Don’t Free the Birds, Be the Birds

May 10, 2010 |

As many people have been saying lately, mainly after watching one pathetic performance after another by the Orioles, something has to be done so that Baltimore can be both a football and a baseball town. Thirteen years is quite a long drought from winning. It’s almost as if Peter Angelos stopped caring once the Ravens came to town. I guess he figured he could live off the success of our beloved football team and stop concentrating on our beloved baseball team. But he needs to turn the Orioles into an organization very similar to the Ravens.

I am young, only 23 years old, but I cannot imagine growing up with a respected baseball team, a feared baseball team, to watch them go downhill so quickly. It would be disheartening to see such a proud franchise become the laughing stock of Major League Baseball. And this is exactly what has happened to my parents and their generation. All of the men in Baltimore, and yes, you women too, that are about 40 years of age and older have witnessed the best team in baseball bring the World Series trophy to Charm City. You have witnessed what it was like to be feared coming into the next season. But then, you have felt that wonderful feeling be sucked right out of this city in the past decade or so. And it’s pretty sickening. I mean, I remember going to Camden Yards when I was younger where you couldn’t get a seat on game day, and if you did, you were ten rows from the top of the stadium. It’s pretty embarrassing now when I go to games, like I did when the Yankees were just in town, and the stadium is about half full, with about 70% of the crowd rooting for the away team. It sucks. I would hate to go to a Ravens games and have 7 out of 10 people around me wearing Steelers colors. That just wouldn’t happen at M&T Bank. But it is a daily occurrence across the street at Camden Yards.

Everyone says that Peter Angelos should be more like Steve Bisciotti and actually answer questions about why they are doing this or why they are doing that, which I completely agree with. But I think Peter Angelos needs to understand Baltimore. He needs to look at his audience. He needs to look at his fans. Baltimore is a proud city. Baltimore is a hard working city. We defend what we believe in. On eight Sundays during the fall, WE PROTECT OUR HOUSE. Out of 81 days throughout the summer, if we are lucky, a good number of fans show up on opening day. One day…

I’ve been to 4 games this year. I don’t have an urge to go to many more until I feel that Peter Angelos and this organization care about the people who fill the seats. I know that Steve Bisciotti cares because he puts a winning team out there, and when they lose, he talks. John Harbaugh talks. Ozzie Newsome talks. The Ravens are visible in this community. The Orioles are nowhere to be found. The Orioles might come out for a charity event here or there. They make a public appearance when they feel up to it. But the Ravens are always out there. I run into Ravens players and see them a ton. We, the people, of Baltimore want to know that we are appreciated. It is sad that me, my friends, and most of this city are looking forward to the first pre-season game for the Ravens, even looking forward to the opening of training camp, more than the next Orioles game. Until something changes from the top, don’t expect to see a difference at the Yard.