Drew’s Morning Dish — Tues., September 10

September 10, 2013 | Drew Forrester

17,456 at OPACY last night.

Yep, September baseball that matters has returned – again – to Baltimore and 17,456 jammed their way into the ballpark on Monday night to see a huge game between the Orioles and Yankees.

Excuse makers will point to 9,000 and some change in Cleveland last night and say, “See, it’s not just Baltimore, Cleveland’s attendance stunk too…”

Well, we know Cleveland doesn’t support baseball.  We’ve seen that for a half dozen years now.

But 17k in Baltimore last night to see the Orioles and Yankees?

Borderline awful.

Needless to say, there are tons of legit excuses for last night’s woeful crowd.

“It’s a school night…”

“I can’t go to every game…”

“I’m not paying those premium-game prices…”

“It’s football season, I’m spending my discretionary money on the Ravens now.”

Blah, blah, blah.

I completely understand how many of you were turned off by the fourteen years of losing.  I get it that there are still thousands and thousands of people in Baltimore who say, “I don’t go to any games…not as long as Angelos owns the team.”

That’s fine.

This isn’t directed at you.  You don’t count in this argument, honestly.

You haven’t been going anyway, so this isn’t a question of “where have YOU been?”

This is directed more at the fans in town who still bleed orange and still venture down to OPACY to take in Orioles baseball.

The team has supposedly averaged 26,000 fans per-game this season.  Fair enough — where are all of THOSE folks?  I’m not saying all 200,000 people in Baltimore who really care about the Orioles have to come out on Monday night.  But 17,000 people on Monday night to see C.C. Sabathia and Chris Tillman?  I don’t get it…

I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked.  The Orioles had to dangle a $4.00 ticket in front of people last September to get representative attendance figures for a series with the White Sox and they evidently have some sort of en masse discount offer for some September home games this year but I’m no longer allowed to promote the team so I can’t pass that information along to you and the others in town.

But, I am shocked.

I’m shocked because this is what baseball fans in town craved for a decade or more.

I’m shocked because this Orioles team really does have a chance for a magical Sepetmber run…again.

I’m shocked because I really thought Baltimore was better than that.

Instead, you’re barely better than Cleveland.