After a big win for the Birds last night against Cleveland and a Yankees loss to the White Sox, the O’s are in sole possession of 2nd place in the American League East, baseball’s toughest division of the last 6 years as voted by Sports Illustrated. We are a full game and a half ahead of Tampa Bay and Boston and are tied for the sixth best record in the MLB with Cincinnati. Only the Yankees, Rangers, and Angels have better American League records than the Birds and yet the Orioles have the tenth worst average attendance in the league at 26,393. That number does indeed look a whole lot nicer then last years 21,943 which was 5th worst in baseball; only Kansas City, the then Florida Marlins, Kansas City, and Oakland had worst attendance numbers than the Orioles.
But, with a winning team and a top five ballpark in all of baseball, there is no reason that these attendance numbers shouldn’t climb into the top ten of Major League Baseball. So here are my top five reasons for fans to get out to the park this year.
Reason number five: American League East. Like every other Orioles fan I am sick of going to a Red Sox or Yankees game at Camden Yards and being outnumbered by their team’s fans. This year, Philadelphia Phillies fans also took over our beloved stadium with there “Chooooch” calls and “Lets go Phillies” chants. I want Orioles fans to always outnumber opposing fans. With that being said the only games close to sell outs with mostly Orioles fans in the seats were Opening Day and the Nationals series. Every time an American League East opponent comes into Baltimore, our fans should want to see these teams play. When Toronto comes into Charm City, you’ll get to see Jose Bautista, who leads baseball with 26 homeruns. When the Rays come, you are seeing a world series contender of the past five years. The same goes with Boston and the Yankees. These are good teams that fans should want to see their team beat, and the players would rather come out of the dugout and see 35,000+ fans cheering them on loudly.
Reason number four: Improved Pitching. Last season, the Orioles had the worst team ERA in baseball with a 4.89, and so far this season we are nearly a full point better at a 3.90. This has been largely in part of our bullpen’s ERA being the best in the baseball at 2.46. That number last year was 4th worst at 4.18. Buck Showalter and the Orioles management system has listened to everyone’s complaints about lack of pitching and turned the team around big time.
Reason number three: Sense of Pride. Orioles fans are only filling up 58% of Camden Yards, the 7th worst in Major league baseball. Our city sells out every Ravens game. Why can’t we have close to sell out crowds at Orioles games? The Orioles have the tenth cheapest ticket in baseball with an average price of $23.83 per ticket. If you require a premium seat, no problem, the Orioles average the fourth cheapest premium seat; only Milwaukee, Colorado, and San Diego average cheaper in that category.
Reason number two: Offensive power. The Orioles are third in the Majors in home runs; only Toronto and the Yankees are ahead of the Birds. Anyone on the Orioles can put the ball out of the park as Xavier Avery proved last night. The Birds have five players with at least 10 home runs and Adam Jones is 8th in baseball with 19.
Reason number one: CONTENDERS. With the Orioles contending so far throughout the season, there is no reason that the fans aren’t flocking out to the Yard to watch this team play baseball every night. Now that the “it’s a school night excuse” can no longer be used, fans should be at games nightly to watch a team that is 8 games above .500. So head on out to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and help make this team a playoff caliber team, with playoff caliber fans!