Meanwhile, Down In D.C. …..

January 29, 2009 |

For the past 6 months, Baltimore sports fans have been fixated on any and every tidbit of rumor regarding the Ravens.  It doesn’t matter the season officially ended nearly two weeks ago, on a cold night, in Pittsburgh.


With each passing day, the topic is “who are the new coaches” ….. “will Ray stay” ….. “will Sizzle stay” ….. “who’s gonna go deep” ….. “will Kyle stay” – okay, just seeing if you’re reading this.  But, seriously, everything revolves around the Ravens.


How about the Orioles?  Spring training begins in less than three weeks, aren’t you excited about this new roster?  Cesar Izturis is anchoring shortstop, Mark Hendrickson is slotted in the rotation and if you’re hungering for something new, we’ve got PIE ….. in the outfield.


Look outside ….. do you like the view?  It looks like a scene from Mystery, Alaska, huh?  To compliment that girlie-ass snowstorm, that served as a major inconvenience, a couple days ago ….. we’re now saddled with a coating of lethal ice – capable of rendering 695 into a soupy version of the 3rd turn at Daytona.


You know what we could really use?  That’s right …… what could break us outta this winter-doldrum?  Aside from an “all expenses paid vacation” to the Caribbean, I was thinking the Orioles could do something nice, like host an event spirited for FANS, on a cold, blustery weekend.


In fact, couldn’t the Orioles host a giant carnival-like bonanza – with exhibits, attractions, player appearances and ticket promotions?  They could name the extravaganza “Bird Bash,” “O Whatta Party,” “Andy Land” or ….. how about FANFEST ???


This could be a major breakthrough in recapturing the attention of a fan base that has basically dwindled to a mere fraction of former numbers.  Look at it this way, the Orioles roughly have the same amount of fans paying attention right now, as in July or August.  However, there aren’t any present distractions.


Do the Orioles realize fans are DYING for something to do this coming weekend?  For God’s sake, they’ll be spending Saturday at movie theatres, browsing Ravens message boards and watching the Terps getting “blown out” by the Hurricanes.


Of course, I’m being a little sarcastic.  All of us remember the FanFest celebrations of past years, right?  It seemed like a huge success, until the scheduling blunder (conflicting with a Ravens playoff game) a couple years ago.  But, that killed it – so it seems.


Now, FanFest has been transformed into a watered-down version of its former self.  For the past couple years, the event has been held just a couple days before the start of the regular season – and with little or no inconvenience for players.


Lets forget that former FanFest events aided FANS in coping with a long, raw winter.  Why hold this event when the season is essentially already here?  It’s a stupid idea – with primary consideration of the guys who are supposed to be giving back to the community.  Anyone can see this …..


Do the Orioles really have such little control over players?  Do they really think hosting a FANS EVENT is best served on the Saturday prior to the season’s start?  The answer is obviously YES ….. for Orioles players, staff and management.  It’s just easier – for THEM.


But, how about the family from Dundalk, who spends the entire winter here?  Or, do they consider the couple in Glen Burnie, who devote a half-dozen Sundays, each summer, in devotion to a team that’s on a decade-long skid?  Should these folks and everyone in their shoes be the primary consideration, when planning an event for them?


Let’s do this ….. listen up Andy – listen up Mr. Angelos …..


This coming season, instead of running that ridiculous jumbotron escapade, featuring a few hot dogs chasing each other around the basepaths, how about running a survey of when FanFest should be held?  Applause could dictate. 


Uh-huh ….. can’t do that.  After all, who’s gonna walk into that clubhouse on the final day of the season and say “see ya on the final weekend of January boys ….. and bring your happy face.”  That’s not gonna happen, is it?


For those readers who noticed the blog headline and are wondering “where’s the part about DC” ….. here ya go …..


Last weekend, the Nationals held FanFest, down in the nation’s capital.  That’s right, fresh off the heels of the BIGGEST event in the town’s history, and in the DEAD OF WINTER, Jim Bowden and his group put together a big party for the fans.


And, guess what?  The players showed up and things went nicely.  Novel idea, huh?  So, I’m left with just one question ….. what have the Orioles done for their fans, this winter?


The answer is obvious ….. they’ve done the same thing for the past decade – NOTHING.