The NFL’s scheduling problem isn’t the Orioles’ scheduling problem

March 18, 2013 | Drew Forrester

If you’ve lived in Baltimore for the last decade or so, you’re well aware that the words Orioles and “good public relations” don’t often collide in the same sentence.

They’ve fought with so many different entities over the years, the scoreboard blew up from overuse.

So, when an issue arises like the one did today, where the NFL leaked the news of a potential roadblock to the Ravens’ season opener in Baltimore, it’s easy for everyone in town to just gang up on the baseball team and say, “There they go again.”

Except this time, for sure, this is not an Orioles problem.

Nor should the Orioles be responsible for fixing it.

In case you’ve been in a cave today, the Ravens – by virtue of winning the Super Bowl – are slated to open the 2013 season at home on Thursday, September 5.  But, the Orioles are playing at home that night against the Chicago White Sox.  And because of a scheduling quirk in which Chicago only comes to Baltimore once in the baseball season, it’s nearly impossible to just give the Orioles “the day off” on September 5 without disrupting the baseball team’s schedule and/or allowing the Ravens to play their home opener without any competition at all on that day.

But somehow, today, it’s the Orioles’ fault that the Ravens might not be able to play at home on September 5.

I’m well versed in how screwed up the baseball team has been over the years, trust me, but they’re not in the wrong on this one.  Not in the least.

For starters, the NFL just assumes it’s now their divine right to open the regular season on Thursday night prior to opening weekend and, in only a way their bravado could tolerate, the league also just assumes everyone in the country should just be OK with it.

They just figure the masses will move mountain and earth for the NFL, even when it gets in the way of a baseball schedule that has been out for the better part of eight months now.

The Orioles, I’ll remind you, have known they were playing on September 5 since LAST October when the schedule was finalized and published.

The Ravens didn’t know they were playing on September 5 until this past February 4 when they beat the 49’ers in New Orleans.

Tell me again how it’s the Orioles responsibility to fix this mess?

You can say, “They should just do it to be good neighbors”.  And, admittedly, if they DO go out of their way to accomodate the Ravens and the NFL, they would be doing so only to be reasonable co-tenants of the downtown sports landscape.

But, in no way, shape or form should the Orioles be forced to move their Thursday night game against the White Sox.

The manager, for certain, would tell you that scheduling in the baseball season is always a by-product of the weather gods and what not, but in September, with only a handful of games remaining on the schedule, any smart baseball executive would want the schedule to go along as smoothly as possible, particularly if the team is involved in the pennant race.  Asking the Orioles to play a doubleheader or an 11:30 am game after a night game just to help the football team play a game on a Thursday night is unreasonable and shouldn’t be accepted by Buck Showalter and the folks at Camden Yards.

Here’s something to SERIOUSLY ask yourself:  What the hell is so important about the Thursday night game, anyway?  I mean, honestly, what’s the big deal.  It would be totally understandable if by not allowing the Ravens to play on Thursday you were actually taking away a home game and they wound up playing nine on the road and seven at home in 2013.  But, no matter when they play their opener, they’re still playing eight home and eight away.  They might start the season in Denver.  So what?  They have to go play there anyway, right?

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