Friday, June 15, 2007

Feeling Sorry

Regular Nats320 commenter Mike Edgar left a remark this morning that's always been on the tip of my tongue. Nothing could be more true. I feel sorry for The Baltimore Orioles. I feel sorry for their fans. Sorry for their players. Sorry to see such a middling team play in one of Baseball's Crown Jewel Parks. And, Sorry to see A ONCE PROUD FRANCHISE Ruined by terrible ownership. Nothing is sadder in sport these days.

Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, I lost My Washington Senators at the conclusion of the 1971 season. They became The Texas Rangers. The following 1972 baseball season was a lost season for me. At the age of 13, no longer did I have a baseball team to call my own. Yeah, I followed the game, went to Memorial Stadium to see my beloved Former Senators in their return engagement to the DC Area. But, it was never the same.

Eventually, I adopted The Baltimore Orioles. They became my favorite team. I followed them closely. But, in no way near the level I currently follow Our Washington Nationals. Not even close.

Yet, I came to adore many of their players: Jim Palmer (Cy Old), Dave McNally, Doug DeCinces, Tippy Martinez, Rick Dempsey, Mike Flanagan (Cy Present), Storm Davis (Cy Future), Jim Dwyer (for my money, the finest Pinch Hitter, 4th Outfielder to ever play the game), John Lowenstein ("Brother Lo" the funniest man I have ever personally met), Eddie Murray, Manager Earl Weaver and definitely Cal Ripken, Jr. "The Orioles Way" I fell in love with. The Orioles were a professional organization. And, from 1964 through their last World Series Championship Season of 1983--They built THE FINEST Won/Loss Record in the Game. The Baltimore Orioles were special. I was on for the ride.

Some lean times came after that last Championship Season, but The Orioles were still a fun team to watch. In 1992, This Franchise changed the face of the game--giving baseball a fresh new start. The Opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards brought back long lost memories of a more innocent time in the game. When Baseball Players played for the love of the game. Their Fans a major part of the action. Retro Style was in. Overnight--Thanks to The Baltimore Orioles--the Re-Birth of Baseball Began.

Then, in 1995, their GREATEST FRANCHISE PLAYER, Cal Ripken, Jr--SAVED MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL by breaking Lou Gehrig's unthinkable consecutive games streak--less than one year after baseball turn its back on each and every fan--by cancelling their season and World Series over a labor dispute.

The Moment those famous numbers were unfurled on The Warehouse in Right At Camden Yards--Gehrig's 2130 to 2131 for Cal on September 6, 1995 was one of the GREAT MOMENTS IN MY LIFE. Not a sole in attendance or at home watching on television could not have been touched. A Working Man had made The Great Game Proud. Cal, Jr. jogging around Camden Yards slapping hands with fans, family, teammates and opposing players--The Finest Moment in Camden Yards History.

A History that since that date has slowly fallen deep into the depths of sorrow. All because of their Owner. A vindictive man that refuses to build from within. Always looking for the quick fix. And one, WHO NEVER WANTED TO SEE BASEBALL IN THE NATION's CAPITAL. For this Owner, its all about the money.

Yeah, he got that GREAT PAYOFF TELEVISION DEAL from Major League Baseball. A promise of a King's Ransom if he ever sold the team. All because Our Washington Nationals relocated here. But, to this date, refuses to properly spend that money to rebuild his once Proud Franchise.

In doing so--he has disenfranchised his own Fan Base--and just about every single person in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan Area. If he could only look at The Big Picture? Both Our Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles could be League Powerhouses. There are 6 million people living in the DC/Baltimore Corridor. That's enough for EVERYBODY. Two strong franchises to make an entire region proud.

Hopefully, one day soon-This Owner will sell to a more Compassionate Person. One with the best interest of The Baltimore Orioles, their Fans, and the Entire Baltimore/Washington Area in his/her sights.

At one time, I called them my own. Today, The Baltimore Orioles are just another team. That saddens me.

Please Mr. Angelos--Do The Right Thing--Sell Your Team to a MORE WORTHY OWNER.

Only then will I stop feeling sorry for The Baltimore Orioles.


Benji said...

You know another reason you should feel sorry for them...Because they just got beat down by the Nats!!!!!

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

Nice post.

There's nothing more to say about the sad state of affairs with the Baltimore Orioles.

It's very sad, really. Never would I have thought at this point, both the Nationals and Orioles would have the same record.

The two teams are polar opposites.

The Nats' have team chemistry, play as a team and work hard under Manny Acta. More importantly, the Nationals have direction.

The Orioles' on the other hand, seem to lack passion, direction and seemingly no road to the future.


Tom said...

So who would be a more worthy owner besides a Cal Ripken led group?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Tom: Cal is The ONLY CHOICE. His leadership would revitalize and re-energize The Franchise. We can only hope it happens.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I disagree that Cal Ripken is the ONLY choice. I'm sure there are several deep pocketed local groups that would do much better than Peter Angelos and not necessarily include Ripken. But he is somebody whom most Orioles fans can latch onto and a prospective Orioles ownership group would do well to hook up with him.

Unfortunately, the Toad will never sell to Cal for the same reason that he has never given Cal a front office job---apparently Angelos is jealous of Cal's popularity. Then again, I don't see Angelos selling the team to anybody in his lifetime. His heirs may feel differently in a decade or two, though...

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

Angelos will not sell anytime soon, if there's one thing I know, he doesn't want to be known as, "The Man Who Killed Baseball in Baltimore".

Peter is a stubborn man of great ego and pride; therefore, he'll not be going anywhere unless the team becomes relevant again.

Cal would be the idealistic choice for the franchise, no doubt.

mike edgar said...

You nailed it, SBF. Great piece!

Jim said...


Well said. I'm not originally from this region, but did adopt the O's when I arrived in town in '91. I still have tons of Ripken paraphernalia in my office. (Or baseball shrine, as my wife refers to it.)

Eddy Murray's return to Baltimore and home run #500. Ripken saving baseball. (Interesting how two years later that claim was hijacked on behalf of McGuire and Sosa. I guess home runs are sexier.) Spankin' new, yet old again, Camden Yards. Mike Mussina - once taking less than market offers to stay in town! (Not Raffy, though, eh? He used Texas to bid up the price he wanted. The O's offered it. He left anyway.)

The gentleman who was Johnny Oates. The gunslinger who is Davey Johnson.

And that's where it ended...when Angelos fired Johnson on the day the man won Manager of the Year.

I'm so glad we got our own team and that Nats are much more to look forward to!

With you, I feel badly for the fans of the O's. I wish so much better for them. Because when things get better in'll be a helluva rivalry.

natsagainatlast said...

I have to speak from a different perspective. I discovered baseball and the Senators during what proved to be their last 3 seasons in DC. During that time, the Senators struggled to avoid the cellar of the AL East while the O's went to 3 straight World Series (happily losing twice). Once the Senators departed, there was just no way I could warm up to the O's. The die had been cast for me during those formative 3 seasons. My dislike of the Orioles simmered on through the "Orioles Magic", "Wild" Bill Hagey years. My fondest memories are the "We Are Family" Pirates rallying from 3-1 games down to snatch the '79 Series from the O's, when the Baltimore TV stations were already announcing the schedule for the O's victory parade (HA HA HA HA!!). And of course, Jeffrey Maier. Watching the O's and their fans come unglued after that call was priceless. This week's Nats SCHWEEP was SCHWEET and certainly goes into my mental scrapbook with those earlier moments. Nats spotted the O's two wins at RFK and still roared back to win "BoB" II. Eat it and like it, Angelos!