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What was quieter this weekend – O’s bats or O’s fans?

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I have to take a moment to call out a collective group of fans. Some are going to take offense to this, but it has to be said anyhow. As bad as the performance on the field was from the Orioles this weekend against Boston, the fans’ showing in the stands may have been worse. Where was everyone? And those who were there, were you sitting on your hands the whole time?

Let’s start with Friday night’s game, a 6-0 shutout win for the Birds. Just over 39,000 people showed up for the contest, which is great, but by watching on television I only heard maybe 9,000 make any noise. I started to think I was watching someone putt on the seventh green on a Thursday at The Masters. Even in a few two-on, two-out situations you couldn’t hear a word from the fans. Adam Jones stated after the game Friday that “Fenway South” was no more and that O’s fans had taken Camden Yards back. That may have been the case in Friday’s game, but it sure didn’t sound like it.

Move ahead to Saturday’s game, which was attended by nearly 45,000 fans. That’s even better attendance, but it seemed to me on television that the majority of fans were wearing blue and red, not orange. The noise from the stands expressed the same thing. Were folks so saddened by the news of Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta’s hip injury that they spent all Saturday night in mourning? Were Jones’ comments really just the case of one night looking good from the dugout?

Sunday’s attendance dropped to right around 32,000, which is understandable for a Sunday afternoon game. The blocks of green seats in the stands for a nationally televised game are never a fun thing to see though. As I said, it’s not like the team gave fans much to get excited about. But I would’ve thought the first series back from the All-Star break, against the Red Sox, would’ve produced a more rowdy and raucous crowd. I was very wrong. The attendance numbers for all three of these games looked good on paper, but that’s not all that matters. Baseball is also not football, where each play produces loud and ambitious cheering from the crowd. It’d be nice to see SOME enthusiasm from the fan base though. It’s something O’s fans didn’t have for 14 straight seasons. Remember that? Let’s not go there.

I watch games all the time in San Francisco, St. Louis, Los Angeles and other cities where no matter what’s going on in the game or how the team is playing; the fans are into every pitch. Baltimore used to be a city like that. Perhaps a season and a half of success aren’t enough to get that aura back.

I understand that people have lives and can’t attend every Orioles game they may want to. I spoke to a number of fans over the weekend that had weddings to attend, birthday parties to go to, and some who were even at a few of the games. These aren’t the people that I’m calling out. It’s the fans that sit back and complain about the team’s performance and how much they want to see the team play better. Get out and watch them. And when you do watch them, cheer them on to the best of your ability. What reason do you have to go to a game as an O’s fan and not have fun rooting on the team? I’m also not telling you that more fan participation is going to improve the team’s on-field performance. There’s no delusion here when it comes to that. It sure would be nice to see the team get the support at ALL times though, even when they are struggling.

As someone who lives out of state and doesn’t get to attend many games, it saddens me to see the true Orioles fans not take advantage of the luxury that Camden Yards is. It makes me uneasy to see the empty seats at OPACY. I can’t imagine this week will be any better with AL West cellar-dwellers like the Astros and Mariners coming to town. Maybe, and hopefully, I’ll be wrong.

14 Responses

    1. How was this comment approved? Bad starting pitching and slumping batters have nothing to do with heart. Though I feel, based on your comment, that I’m wasting my breath (figuratively speaking).

  1. I can only personally comment on the Saturday game that I attended. There just wasn’t much to cheer for. Most games we can get that momentum and people are jumping out of their seats. When 3-4 lead off batters are out on one pitch and every time they get a rally going it’s strike out and double play.

    We cheered when Manny made that sick play, we cheered when Ortiz got kicked. Other than that we booed Red Sox fans and waited for something, ANYTHING to happen.

    It’s called momentum and the O’s had zero Saturday.

    1. I was there too,
      and you hit the nail on the head
      It was all we could do to yell lets go O’s in out section to drown out the glee of the sox fans.
      Let me just say it was draining.

      Anyway Don’t Condemn The Fans The Fans That Were There, If you Were Not
      -no matter where you live Andrew
      it’s not respectful.
      direct you disappointment elsewhere

      1. I was there with 10 family members and tho I agree that there was not a lot to cheer about. I would like to also mention that the sound people at OPACY fell asleep mid game. We made our own noise, heckling them and cheering us, to drown out the Sox’s fans. I think the music and the film clips have a lot to do with the mood at the stadium.

        1. I agree. Crickets from the sound booth. It was Saturday night and Boston was in town – why was it so quiet? Fans were flat. Way too tame. We had an entire row of Boston fans in front of us, and even though the O’s performance was lackluster, we made noise all night. You can almost always find something to cheer about. If not, heckle the visiting team. It’s baseball.

  2. Gee, it’s almost like they lost a generation of fans by being one of the most incompetent franchises in sports for 14 years.

  3. Momentum takes a long stretch of victories to build. The birds are losing a bit of momentum but they will get it back. Don’t attack the fans. Red Sox fans have always had a good team. They’re alcoholic, abrasive morons but they do travel well. Wins get fans and not the other way around. If those fat, illiterate, drunks showed up to pull for they’re Patriots in M&T Bank Stadium it wouldn’t be the same issue would it? The O’s will win like the Ravens do (consistently) and this will be a mute point.

  4. Ooops… I meant moot point. lol. The Red Sox fans are still quite abrasive. As you’ll probably see.

  5. Skip Bayless called and wants his gimmick back.

    Always good to hear from someone in Arizona how the Baltimore fans should act.

  6. It doesn’t matter what stadium you go to (even St. Louis); THE CROWD WILL NOT BE LOUD IF THERE’S NOTHING TO CHEER ABOUT. And to say that “the majority of fans were wearing blue and red, not orange” is borderline delusional. I was there, and I say about 30% were red sox fans which I agree is far to high, but it is also far from being the majority. Also, I recall an ESPN Sunday night game vs. the Yankees where the Oriole fans were as loud as I’ve ever heard a crowd for a regular season game. The playoff games last year at Camden Yards were some of the loudest crowds in the history of baseball. This city LOVES the Orioles, and we’re vocal about it. Can we find exceptions to this vociferousness? Sure, especially when we are shut out, but this is the exception, not the rule.

  7. Ok, enough comparing us to St. Louis fans, they are so overrated. They seldom are truly passionate and vocal fans. In fact, I still remember the time I went and there were 3 visiting team fans and in the first inning they came in and sat down and started cheering on their batter amidst a bunch of people who mind as well have been sleeping. When they did everyone turned and stared with that look of like ” this is a library what are you doing?” Also, when they were losing 4-2 with the heart of the order coming up in the 9th everyone was leaving. I lived there for 2 years and have visited the city many a times because I have family there and had experiences like that every time. Oh and don’t get me started on how I was mocked for cheering for the ravens (both times they were in town) instead of sitting in my seat and pretending I’m too important to watch the game. They were like this at the hockey game too unless they actually scored, and everyone left in the 3rd period down 4-2. So in conclusion, I’m tired of the crap that o’s fans or Baltimore fans in general get by everyone but at the same time, in numerous articles you see everyone say that they(St. Louis) have the “best fans” and call their wannabe new Busch stadium “baseball heaven”.

  8. Kind of tough to cheer when you only score 2 runs in 18 innings and continuously leave RISP against LHers.

  9. Raise a couple fair arguments, but I assume you’re just basing this on 1 series b/c the crowds this year from MY viewpoint have been exceptional and games have been pretty fun to watch b/c of them. I give you one example, the 3 game sweep of NY a few weeks back. It was a showcase weekend as at least 2 of the games were on national tv, culminating in the ESPN SNB game where it was like last year’s playoff games vs NY. Watching from my vantage point this weekend, I thought Friday crowd was boisterous, the Saturday crowd GREATLY outnumbered Boston but when you’re down early by 4 runs and your offense is looking anemic, tough to be rowdy. Sunday I can agree was dead, but it happens. And it happens when n EVERY ballpark. I lived in SF for 13 years. Yes they sellout AT&T almost always, but Giants fans are notorious for being a “wine and cheese” crowd. They get loud when things go well, like everyone else. Also, wrong on LA. The Los Angeles sports fan has been carrying the stereotype of being apathetic well before I moved here. I watch alot of Dodgers games, you can hear a pin drop in the 6th inning unless they’re playing SF/SD or teams with a large fan base from east coast. Their are obviously exceptios eveevery rule, but by and large Dodgers fans hardly show up til the 3rd inning. Anyway, like I said, it happens. But every baseball fanbase is guilty of taking a series off once in awhile. If it continues thru August, then your point is totally valid. I’m just saying can’t punish them for one mediocre weekend.

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