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2/7/12 12:01 P

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Sit down. This is a long one.

Now the Orioles have traded off their one pitcher who could be a starter on any other club. A number five anywhere else, but still. I recall seeing a Mets pitcher in the mid-1960s with 20 losses. I commented to my dad that he must be terrible. "No, he's probably the only good pitcher they have so they stick with him. They actually give him the chance to lose 20 games." Jeremy Guthrie has twice lost 17 games. He's the only good pitcher the Orioles have.

Then I see where the Orioles are in "exploratory talks" with Manny Ramirez. Twice suspended for steroids Manny Ramirez. Not once. But twice. Did the Orioles not learn their lesson with Tejada, Palmiero, and everyone else on that team who were using steroids? When Jose Canseco claims that there is at least one Hall of Famer who used steroids, am I the only one in Baltimore who thinks, "Of course. How else do you play that long at shortstop with no break." Yes, I suspect even St Calvin. And they want to even think about Ramirez?

Almost 30 years ago, when the Oakland A's were stinking up the Bay Area and the Baltimore Colts were the worst in the NFL, Frank DeFord of Sports Illustrated had a commentary on NPR. I cannot find it, but I remember the thesis:

--- They are calling Oakland a bad baseball town and Baltimore a bad football town. Why? Because no one is going out to see losers with no hope of improvement play? If there were a dry cleaners in town that everyone, and I mean everyone, went to but the shirt started to come back with missing buttons and stains, and yet everyone still went there, would we call them a good dry cleaning town? No we would call them idiots! People would walk away and take their dry cleaning money elsewhere. That dry cleaners would go out of business.

---- Well it's the same thing in Baltimore and Oakland. The Irsays and the Haases are sending out bad teams. Teams with stains and missing buttons. And when the fans walk away and take their entertainment dollars elsewhere, it means that they are not bad fans. They are smart consumers. ---

I will, here and now, make the claim that New York is a bad baseball town. Yes they fill Yankee Stadium. Yes everyone in the city wears Yankees paraphernalia. I think it is a law in the Five Boroughs that every person must have an authentic Yankees jersey. And you get a tax break if you have an away jersey, too.

Yet when I was at old Yankees Stadium for the second to last game, ever, in that temple of baseball, fully one third of the seats were empty. I asked a local why? "Eh! they're out of it. They suck this year. Nobody wants to see a bunch of losers. But don't worry all those seats are sold. It's a sell out." The only sellouts I saw were the empty seats.

This confused me. The ghosts of Ruth, Gerhig, DiMaggio, Mantel, Maris, and on and on were still roaming the outfield. Mel Stottlemyre was in the dugout. Whitey Ford was in the stands. Derek Jeter was on the field and Mariano Rivera was in the bullpen. Andy Pettitte wasn't pitching that day, but he was there. And yet since this team was not going to be playing in October, people were staying away? What would happen if the Yankees fall on hard times for a couple of seasons? This Cathedral to the Greatest Game in the World will be no more next year and people stayed home.


By contrast the Orioles finished 1991 with a 67-95 record to close out Memorial Stadium and the place was rocking for that last home stand. We were feeling the Franks and Brooks, and Johnny U. We were honoring them and all the good times, even if 1991 was not one of them.

Baltimore is a great baseball town with good consumers.

To be a good baseball town, you have to love the game. Baltimore is a good baseball town. That this terrible team sells any tickets is a testament to that fact. I have never seen a year where on the brink of spring, everyone is expecting a worse year than the last. Some teams had worse records last year. Some claim that Houston has the worst team in baseball. But I think the Orioles with "only" the fourth worst record in MLB last year are still worse than Houston.

And they did nothing to improve over the winter. In fact they went backwards.

But they still sell tickets because people in this town love the game so much.

What should we do next? We are already staying away in large numbers from the games. When the Yankees or the Red Sox come to town, their fans have the pick of the seats. Camden Yards sounds like Yankees Stadium or Fenway Park south. In fact, I have seen some from Boston actually call it Fenway Park South. That is just sad.

I propose an attention getter. It should be called Occupy Eutaw Street. If you have a gameday ticket, don't sit down. Make the Orioles play before an empty stadium Everyone should crowd Eutaw Street. Make it impossible for Boog to sell any Barbeque. Don't buy anything from any vendors. When the game is over, just stay until the police ask you to leave. Then be slow about it. Obey but show passive resistance. Oriole Park at Camden Yards belongs to the Maryland Stadium Authority which belongs to the People of the State of Maryland. That would be you and me.

Don't have a ticket? Come on down anyway and clog up Camden Street. Do not buy anything from the street vendors or the local watering holes. Make everyone who depends on the Orioles faithful (I am looking at you Pickle's Pub) suffer.

This should especially be done for Opening Day. But it should be done for every game.

Peter Angelos is a multi-Billionaire liability lawyer. He made his money off other people's suffering. And he won't spend a dime on this team. He has a sweetheart deal for the use of our stadium: token rent, all revenues from vendors, low low taxes, high ticket prices. We are already hitting him on the ticket sales. We need to squeeze him on concessions. And we need to squeeze the people who are suckling on his teat (I am looking at you Gino's and Sliders) until they squeal like the little piggies they are.

Let's Occupy Eutaw Street, Camden Street, Conway Street. Let's surround Brooks Robinson's Statue and demand that it be moved INside Our Stadium where it belongs.

Anonymous Orioles Fan.

Edited by: TIMOTHYNOHE at: 2/7/2012 (12:14)
Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible -- St Francis of Assisi

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