Fair Weather Fans

People who claim to be Orioles fans have a funny way of showing it

The Baltimore Sun in recent weeks has been running articles and letters from “fans” of the team who think they know how to fix what ails the team.

Back in June, Dudley Thompson wrote a long piece detailing a “game plan” for improving attendance. As is often the case with pieces like this, the “plan” is severely lacking.

Let folks buy food from street vendors and bring it into the stadium, as had been customary until this year. It may seem like a little thing, but when a family spends a fortune on tickets, it makes sense to save a few bucks on snacks or water, especially if there are four mouths to feed. 

He’s actually right about this, something I wrote about back in April.

Allow fans to park on the lot before games, as had been customary until this year. It helps all the local businesses, the fans, and, not surprisingly, it helps the Orioles sell more tickets. It costs nothing, yet it is a value added to the ticket purchase. Once a perk for patrons is now another obvious message to fans: Don’t come early and support local businesses.

I have no idea what he’s talking about. I don’t recall parking opening up early. Besides, I don’t go to Orioles games to visit downtown; I go to……go to the Orioles game.

Hire back Gary Thorne, so the team has a major league announcer, as had been customary until this year. 

This is the same line of thinking of people who think Angelos should bring back John Miller despite the fact Miller left 25 years ago.

Besides, the broadcast game has far exceeded expectations this year. While Scott Garceau isn’t very good, other announcers like Geoff Anrold, Kevin Brown, Ben McDonald, and of course Jim Palmer have been fantastic.

Allow people to stream Oriole games without purchasing Comcast

This is extremely confusing and illogical. First off, every cable and satellite system makes MASN available so suggesting that Comcast is required is illogical and uneducated. Furthermore, the Orioles couldn’t even do this if they wanted to seeing as these things are controlled by Major League Baseball, who dictates that streamed games are available through MLB.tv and that games are blacked out in the home market on MLB.tv in order to get people to watch the local broadcast.

The team is spending very little at the major league level compared to other teams in Major League Baseball……Spend more on the major league payroll.

Again, easier said than done. Besides, this team is in rebuild mode. What is the point of signing high price veterans for an uncompetitive team? Additionally, why would any high-dollar free agent want to come here right now? This isn’t the NBA’s insane salary structure, where scrubs make $15 million a year. It’s a supply in demand issue. The supply of good players is such that there is no demand for people to come to Baltimore right now; conversely, there is no demand from Orioles management to throw money at high priced veterans.

Although the troubles on the field are reflected in a payroll that is 60% less than five years ago, the price of tickets has not dropped by 60%.

That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

To make things worse though, The Sun today published a letter to the editor cheering on Thompson’s take, with an even higher level of ignorance.

We used to attend regularly, but we have stopped buying tickets and cannot even watch the games since we are not cable customers. Even Opening Day games are not broadcast over the local stations. Local stations cannot even broadcast highlights of games that are still in progress. We do not know the players’ names and can hardly recognize the manager anymore.

There’s a lot to unpack there. If you want to watch the games, get cable. In 2007, I switched companies specifically because MASN was not going to be broadcast at that time on my cable provider. Fans find a way.

As far as not knowing the players? Well, there’s this thing called the internet.

The last time we attended a game at Camden Yards even the parking attendants were not courteous. 

Who goes to games based on whether or not the parking attendants are courteous? Besides, my interactions with them last about thirty seconds. I’m not there to be pampered. I’m there to park the care and get into the game.

When we took a “behind the scenes” tour of the ballpark a couple of years ago, we were told that they might be moving.

This seems like a wild-ass accusation that contradicts everything the club has said about these persistent and annoying rumors about moving. The number of people who take tours of Camden Yards is high; if a tour guide or some other person said such a thing on a tour it would have been blasted all over the internet by new. Besides, what team employee would say such a thing and still have a job the next day? It’s irresponsible that The Sun would print such nonsense.

There are still thousands of loyal Orioles fans in the Baltimore area and beyond. Yet if you read the opinions of Oriole “fans” published in The Sun you would think that the only people who care about the team are fair weather fans who have misguided and wrongheaded notions about how to run the team.

These people claim to be be Orioles fans, but they sure do have a funny way of showing it. If they were actual fans of the team, they would actually follow the team instead of making excuse after excuse as to why they don’t.

Former Orioles manager Dave Tremblay once said “There are three things everybody thinks they can do better than anybody else; run a hotel, build a fire, and manage a baseball team.” For reasons that boggle the mind, The Sun continues to get plenty of ink to the latter.