Thursday, April 5, 2007

Home Sweet Home...

Regardless of the O's record when they arrive in Baltimore for the home opener on April 9th, the seats at Camden Yards will be full.

At least most of them.

Say the O's come home with an 0-6 record. If that happens, I'm willing to bet that some people would rather waste the $40 they spent on the ticket and stay at work rather than marching to the slaughter that is the O's taking on the AL Champion Tigers.

I don't blame them.

But for what it's worth, Opening Day in Baltimore is usually the best experience of the year at the Yard. The game is sold out (or close to it) and the crowd cheers loudly -- sometimes without even being told to! Plus, the O's usually put on a good show, having won the last 6 home openers they've played in Baltimore. Just don't expect me to clap and cheer for Paul Bako, Alberto Castillo, and Freddie Bynum when they're introduced. When that happens, I'll probably be quietly reflecting about how a $5 can of Natty Boh is a steal of a deal compared to the other $7.50 "beers" sold at the Yard.

But what is going to be depressing is the night and day difference that will occur from April 9th to April 10th. Barring a miracle that has the O's winning the series in New York or (!!!) sweeping the Yanks, the O's are going to come home with a 1-5 or 0-6 record. Not exactly a sign that the season is over, but hardly reason for more than 5,000 people to trek down to Baltimore in the middle of what appears to be a cold front (where the hell did this come from? I just put my deck umbrella up!) to watch a 0-7, 1-6 or 2-5 team play losing April baseball.

What I'm trying to say is that the O's are in for a wake up call this season. Peter Angelos loves the color green, and he's going to get a lot of it by way of empty seats at the Yard. Attendance has dwindled from the $3+ million that the O's regularly drew in the years after OPACY opened, to the paltry $2.1 million it was last year.

Expect it to drop south of the $2 million barrier if the early losing keeps up.

And while I would normally say that this would be a wake-up call for the owner of such a team experiencing a drastic drop in attendance, I'm pretty certain that Angelos will do nothing about it.

No apologies will be made, no admitting a mistake, nothing of that sort. Instead, he'll simply blast the fans that attend organized protests and claim that next year will be different, like he has done for the last.... how many years has this been now?

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007 Baltimore Orioles!!!

No comments: