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You’ve Got to Think, Young Brother…About Your Future

Baltimore Orioles angry bird mascotYesterday’s god-awfully amazing win against the Sox really can’t be put into words. I got a text message from a good friend of mine that said “How sweet would the rally have been today?”

My response was, as it could only be, “no shit.”

So for those of you who belive in a boycott, let me ask a very simple question: what good does it do for fans to stop going to the games? What is being accomplished?

While you pause to answer, let me break it down from my side.

My position is that O’s fans need to go to games and support their team as often as they can. I can tell you exactly what good it does, and it goes someting like this:

1. The players on the field — who are not in any way complicit in bad management decisions — get the chance to feel respected and appreciated for their efforts.

2. We have the chance to develop a sense of community not unlike that which existed in the 33rd St days. They may be losers, but they’re our losers.

3. Baseball can be fun, win or lose.

Seems pretty simple, no?

It’s like the old argument about voting. “Don’t blame me, I voted for so-and-so”. Fair enough, but you damn well better have voted if you want to voice a strong opinion one way or the other.

Think about it. If you’re in a conversation with someone who says “I just hate the way George Bush is leading this country” then you’ll probably want to know what that person believes, right? You’ll probably ask a question like “Who do you support?”

If that person says “Oh, I don’t vote,” then why would you listen to another word? You’d correctly perceive that person as a dabbler and a charlatan, someone not to be taken seriously.

In other words, if you choose not to participate then you forfeit the legitimacy of your complaints.

Now, for someone like Drew who has a radio show and who devotes a good chunk of his time to talking about the team, that’s ground to stand on. But what about the hordes of people who agree with him — as evidenced by empty seats — but who aren’t actually doing anything (outside of complaining)?

That’s the problem. That’s the reason Red Sox fans invade this city. That’s the reason the players don’t feel like they have the respect they deserve.

Those people. Not Peter Angelos. Not bad management. Not bad marketing.

Those folks. And, yes, shame on them.

13 comments to You’ve Got to Think, Young Brother…About Your Future

  • df1570

    The players get the respect they deserve every other Friday when their bi-weekly salary is wired into their bank account. Remember, win or lose, they get paid EVERY PENNY they signed for – every contract is guaranteed – no matter their stats, no matter the team’s record, etc.

    It’s the FANS who deserve respect from the organization.

  • df1570

    By the way, Neal, I think, used the word “charlatan” in one of his posts.

    Look up that word and tell me it doesn’t PERFECTLY describe the baseball organization in Baltimore.

    Scammers…

  • dan the man

    Haha man, you just don’t get it, do you? You have an amazing knack at dodging the point.

    It’s fine that you support good decisions rather than bad ones by the organization. But you can’t come on here and go back and forth by saying you don’t support the organization, but oh, you DO go to games. The players get all the support they need from their paycheck, but oh, we need to spend more money on players. The fans deserve respect from the organization, but as our man Dave Trembley says, respect is mutual. And it is.

    As for your response in the last post – the Orioles could very well spend boatloads of money this offseason and contend in the next couple of years. Now if that happens, and the Negro League is parked under the stadium, the jerseys are the same, MASN still charges 2 bucks, Elrod’s number isn’t retired, etc etc, then you are not allowed to jump on the O’s playoff bandwagon because you’ve been on here day after day in protest of the organization. Whether or not you actually do go to some games does not make you a real O’s fan. We’ll see how your tune changes when they start winning BEFORE ANY of these changes are made.

  • dan the man

    And for my part, I’d much rather be part of the 15-20,000 O’s fans in the stadium last night (much more than the Beckett night) and scream LETS GO OS to fend off the let’s go red sox chants. It’s about Baltimore. Regardless of whether or not the away jerseys say the damn name of the city. The home jerseys don’t anyway. I’d much rather be a part of that crowd than whine incessantly about a $2.00 MASN charge. Pick your battles. When you’re 70 years old and you wish you had just had fun at O’s games and been a part of the turnaround of this team, instead of crying about $2.00/month then maybe you will get it. We all know making the most of life is more important than money, right?

  • df1570

    Dan, YOU don’t get it. I didn’t dodge anything.

    You challenged ME by saying, “when the team wins, don’t go back to the ballpark”.

    And I responded by telling you that I’m going now and I’ve been going even during this piss-poor product they’ve given US over the last 10 years.

    I’ve been going when they’ve been losing. And I’ll go when they win.

    I went in 1979, 1981, 1983, 1988, etc.

    Their own broadcaster – Joe Angel – went on the air during the 6th
    inning of yesterday’s game and said, “Don’t forget, the Red Sox come back to town starting on September 6…so all you Boston fans listening…get your tickets now!”

    How funny is THAT?

    If Drew went on the air and said that, I’d get crushed by all of you.

    I don’t want Boston fans in Baltimore any more than I want rocky mountain spotted fever.

    But the Baltimore fans aren’t coming out to see Baltimore’s team because the club has disassociated with them.

  • dan the man

    How about these next matchups:

    Guthrive vs. Wang, wherein two great starters who have been struggling face off.
    Cabrera vs. Karstens or some other AAA dood, wherein the O’s win.
    Bedard vs. Hughes, wherein Erik teaches the young gun how to be a Cy Young caliber pitcher and strikes out 11 Yankees.

    Should be some good matchups. Won’t be easy, but… Even though the Yanks have been hot, I don’t really fear them. Whenever we play them, they kind of just look old. Their pitching staff hit a good streak, but I don’t buy it. The O’s will be nice and pumped and the Yankee fan jeers will bounce off of them considering they heard it in Camden all weekend. Guthrie is due, it’s good-D-Cabs turn, and Erik Bedard is Erik Bedard. Plus there’s this new guy in our bullpen named SLIM JIM HOEY, who is absolutely ridiculous. Hopefully he can hold his shit together in Yankee Stadium.

    Speaking of the bullpen, how about Jamie Walker FINALLY getting out David Ortiz? Gutsy move by DT going to him yet again in that spot. And much props to Baez for the scoreless 9th inning. He displayed a nice little curveball to go with that 95mph heater. Well done, sir.

  • dan the man

    Drew, ok, fair enough. I still say, though, that the fans SAY the organization doesn’t respect them, but that they will come flocking once the winning comes. Winning is all that matters. Combine losing AND disrespect of the fans and you have what we have now. Will all those fans care when the O’s win and the organization isn’t making those changes to respect fans? I’m betting no. But it remains to be seen.

    Don’t diss Joe Angel, he’s the man. He was probably being sarcastic in that dry way off his.

  • df1570

    I’ll bow out of this thread after this response because you so perfectly summed up everything when you wrote this, Dan:

    “Winning is all that matters.”

    The Orioles BELIEVE that as well. They don’t believe they’ve become disconnected with the fan base in Baltimore.

    All I can say is this: Someday – maybe next year, maybe not until 2017, we’ll see if that’s true.

    We have a simple disagreement here.

    You (and others, in all honesty) and the team think the fans will “flock” back when the club wins.

    I don’t think so. Not with all this damage that’s been done.

    Therein lies our disagreement.

    It will require much more than a winning season for the team to see the type of “fandom” you’re expecting.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Drew, I see what you’re saying and I like it. You even got me listening to WNST on the internet while I’m at work. Good stuff. It’s definitely a good point that the Orioles don’t need to be regional – the bulk of my family lives in York County and they love Baltimore just as much as anyone: Ravens, Orioles, the Inner Harbor, the whole nine yards. It’s sad that we don’t have the institution that, say, the Red Sox or Yankees have.

    What I mean is that everyone – EVERYONE – in New England or New York is a part of the Yankees/Sox. It’s just an extension of the community (to use Drew’s word) and there’s a huge amount of people who breathe those teams like air, because it’s not a big deal, it’s just part of being. But they are also massively successful in the past 10 years and we can’t ignore that that is what’s driving the fanbase as much as anything.

    We don’t have that here, which is a travesty because the Orioles are older than the Yankees, and have just as much history as any other team, more than most, and really ought to be on the same level as the Yanks and Sox as the “Big Three” of Major League Baseball. You can see the desire is still there in the fanbase – just shout out Cal Ripken’s name in the city and see what happens.

    So I like that Drew and his colleague’s are trying to get that back. Nobody will be happier than me to see the Orioles become the Baltimore Orioles again, and to see them add 44 to the Eutaw Street park. If any of us are saying that its okay that this stuff hasn’t happened years ago, we’re nuts.

    But – winning is what’s going to bring the fans back. We aren’t the Marlins, who’s ‘fans’ couldn’t give less of a shit even if they win the World Series. Look at Detroit: one year they’re pathetic, a laughingstock, and attendance is ranked at 22nd of 30, the very next year they go to the Series, and attendance shoots to 13th, and this year it sits at 9th. Detroit’s a city a lot like Baltimore (even though, yes, they say Detroit on the road jerseys) – lots of history, terrible recent streak, and suddenly everyone’s talking about how great it is to be a Tigers fan. That’s what I base on when I say “winning will bring back the fans”, and I assume Dan would agree.

    I want to see Andy MacPhail change stuff – I really do. But, in the meantime, we’re doing small things better. If I had to guess, I’d say Baltimore’ll be back on the jerseys before the end of the decade. I also think we’ll be a playoff competitor before the end of the decade. Of course the true test of whether we’re going to be any good is what MacPhail does this off-season. If we bring in some good players – and Drew hits the mark exactly, we can’t sign anybody less than Alex fucking Rodriguez even if he is a massive tool for cashbags – than things are going to get so much better. Players are going to want to be here, people are going to want to watch the team.

    In the meantime, we’re all still O’s fans. We all want to see the Orioles beat up the Yankees and Pink Sox. We all want to see us hit .500 (which is going to help bring in FAs), and we all want to us Guthrie win ROY. We love baseball, and we aren’t gonna stop rooting for the Baltimore fucking Orioles.

    That sums up how I feel about all of this. I hope you all get it.

  • dan the man

    Andrew, good words and nice example with Detroit and Florida. This is a baseball town through and through. I think it’s a combination of wrongdoing by the organization and nine years of losing that have kept the fans from coming to the park. But since this is a baseball town, if there’s a winning team on the field, I can’t help but think that the fans will come back, at least to respectable numbers. Sure, there will be some curmudgeons out there who refuse to spend a dime on the O’s while Angelos is running the show, but I’m willing to bet that most fans will say, “Hey, this team is finally winning, baseball is back in Baltimore, baby!” because this isn’t Florida. And they will overlook the various bad decisions by the organization. Many fans don’t even know what bad decisions the organization has made; they just know the team has sucked for a long time. Walk around Baltimore and ask people what they know about the O’s. They will say one of two things 90% of the time: “Cal Ripken is in the Hall of Fame” and “The O’s have sucked for a long time”. People just want to see their ball team WIN first, and make good decisions second. Look around sports and this is true.

    The Celtics have had record low attendance since a combination of bad decisions by Danny Ainge et al and a losing effort on the court. It was the most respectable basketball franchise in the world, and in the last ten years you could get a ticket for 10 bucks. Now, suddenly they sign some big names and season tickets are flying off the presses like crazy. It’s because C’s fans know their team is going to WIN. They don’t care that Danny Ainge has botched things for the last bunch of years, or that Doc Rivers is a shitty coach. Not anymore, at least.

    YES OF COURSE I want to see these changes made. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be made. I’m just saying my opinion is that when a winning O’s team is on the field, the fans will be back. And my ultimate point is that baseball is about the team on the field, not the guys in the warehouse, and if you’re going to spend your time nitpicking over all these organizational decisions, then you are wasting your time. If anything, you’re making previous fans of Orioles baseball want to NOT be fans, and that’s counterproductive.

    I’m putting my money that the fans will return with the return of something to be a fan about: a winning baseball team. We shall have to wait and see, Drew. Let’s hope a winning team comes with the organizational changes you feel are necessary, and we’ll both be real happy.

  • dan the man

    Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Matt Wieters. 56 hours until the Wednesday midnight deadline.

    O’s fans are sweating.

  • sci

    On the plus side, the Pink Sox (love that, Andrew) have apparently hit “rock bottom.” Their rock bottom is a four-game lead in their division.

    http://touchingallthebases.blogspot.com/

  • dan the man

    According to Roch, House finally made it up!

    Knott this time, buddy…