Tag Archive | "camden yards"

An open letter to the New York Yankees — It’s over, guys.  O-V-E-R…

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An open letter to the New York Yankees — It’s over, guys. O-V-E-R…

Posted on 06 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

To: Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees

I’m sure when you all looked at the 2012 schedule back in March, you probably assumed the post-Labor Day series in Baltimore would be a 4-game walk-in-the-park.

Turns out you were right.

It WILL be a walk-in-the-park.

For the Orioles.

Let me officially welcome you guys from New York to the beginning of the end.  I imagine you started to feel it – for real – last weekend in Yankee Stadium when the Birds buzzed in and slapped you around on Friday and Sunday, serving notice that this September might be different than the others of the last 14 seasons prior to this one.

In fact, let me take a second to remind you that Yankee Stadium actually transformed to “Camden Yards in The Bronx” this year, as the Orioles won all three series’ played in “your” place.  How’s that humble pie taste, Joe?

If you haven’t been paying attention — and honestly, when I watch the Yankees this season, I wonder if you are — the Orioles are threatening to claim the top spot in the American League East.  And with Tampa Bay putting their foot up your ass in Florida earlier this week, the Yankees are in the not-so-delightful position of actually having to fight for the right to make the post-season.

For once, the Yankees are just like any other team, fighting and scratching for wins down the stretch.  You’ve lost more than you’ve won since the All-Star break.  Not all bad for a team of scrubs.  But not good for a team like the Yankees who are supposed to win 55% of their games just by showing up at the stadium on time.

And now, on September 6, the time has come to separate the men from the boys.  Let’s see how the Yankees react to this moment-of-truth over the next four days in Baltimore.  Do you have the stones to man-up and win 3 out of 4 to put a halt to this freight train in orange?  Or will you buckle under the pressure of that 10-game A.L. East lead you squandered in less than 50 days?

Here’s my guess:  The Yankees are going to leave town late Sunday evening embarrassed and battered.

Based on the pitchers you’re scheduled to send to the mound, I’d say you guys will be very fortunate to win 2 of the 4 games and more likely a safe bet to win only one.  And it sure wouldn’t surprise me if you go 0-for-4 in Charm City this weekend.

This weekend, by the way, is simply the finishing touch on a season gone haywire here in Baltimore, where the Orioles have done the unthinkable and gone from worst to maybe-first.  That we’ll be jetting above the Yankees in the process is just icing on the cake.  I’m not naive enough to think this is the beginning of some sort of decade long trend where the Orioles win division titles “on the trot” (as they say in England) while the Yankees wallow in 3rd or 4th place.  That gives me even more energy to laugh at what’s happened this year.  It’s come completely out of nowhere.  We might not experience something like this for another decade.  So while we have it, here, at our fingertips, we’re going to revel in it.  You don’t mind, do you?

How that all relates to the upcoming post-season, I have no idea.  But I know this…when the dust settles in a few weeks the Orioles will be ahead of the Yankees in the standings.

Make book on that.

(Please see next page)

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Orioles heed the advice of an idiot

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Orioles heed the advice of an idiot

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

Two weeks ago, I suggested in THIS BLOG that the Orioles should start thinking about what they were going to do in the month of September to draw crowds to Camden Yards while the team battles for its first post-season berth since 1997.

Lo and behold, what do you know?  The Orioles are actually heeding my advice and doing something to try and leads fans back into the ballpark, rather than just resting on that silly “when we win, they’ll come back” theory that worked so well last week during the homestand with the White Sox.  47,000 fans showed up last week — combined, for all four games.

Now it would appear the Orioles are finally aware that just winning games isn’t enough to lure fans back to the ballpark and pay major league prices in an economy that can barely afford minor league prices.

For next week’s series with the Rays, the Orioles are offering “throwback prices” for select seats, taking fans back to 1992 and allowing them to purchase tickets for as low as $4.00 and $8.00 each.

In the blog I wrote two weeks ago, I suggested the Orioles reach out to all former season ticket holders over the last five years or so and invite them – via a discount ticket offer – to the Tampa Bay series.  The O’s did me one better.  They invited EVERYONE to the series via a discount ticket offer.

That’s a nice move at a time when the fans need to feel welcomed back.

I’ll do my best to promote the ticket discount over the next six days, because I feel it’s very important for the crowds to swell next week when the Rays come to town.

I understand how it works.  I can’t demand that the team do something smart with their ticket prices and then ignore them when they actually do pull the trigger on a beneficial ticket promotion.  So I’ll go out of my way on the air over the next few days to remind everyone that they can now “afford” Orioles baseball at a time when the games are the most important they’ve been in 15 years.

I’m going to assume (and yes, I know that’s dangerous with the Orioles) that the whole “BUCKle Up!” campaign will be on the up and up and that people who want the $4.00 and $8.00 seats will be able to get them.  Maybe the team learned a hard lesson from this summer’s “Student Night” mess where they essentially lured students to the park on Fridays with the promise of a $6.00 seat, then quickly sold out the never-disclosed allotment of those seats and tried to upcharge those in line who could no longer get in for six bucks.

I hope beyond hope the “BUCKle Up” promotion is legit and the seats are readily available.  I’m tired of being the watchdog who everyone emails with complaints when the hoodwinking occurs.

(Please see next page)

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An open letter to Adam Jones (and anyone else who doesn’t like Orioles attendance)

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An open letter to Adam Jones (and anyone else who doesn’t like Orioles attendance)

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It was only a matter of time before Adam Jones started popping off on Twitter regarding his feelings about the lack of people standing behind him in centerfield at Camden Yards. It wasn’t as juicy as last year’s advice to “knock the s**t outta the Yankees fans” but he made his feelings well known yesterday about the worst crowd of the season to see the season’s most significant game to date.

It’s very apparent that Adam Jones cares more about whether the good people of Baltimore come to Orioles games than his bosses and owner do but still not enough to vest himself in our community enough to recruit people to come and pay to see the team play.


It must be a bummer for any Orioles player to endure the emptiness of the home ballpark while finally playing meaningful games and quality baseball.

In 2012, the price to pay for 15 years of losing and the worst owner in the history of professional sports is what Adam Jones now sees with a fantastic view from centerfield every night: an empty stadium in downtown Baltimore and plenty of green seats to backdrop every fly ball.

It’s been very clear that the prescient message I sent with “Free The Birds” in 2006 – “if you’re not careful, Mr. Angelos, we might leave and never come back” – has now become a prophecy. The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are everything you’d want in a local sports team to follow – interesting, fun, lively and relevant – and a grand total of 48K came to Camden Yards over four days to watch the best baseball this city has seen in 15 years.

The empty seats are a glaring reminder of what’s gone wrong with the franchise and the city’s passion for the Baltimore Orioles since Peter Angelos bought — and then wrecked — the franchise.

Once Adam Jones stops talking out of the side of his mouth and at the end of this run of success in 2012 – and I’m not betting it won’t end in a parade just yet because I’ve seen stranger things happen — it’ll then be time to invest himself in our community the way he likes to on his Twitter account.

He got the $85.5 million deal back in May and it’ll be his turn to become a Baltimore resident or not. If he’s really interested in people coming to the ballpark then I hope he’ll spend the offseason with the fans here and be Mr. Oriole all winter.

Where will he be in November…and December…or January?

Will he be shaking hands, kissing babies and attempting to become a guy who eventually gets one of those shiny statues out on the patio that no one is visiting these days?

Will Adam Jones be in the community trying to win back the fans of Baltimore?

I’m not talking sitting at a table in a card shop or swag store charging $50 for an autograph. I’m talking about being a true ambassador for the community.

This isn’t about the marketing department. This isn’t about buying more billboards or state-run MASN ads. This isn’t about popping off on Twitter or mandating “sitdowns” with people like me who are still pissed about the entire tenor and arrogance of the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos over two decades.

If the players on the field are embarrassed by an empty stadium, it’s my belief is that THEY – directly – are the only ones who can do something about it. We have to care about them and want to invest our money

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Filling Oriole Park Has Nothing To Do With Fans

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Filling Oriole Park Has Nothing To Do With Fans

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

This is a great time to be an Orioles fan. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the absence of expectations coupled with the success of this team has created a perfect storm of circumstance that’ll make this (regardless of the way that it ends) likely the most exciting season of Orioles baseball since 1989 at least. And given that it took 14 years of futility to sap this fan base of its enthusiasm and optimism we can only hope that another season like this will never happen again.

That said, the excitement that is Orioles baseball 2012 hasn’t seemed to get the turnstiles at the stadium moving, at least not to the degree that many would have expected so far. That’s led to a spirited debate about what can and should be done to get back the fans as well as a number of divergent theories about what’s keeping them away now despite the successes of the team to date.


So, for what it’s worth…here’s mine:


The first and easiest reason why fans aren’t flocking to the ballpark right now is because they can.


On any given night, it’s easy to head to the ballpark without planning or preparation, pick up tickets for any seat in the house and enjoy the show. Therefore, there’s simply no urgency about having to do it today. For as long as that remains the case, fans will take to the ballpark whenever they’re good and ready and so far they just haven’t been ready.


While many expected that winning would bring back the fans, expecting it to happen overnight was just wrong. It’s my best guess that if the excitement of this season is going to get more folks out to the park, the real impact won’t be felt until next year with the purchase of new season tickets. My other best guess, and the tougher pill for fans to swallow is that this won’t happen by the team appeasing or satisfying the “regular fans”. As ticket selling priorities go, “regular fans” are and will remain at the bottom of the pecking order. If the Orioles are able to take care of the top end of that pecking order, the regular fans will simply fall back into line because they’ll have little choice.


Think for a second about why or how Oriole Park ever sold out regularly in the first place. Think about why or how any Major League ballpark sells out regularly. It starts with a firm base of season tickets sold. Since this season began with no expectation of success or of ticket scarcity, it stands to reason that there wasn’t a whole lot of urgency for anyone to buy or renew their season tickets. No reason, that is, except to avoid the game day surcharge.


Without getting off on too much of a tangent here, this is also why the surcharge is viewed by the team, as a necessary evil. We’ve already established that on any given night a fan can show up on a whim and buy pretty much any seat in the house. Therefore why would fans ever buy any tickets in advance, much less commit to 13, 26, 81 or some other fixed number of games in a season ticket package when they can simply show up and buy tickets whenever they want?


Thursday September 13th against the Rays looks to me like a nice day to take in a ballgame. But if I buy those tickets today, and my wife winds up sick, or it rains on September 13th, I’m stuck with them. If Wei-Yin Chen is pitching against David Price on the 12th, I might rather go to that game instead. If I can wait until the day of the game to decide, there’s no reason to buy in advance except to avoid the surcharge, there are however plenty of good reasons not to buy in advance.

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Machado up on night of first Ravens game? Ballsy move, Birds

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Machado up on night of first Ravens game? Ballsy move, Birds

Posted on 09 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

I hypothetically asked the question a few weeks ago on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net.

“If the Baltimore Orioles are able to remain in the postseason hunt into September, will it have any impact at all on how you watch/support the Baltimore Ravens in September?”

I pointed out at the time that the two teams did not have games scheduled at the same time at all during September. (The Ravens’ Week 1 Monday night and Week 4 Thursday night primetime home games come on scheduled off days for the Birds. The Week 2 game at Philadelphia is scheduled for 1pm while the O’s are scheduled to play after 4 in Oakland. The Ravens’ Week 3 game also happens in primetime while the Birds take the field in Boston at 1pm.) There would be no direct conflict unless there is a weather related reschedule, or possibly if the Orioles were to make the postseason.

The truth is that there is no basis for comparison when it comes to how Charm City sports fans would treat this short crossover period. The Orioles’ last run to the postseason came in 1997, before the Ravens had captured the collective imaginations, hearts and back accounts of the Mid-Atlantic region’s sports fans. If we date back to the time when the Baltimore Colts and Orioles shared the city; mass media consumption, television coverage and big business of sports were incomparable to 2012.

Reaction to the question was quite varied. Some fans said they wouldn’t change any priorities related to the Ravens because football simply had become more significant to them. Other fans said they couldn’t imagine making any early season football game a priority while the Orioles were in pursuit of their first playoff appearance in a decade and a half. Still others thought it impossible to think that they would have to alter the way they paid attention to or supported either franchise, stating that other cities (namely Boston and New York) have never appeared to struggle with the same problem.

For many, the topic remains the elephant in the room. It might actually happen, they just don’t want to talk about it. They’d rather say things like “let’s just see if the Orioles can hold up their end of the bargain.” The Orioles however took the opportunity Wednesday to remind you that not only does the elephant exist, it’s an actual f*cking elephant.

Perhaps the Baltimore Orioles’ decision to purchase the contract of Bowie Baysox INF (and former first round pick) Manny Machado and allow him to make his MLB debut Thursday night has nothing to do with the fact that the Ravens are opening the preseason against the Falcons in Atlanta.

Of course, perhaps the correlation is absolutely purposeful.

Perhaps the Orioles wanted to take a strike against the pro sports team in town whose success has relegated them to “orange-headed stepchild” status 364 days a year (yes, I’m giving the Birds Opening Day. Nothing more.)

Perhaps members of the Orioles organization had a conversation this week about the lackluster attendance figures at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the three games against the Seattle Mariners and said “this is probably going to be worse Thursday since fans will want to stay home and watch the football game. Let’s try to combat that somehow.”

Perhaps Peter Angelos (well…probably not Old Man Angelos but someone he allows to advise him and/or make decisions) is still pissed off about the Ravens’ Facebook jab from Opening Day and decided they wanted to put a dent in the football team’s television ratings-which will likely already be hurt by the fact that the game had to be moved from WBAL to WMAR and will be going up against the NBC affiliate’s continued Olympics coverage.

Perhaps there’s still bitterness for how the teams’ MASN-fueled relationship fell apart in 2010 and the Orioles wanted to flex their muscles a little bit to remind the Ravens they’re now working a network (Comcast SportsNet) that has clearly made the Washington Redskins a greater priority over the last two seasons.

Perhaps the Orioles are hoping they can play off the small bit of fan angst created when the Ravens ended their Westminster Training Camp tradition and win the hearts of young sports fans who are angry they can’t get autographs at McDaniel College. Perhaps they’re hoping to steal back part of an already small market that has partially abandoned the Orange and Black.

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Orioles are finally in pennant race — but where are Baltimore baseball fans?

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Orioles are finally in pennant race — but where are Baltimore baseball fans?

Posted on 08 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ve argued with WNST morning show host Drew Forrester for a decade about this. He’s always said – much like everyone in the Angelos family – “When the Orioles win they’ll ALL come back!”

Well, in case you haven’t noticed while you were dusting off your purple gear this week for tomorrow night’s meaningless and mostly unentertaining Ravens game in Atlanta, the 2012 Baltimore Orioles are just about everything you’d want in a MLB team in a “small market” where the owner is pocketing over $100 million in profit every year.

They have young stars. They are exciting every night – including last night’s 14-inning marathon victory over the Seattle Mariners that unfolded like The Ilyiad. They seem to play sudden death baseball a lot. It’s almost like they WANT you to fall asleep on them.

And these days, it appears, that most Baltimore sports fans have in fact “gone to sleep on the Orioles.”

By and large, most of you are not coming to Orioles games right now. The Orioles haven’t inspired you to buy a ticket, despite their good fortunes and entertainment value on the field.

This is a perfect day for me to write about going to Orioles games because I’m going to the game tonight.


Well, I got free tickets.

My complaints and reasons for not giving Peter Angelos my money are legendary and well-documented. The incident when the team stiffed me on a $30,000 sponsorship, then attacked me at a game in 2004 and sent an apology note signed, “The Bird.” Then, after 21 years of covering the Baltimore Orioles through three ownership groups, they took my press pass in 2007 and have summarily lied about why, which is standard operating procedure from the Angelos family.

Hell, four months ago at a charity cocktail function, Brady Anderson told me I “should leave Baltimore if I don’t like the way the team is being run.”

But I still watch them every night – which either makes me a sucker, a fool or an eternal optimist. Or maybe just someone who loves Baltimore and the Orioles and remembers how much fun baseball was for the entire community before Angelos wrecked the franchise for anyone who takes the time to examine all of the facts.

Oh, here’s one more warm and fuzzy — this Friday will mark the one-year anniversary that one of their legendary players, broadcaster and caring front office man Mike Flanagan put a gun to his temple and pulled the trigger.

The Orioles have played 110 games this year. I’ve watched about 95 of them in their entirety. The other 15 I’ve either fallen asleep (like last night) or kept track via my mobile device on WNST’s live box score feature.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might find five games where I haven’t been live tweeting most of the evening from my couch. So, I’m qualified to bitch in many ways because I’m the biggest Baltimore Orioles fan you’ll ever find.

And, again, I’m not giving Angelos my money – not tonight or any night.

In Dundalk, we would simply call him a scumbag and leave it at that.

But he doesn’t care about whether you or I come to the ballpark. He’s sucking that $3.00 per month from my cable bill and yours, 

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The Infamous Warehouse

Posted on 01 July 2012 by scottzolotorow



With Jim Thome rolling into Baltimore just a few years past his home run hitting prime and Chris Davis’s monstrous Eutaw Street home run in yesterday’s loss, the question still stands…Will anyone ever hit the old B&O Warehouse? Now I know everyone jumps at the chance to say that Griffey did it in the Derby. And that was an astonishing feat, where the ball traveled approximately 465 feet to the base of the renowned building. The Warehouse is Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ most distinguishing feature. At 1,116 feet long it is known as the longest brick building on the east coast. If you were to stand it up, the Warehouse would be the 7th tallest building in the United States. The six taller are located in either Chicago or New York. Chris Davis’s 437 foot home run yesterday was the 65th home run to reach Eutaw Street. It was the 28th hit by an Oriole and the 8th overall hit this season, which ties a record for most Eutaw bombs in a single season.

So would anyone care to take a guess at who has the third longest Eutaw Street home run? None other then new Oriole, Jim Thome. On July 26th, 1996 as a member of the Cleveland Indians, Thome hit a 440 foot shot of Mike Mussina, who was the Oriole’s ace at the time. Only Henry Rodriguez of the Expos in 1997 and Adam Dunn of the Nationals have hit further balls onto Eutaw Street then Thome’s blast in 1996. Theoretically Jay Gibbons has come the closest, hitting a ball only 4 feet short of the Warehouse back in 2003 against the Phillies, though his ball only traveled 420 feet, 23 feet short of Rodriguez’s longest shot in ’97.

Jim Thome has 609 career regular season home runs. His furthest homerun of his career was a 511 foot blast at then Jacobs Field in Cleveland back in his seventh major league season in 1997. Now by my predictions that would have hit the Warehouse without a doubt if he pulled it. Nobody has ever hit a further home run at Progressive Field. But will he be the first to do it, or maybe it will be the earlier mentioned, Chris Davis. But my guess is eventually, it will be done. If Adam Dunn was a member of the Orioles I think he would have done it. This season, of his 24 home runs, two of them would have been the longest home runs in Eutaw Street history, and who knows maybe his 450 foot blast on April 6th, may have been the first ball to make it to the still uncharted territory. But here’s to hoping that it’s Thome’s first blast as an Oriole that makes it there because wouldn’t that be a great story.

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Lets Get This Attendance Up!

Posted on 30 June 2012 by scottzolotorow

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!

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If Your Team Isn’t Playing on the Field, You Better Leave Your Jersey At Home

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If Your Team Isn’t Playing on the Field, You Better Leave Your Jersey At Home

Posted on 27 June 2012 by andrewtomlinson

Last night’s debacle of a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels reminded me of one of my biggest pet peeves in sports, no not a pitcher failing to throw quality pitches with two strikes, but fans who wear jerseys of teams not playing in games.

I flipped on the tube yesterday just in time to see Brian Matusz fail to throw quality pitches with two strikes, I lied that is one of my biggest sports pet peeves, and a man seated behind home plate in a Minnesota Twins jersey. Now, I already disliked the Twins before this, but the attire selection really made me scratch my head. I mean, neither team playing was in the Twins’ division, the Twins aren’t challenging for a playoff spot and J.J. Hardy is really the only former Twin of note I can think of who was playing in the game.

The puzzling attire choice is one I see all too often at sports stadiums across the nation. Jerseys of the wrong team and even wrong sports donned by faithful as they settle into their seats. Often times I want to pull these offenders of my own rule to the side and ask them what possessed them to wear something to support a team that isn’t even in 50-miles of their current location. To me, when I attend an event my team isn’t playing in, I usually pick a rooting interest. As a result, why would I wear apparel from one of my teams if I plan on cheering for another one? And if I don’t even have a light rooting interest in who is playing, why am I paying to attend the game at all?

Now, hats are something I will let slide. Mainly because I enjoy wearing hats and I don’t think they are as egregious of an error, I mean people have to keep the sun out of their eyes. The jersey question though, is one that will always puzzle me. Even more puzzling, are the people who wear the jersey for a player who is on the field, but the jersey is from their previous team.

I mean, if said player is really your favorite ever, as many claim, wouldn’t it be worth it to pony up the 30 bucks to buy at least a new jersey t-shirt? If not, then it would be hard for me to accept your reasoning as valid.

Maybe this sounds sports elitist to some, but really it sounds like sports sensibility to me. I have lived in the DC area for the better part of four years now and I have attended an occasional Nats game. While they weren’t my favorite team, I lightly supported them, if only because I payed money to watch them play. As a result, I’d wear something red and lightly cheer and have a good time at the game. It seems sensible to me, to not necessarily buy merchandise for the team, but at least wear their colors.

Nothing is weirder to me than a camera pan of Camden Yards showing the sea of black and orange, or Red and White if the Red Sox are in town, and out of nowhere there is some guy in a blue Chicago Cubs jersey. I mean, the Cubs aren’t even the same league, what the heck is their jersey doing at an O’s game?

So be warned, if I see you at a game and your team isn’t playing, but nevertheless, there is that Texas Rangers t-shirt on your back, I am going to judge you. You paid to see the two teams on the field, at least wear the colors of one of them.

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Fans at the Yard

Posted on 13 June 2012 by Tom Federline

I do not understand all the hullabaloo acknowledging Philly fans in attendance at Camden Yards this past weekend. Was the Yard packed? Was the Yard packed with baseball fans? Were Philly fans in attendance? Were Oriole fans in attendance? Were the Philly fans drowned out at attempts to cheer for their team? I believe the answer is “yes” to all. So what’s the problem? Baseball fans enjoying baseball at one of the more elite Parks in the league. Should Camden Yards be at capacity with all Oriole fans? Yes. But does that really happen? Does that really happen at any Major League ballpark? The answer would be NO to the last two questions. Home fans, opposing fans, fair weather fans all intermingled into one setting. 120,000+ fans over a weekend and O’s take 2 out of 3 – sounds good to me.

People getting a little miffed that other baseball fans spend their money and time to visit Baltimore and Camden Yards. People getting miffed that Baltimoreans are not buying tickets for a losing franchise and greedy owner. People making videos of Philly fans at Camden Yards accompanied by a cover tune of “Philadelphia Freedom”.  I don’t get it. If you’re so miffed - go buy a ticket, get your friends to buy a ticket, be content you are doing your part. If you’re feeling strong about video – make a contrasting video on the other side of Camden Yards of Oriole fans leaving the Park going to their cars and Light rail to the tune of “Orioles Magic”. Maybe even make that video after Sundays game, after the O’s beat the Phillies in back-to-back extra inning games.

Why waste time publishing a “revolting” video clip of Philly fans leaving Camden Yards? I will admit, it always compelling to “stir the pot”. Missiion acomplished. A Philadelphia take-over? No, I don’t think so. The video was shot of out-of town fans heading down Conway street towards the Inner Harbor and their hotels. Baltimore fans are not headed down Conway to the Inner Harbor. Baltimore fans are headed home. How about this notion?  Philly fans travel and support their team well. And so do Yankee fans, Blue Jay fans, Boston fans, etc. etc. Philadelphia is 90 minutes up the road. Would you rather see a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia or Camden Yards in Baltimore?

I would rather see “fans” in the stadium than “people”. The only thing “people” add to the park are lines and rude cell phone usage. Opposing fans can be obtrusive at times and so can our own home town crowd. Ever go to a Friday night student drunk fest? Respectful opposing fans add to the event.

I have experienced section 34 at Memorial Stadium. I have experienced the “Golden” sold-out Years of Camden Yards. I have experienced these past 15 “lost” years. Give me 10-15,000 true Oriole baseball “fans” over 45,000 “people” in the stands any day. I would rather spend my time and money at a game with “fans – that want to be there” as opposed to “people – wanting to be there because it’s the thing to do.” I would rather “strike up” a conversation with a knowledgeable sports fan, than “listen” to a conversation of some cell phone using moron or Betty and Sue talking about Earl from the office and their next Zumba class.

Of course I’m not the one counting on the revenue from those “people”. It’s real simple and we have all heard it before – win and more “people” will show. Do I like it when there’s a sea of red (Boston or Phillies), blue (Yankees) at the Yards? Heck no. Do I like it when they start cheering for their home team? Heck no. I don’t even like it if an opposing fan is sitting in the same section as I am. Am I at the ballpark? Do I contribute and cheer louder than they do? Depending on the individual, do I strike up a conversation with that opposing fan? Yes, yes and yes.  

 The Oriole/baseball “fans” are there at Camden Yards. Come join us. We are the ones in faded orange shirts and the ones not talking, e-mailing or tweeting on cell phones within the bowl. We are the ones that start our own cheers and not instructed to cheer by the Diamond Vision. Camden Yards is a nice evening out, at half capacity and Oriole Fans. Now bring on the playoffs, a packed house and the orange Kool-aid.

How about Roberts last night? Cross fingers. Get Markakis back, pitching holds/gets better, Andino on third,  ”Orioles Magic” – make it happen.



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