Fight between Orioles and Orioles Hangout will end ugly

February 16, 2012 | Drew Forrester


The Orioles and fan website Orioles Hangout fully engaged in an ugly, public spat is about as confusing as Heinz ketchup going to war with tomato growers or Tropicana getting into a dispute with orange growers.

It doesn’t make any sense.

That’s exactly what has happened though, as the baseball team and the uber-Orioles-can-do-no-wrong website have called a halt to their relationship in the midst of a disagreement over a reduced advertising buy by the Birds and a back-and-forth exchange that saw the Orioles Hangout head honcho disable the account of Orioles Director of Communications, Greg Bader.

As my old friend Charley Eckman would say:  “It’s better than movies!”

I have to repeat it to myself to digest it all:  The Orioles have now alienated the one group of fans in town who have supported them through thick and thin.  When the Birds didn’t make Mark Teixeira a real offer and he headed up to New York, the apologists at OH shouted “We didn’t want that guy anyway.”  When Andy MacPhail came on board, they were the ones to say, “Now we’re on the rebound!”  In the winter of 2010-2011 when the Birds signed aging fossils like Vlad Guerrero and Derrek Lee, the gang at the Hangout chronicled those moves as “Reasonable and financially sound”.

The Orioles could sign Scott Erickson tomorrow and somehow, the folks at Orioles Hangout would give it a thumbs up.

Until this week’s break-up, that is.

You have to hand it to the Orioles.  Nothing gets in the way of a dollar.

This, of course, is the same organization that handed Justin Duchscherer a free check for $700,000 last March.  And he never pitched ONE inning for them.

According to Bader and a message he posted on OH earlier this week, the club has contributed approximately $50,000 in cash – plus other goodies and discounts – to the website over some period of (undetermined) time.

Let’s pretend it’s over the last five years.

I went to Glen Burnie High School and math wasn’t exactly my specialty, but I’ll take a stab at this one.  That’s $10,000 a year, if you divide $50,000 by 5 years.  (That math does work, right?)

So…here’s a club that gave a free agent pitcher $700k just to show up and smile and they’re fighting with their ace-in-the-hole fan website over $10,000 in advertising money?



Don’t worry, Orioles Hangout isn’t blameless here, and I’ll get back to that in a little while.  But for now…this relationship fracture deserves more scrutiny.

One element of the scrap that had me thinking “Now you know how we feel” was the disclosure by a OH representative who claimed that e-mails and phone calls placed to the Orioles went unreturned.  For years, I’ve been on the bad end of that very action, including roughly three weeks ago when I reached out to the O’s about credentials for spring training.  No return e-mail.  Nothing.  I sent another e-mail requesting information.  Again, nothing in return.  So it warms my heart – in an odd way, admittedly – to see someone else get the silent treatment.  It reminds me that it isn’t actually JUST me – or WNST – who gets treated unprofessionally. It’s anyone and everyone who might have a difference of opinion with the Orioles who suddenly gets cast aside.

In general, this story about a fight with Orioles Hangout is another example of why the organization in Baltimore stinks.

Fighting with the fans is unacceptable.  Even if you just have to give that website a free $10,000 a year, just do it.  It’s $10,000…

The Orioles just gave some 17 year old kid from Korea $550,000.  Think about that.  They handed a guy who doesn’t shave yet $550,000 (and they weren’t really allowed to do that, but that’s another story) but are reducing their spending with a local website dedicated to their team.

On second thought, don’t think about it.  It’s that kind of stuff that drives you mad about the Orioles.

Now, in all fairness to the Orioles, they’ve been AWFULLY nice to the Orioles Hangout over the years.  They’ve not only compensated them, they’ve spoon-fed them confidential information to help squelch rumors and provided them with either free or discounted tickets as a means of helping the website generate revenue and keep the site going.  They’ve also allowed “Orioles Hangout” to call themselves just that, even though the team in no way controls any of the daily content or message board forums.

So, to paint the broad, fair picture, the Orioles have been more than kind to the folks at Orioles Hangout over the years.

Until this week.

(Please see next page)

17 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike in Hampstead Says:

    Every time I read things like this it just saddens me a little bit more about what a disgrace the Angelos “Orioles” have become. Remember when we were proud to be Baltimore Oriole fans? That seems like SO long ago now.

  2. Mark Says:

    Drew- I have no pity for anyone that remotely cares about the Orioles and then gets screwed by them. They have been screwing their fan base for the last 15 years and people keep going back. I was a former season ticket holder. Now? I don’t even follow them. I am a Ravens season ticket holder, I am a Liverpool fan, I watch local college Soccer, Lacrosse, and Basketball. Trust me, when you give up on the Orioles and then find other things to fill you “sports” needs, you just don’t care about them anymore. Then you feel sorry for the people who continue suffer through the trash that Angelos keeps spewing out. Wake up folks, there is much more out there than the Orioles.

  3. Justafan Says:

    You are right! Instead of the Orioles bullying the fans who support them, they should pick on somebody their own size,i.e., the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. Oh, that’s right, they do, they just can’t beat em.

  4. over40Don Says:

    Read a post on that site last week and thought I was reading Drew or Nestor. Guess the front office read it too.

    I guess the Camden Yards improvements are for the BOSOX/ YANKEES FANS. What do you think? maybe another 500-1000 more fans disenchanted enough not to attend games throughout the season, night after night?

    GO NATS!!!!

  5. dennis zorn Says:

    drew i am 62 years old lived in baltimorecity for 42 years 20 in harford county i am a baltimore sports goober i love the local angle that your station sells the orioles are a huge community disappointment and should be held responsible by the state of maryland and the city of baltimore we provide them with one of the best venues on the planet to play in we all pay our $3 per month to masn the have a responsability to us unlike other people doing business if other business’s suck they go out of business not the O’s they still load up their bank acounts and we are stuck with junk the run out there everyday well i have had enough on your show the other day you were askin what to do well the answer might be in social media i know nothing about it but governments are being overturned bank of america changed their fees back because of it verizon also did the same we need to figure it out and demand change because nothing done so far has changed a thing i have been wrestling all week about a personel solution i watch almost every game and by the 3rd inning most games are over yet i still watch my solution is 1 remote change down the dial there is another team on my comcast everynight on hd tv they speng big money on free agents they trade for front of the rotation pitchers they have some of the best young talent in mlb and i cant believe i am about to say this but the natioals seem like a good option to me do you think the nats players would talk to wnst if you asked could you get press creds from them if so why do we keep banging our heads against the wall until there is a change in ownership it really is a sad situation such a waste of 6 months in my life the nats look like a better option to me dennis

  6. Chiddy Says:

    So this article is basically “I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so, wait did I just tell you so? YUP TOLD YOU SO!!!!:” (DF: Pretty much. But I didn’t want to stop there, so I told you the whole story and now allow you to make up your own mind.)

  7. Dan Says:

    Go to the hangout and get the whole story. Again like I said before, this is just another article by DF where he is talking out of his posterior.( by the way, I’m sure this will be removed, just like my previous comment.) (DF: This is the only comment I’ve seen from you, bro. And save us the trip to the Hangout…and tell everyone what YOU think the story is and how I haven’t told it. This should be good. Another apologist with his feelings hurt…)

  8. John in Westminster Says:

    I’ll second Mark’s comment. Speaking of which Towson vs Hopkins Lacrosse Friday night @ 5pm @ Homewood Field. Watch something several times more exciting (and for a fraction of the cost) than baseball GO TIGERS!

  9. Fred Says:

    Dennis, punctuation is your friend!

  10. unitastoberry Says:

    I don’t know how anyone in this town can still apologise for this team. Even the clergy!

  11. Dan Says:

    An Orioles apologist? Couldn’t be further from the truth….bro. As far as the story goes, IMO the Orioles are no longer sponsoring the OH and some people are upset. End of Story. But since you are over there lurking, you know more than me. (DF: You are right. I do know more than you.)

  12. Phil Says:

    Just when you think the Orioles have done everything stupid they can possibly think to do….they do something more stupid you couldn’t have even imagined. Very, very unimpressed with Bader. Where did he come from, is he from Baltimore? I can’t believe he’s the Director of Communications and he conducts himself this way. Unreal really, wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t witnessing it all; just like the Brooks statue. Next topic for Tuesday top 7…” The 7 dumbest things the orioles have ever done”…good luck whittling it down to 7.

  13. Mike Oxbig Says:

    I am curious how Orioleshangout is somehow different than WNST in relation to censorship? (DF: We answer all of the e-mails sent to us.)

  14. Mike Oxbig Says:

    do you always lie? (DF: You’re funny. A guy who has posted for years under a fake name asking ME if I always lie. What a riot…)

  15. Dan Debelius Says:

    Drew please, please answer this for me. Please give me some light at the end of the tunnel. I am an eternal optimist but the Orioles are even challenging this. I have hung in there like everyone else has hoping and praying that things will get better but they never do, they only get worse. For years everyone blamed you and Nestor and WNST for being the problem. I have so much respect for you all for not backing down and always telling the truth.
    My question to you is simple, when will this end? Please tell me this. I hate to wish anything bad for anyone but when Angelos does pass away what will happen? Will his sons then run the club? How are they, will they be as bad as Peter?
    Do I need to divorce myself from this pain and suffering that the Orioles bring to my life? I do not make a habit of supporting Washington sports but the Nats are exciting and an up and coming team. They have done so just in the last couple of years and I think I might go to a game down there. It is so sad what this man has done to all of us in Baltimore, sad sad sad. I am 44 years old and Baseball is and will always be my favorite sport, but I just cannot continue to support a team lead by PETER ANGELOS. he is a sorry excuse for a owner, all he does his worship his money and he could care less about the team or the fans.
    Thank you

  16. Robert Says:

    The Orioles poor business practices have been condoned for far too long. I figure it’s because they haven’t felt enough financial pain from their tomfoolery, likely because of the MASN money & MLB’s guarantee. What I’d love to see is a strong social media effort by cable subscribers to voice displeasure to the cable company, about being forced to financially support the Orioles each month. If MASN was an optional pay extra channel, I suspect the Orioles would then feel the pain & change their ways. Until then, I remain apathetic. Cheers.

  17. Marcus Halberstram Says:

    Instead of buying tickets this year, I think I’m going to use the money and get a painting of Angelos dressed as a pimp while goon arming a strung out and dolled up Oriole bird. At least I can get some enjoyment from that.

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