’s precisely what they did today when they responded to Matt Palmer of The Examiner and Roch Kubatko of The Sun, right?
Why would the Director of COMMUNICATIONS not communicate with me on this? Is it because there’s no truth to the story or is it because – as always – the O’s want to do this their way and anything less than that doesn’t work for them? And what does it say for their organization when people either directly or indirectly associated with the team are under the impression that the uniform change is going to be made in 2008, only to have the team come out and say it’s NOT going to happen? How confusing must it be over there at the warehouse when their own people don’t know what’s true and what’s not?
And why would the baseball team risk the element of more bad PR by allowing anyone in town (even someone like me that they obviously have an issue with) to openly talk about a story that they would immediately refute? If I e-mailed them TODAY and said, “I have a source that is telling me the team is going to move to Las Vegas at the end of this season and I’m going to break that story tomorrow morning”, wouldn’t it be in their best interest to refute that story BEFORE I went public with it?
For the record, one of the three people that confided in me about this story called me at 2:30 pm today and said, “I know what I know to be true…so just give them time to figure out how to address it and they’ll eventually come out on THEIR terms and announce that they’re going to put BALTIMORE on the road jerseys next season. But you can bet the one thing they’re absolutely unwilling to do is give you or WNST any credit for publicizing it on their behalf.”
Fair enough. I don’t really care, at this point, how they go about doing it. I don’t want any credit for anything. In fact, they deserve all the credit in the world for finally coming to grips with the fact that putting BALTIMORE on the road jerseys is the right thing to do.
In summary, their denial of this story today doesn’t surprise me for another reason.
When’s the last time the Orioles actually let the fans have a say in something relative to the franchise?
Honestly…how long has it been when they did something FOR THE FANS that made people in town take notice?
I’d like an answer to that. I challenge all of you to think long and hard and tell me when is the last time they did something FOR THE FANS that made people in town say, “wow…they really DO love us.”
This is their chance to do something right for BALTIMORE.
I’m still under the impression that they’re going to follow through and make the change to the uniforms in 2008. How they go about announcing it and “spinning” it all is up to them and, frankly, I don’t even think that’s important anymore.
Let’s all just hope they do the right thing.
After 9 straight seasons of futility and frustration, it’s the least they can do for the fans.