It’s been six years and six days since we launched the “Free The Birds” campaign to speak out about the awfulness that the Baltimore Orioles had become under the stewardship of Peter G. Angelos. Coincidentally, today the Orioles “magic number” to clinch a playoff berth in the American League is 6.
It’s absolutely astonishing that we’re going to the Ravens’ fourth game of the season tonight and the Baltimore Orioles are playing meaningful baseball games every night. It’s almost awkward and overwhelming, the energy we’re all feeling for sports in our community.
So as 70,000 gather downtown and bring the purple love for the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens on national television, has all been forgiven and “fixed” according to the customers of the Baltimore Orioles?
If you’re counting the tens of thousands of empty seats this “Orioles Magic” show has played for over the last month you’ll see that the franchise and the 2012 Orioles still have a long way to go to undo the untold damage to the psyche of its own fan base. Even worse, there are many potential baseball fans who are unaware – or uninterested – in coming back to the ballpark and soaking in the love of Birdland, which right now is just about the happiest place on earth.
Fill in any reason you’d like: price, distance, inconvenience, HDTV, love of Jim Hunter, blah, blah, blah.
Bottom line: it ain’t a tough ticket.
I’ve never stopped going to Orioles games. I’ve been to eight games a year every year since 2003 when they proved to be awful business partners and 2006 when they took away my press pass (I’m the only person in history of Baltimore media to be “banned” from Orioles games). People give me free tickets and I use them.
I’ve flown to Sarasota twice to see them play in spring training. I’ve seen the Orioles play in New York three times a year every year for 8 years. I’ve seen them play in Boston, New York, Cleveland, Tampa, Philadelphia.
I’ve been going back to the ballpark this month and I’ve reached into my wallet to do it.
I purchased two tickets for the Cal Ripken Statue Thursday night extravaganza. I bought four tickets for this Monday’s DH for $4 each. I checked the credit card receipts. I spent $18.80. Because of the scarcity of the Ripken tickets, it cost us $47.80 for a pair of standing rooms that we turned into sitting rooms in the back row of Sec. 380.
My total investment in the Orioles so far in 2012? That’s right: $66.60.
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or @WNST on Twitter, you know that I’m at the ballpark because I’m sending up pictures, observations, analysis and some dark humor.
I turned down offers for free tickets the past two nights because I had other obligations for work.
I woke up early on Saturday morning and chased down a pair of tickets to every postseason game the Orioles could play this October. And then I realized that I’ll be in Kansas City for the Ravens’ game next weekend.
And I have to ask myself the same question many Baltimore sports fans are asking themselves – am I a bigger fan of the Orioles or the Ravens? And if I had to pick just one…???? Hmmm…
I’m asking Baltimore sports fans these questions all month here in our GREAT BALTIMORE MEDIA SURVEY. Take it for a chance to win a trip to Cleveland in November!
For me choosing between the Orioles and the Ravens is like picking between whether you love your