Monday, September 10, 2007

Jim Palmer's Comments on Red Sox Nation Overwhleming Baltimore and Camden Yards.

I wrote about this issue on Oriole Magic, and I'm going to expand on it here...

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On Saturday night, Jim Palmer on the MASN telecast of the Orioles game opined on the Red Sox fans and their economic influence on the city of Baltimore. A friend mentioned this to me, and I caught a little of what he had to say this morning by watching a replay of the game on MLB.com.

The basic summary of Jim’s thoughts were that Red Sox fans who travel to the are good for Baltimore, they are civil, for the most part polite, and are not troublemakers. We here have become annoyed by the sight of the multitude of Red Sox fans, and many cars with license plates from Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and beyond; plus, the multitude of Sox fans in the Washington-Baltimore area.

Heck, even one of my best buddies, who I joking call my "other dad" wears his Sox gear proudly and thinks Jerry Remy is the greatest announcer who ever lived (I beg to differ, with no disrespect).

Sadly, Jim Palmer is right.

Well, even though a lot of Oriole fans may detest Sox fans; I, for the most part have had mostly good experiences with Boston fans, and their passion and love for their team is unparalleled. Some of the fans I have met over the years have become dear friends.

I do not think at all the invasion of Sox fans in the area is a bad thing; however, to many fans here, myself at some points, I feel demoralized and almost melancholy.

Ok, so I think a good portion of them are bandwagon fans and just are latching onto a winner; however, being part of a “fan” is having a role with your team and Sox fans feel as if they are a part of the movement.

Personally, I do not begrudge Sox fans for coming down to the area and supporting great businesses like Sliders, Pickles Pub, Sports Legends at Camden Yards and the Babe Ruth Museum.

I do not think that the Baltimore Orioles should not cater to Red Sox fans and make them feel to comfortable, and I also think they should not be indirectly acknowledged at the park (i.e.; crab shuffle).

A lot of Oriole fans are pissed off at the influx of Sox and Yankee fans in town, but there’s not much that will change if ticket prices here remain affordable or the Orioles don’t start winning.

The fans here in the city and in the outlying areas do not buy the tickets, so I guess the Orioles will more than be willing to accommodate Red Sox fans. .

I am little perturbed at being outnumbered by a ratio of 4-1, 5-1, 6-1 at the Yard and seeing it awash in red and blue, but I am a fan and supporter of the team through thick and thin.

I do blame the fans for the apathy with the Orioles, but in all honesty, how much emotional and financial investment should one put in a product – albeit, a mediocre one.

I ask myself why I still go to games, but the Orioles have been a part of my life since youth, and will remain so.

But, baseball is just a game and in the grand scheme of things, it is a small part of life' however, it is vital to the civic esteem of a city, but also the economy, and reputation of a region. Right now, Peter Angelos is enemy number one for Baltimore fans and I know a few people personally who will not attend another game at Camden Yards until he sells the team.

When Jonathan Papelbon, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, or Hideki Okajima are saluted in the state of Maryland like Mick Jagger, or 50 Cent going on stage -- Houston, we have a problem.

Alas, for the reason above is why the invasion of Sox fans is not good at all for Baltimore.

3 comments:

manny being manny said...

Sad I wasn't able to make the trip this year. Camden Yards is my favorite park (been there twice) and I am making more of an effort to go next year.

You're right, Remy is an idiot. Any Red Sox "fan" should realize that. The only people who like him are the bandwagon fans you speak of (though I've never met your friend and don't mean to lump him into the whole embarrassing group) because he caters to their real reasons for watching NESN: getting on TV with awfully cliche signs, speaking of the godawful Sox Appeal (for those MASN viewers, it's an embarrassment to sports channles: a dating show that takes place at Fenway Park), and talking incessently about the "President of Red Sox Nation Campaign," or i.e., which idiot spends the most of their hard-earned money to feel like they're the biggest Red Sox fan.

Anyway, I feel for you because I'd hate to see a game and be drowned out by cheers for the opposing team, so I don't have much of a leg to stand on to argue. Quick story: one year I took a break to go get some local micro-brews (one of my favorite parts of Camden is that you don't have to go far to find good beer. Seems that there's only one Sam Adams stand at Fenway, and it's a mile from my seats) and hear a huge cheer coming from the field. I groan that the Orioles must've done something good, only to discover that it was a Red Sox run-scoring play.

And that does suck, but you're absolutely right: if fans aren't going, who's to say that Sox fans shouldn't? Hell, maybe in a few years all those series putting up with obnoxious fans will pay off, and the money can be spent on some young talent.

Sure, a stretch, but I did have one issue with either you or Palmer, not sure when you stopped quoting him. Save for some people with money to blow, I have a hard time calling the Sox fans in Baltimore "bandwagon" fans. The bandwagon fans are the idiots that show up to the games in clubbing gear because Fenway's a place to be seen and something to do on your way out to your "real" fun. Hotels and airlines aren't stupid: they jack the prices up during roadtrips and it doesn't come cheap to go away. So I would beg to differ that just any random Sox fan is going.

Glad to see you're still maintaining the site. Keep up the good work.

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

MBM -- Well, I have opined that the whole Sox explosion really didn't get as crazy has gotten until NESN came along and the influence of WEEI, etc.

I know the Red Sox of the early part of the decade and characters like Johnny Damon, Ortiz, Millar, Pedro were the main impetus; however, I think NESN blew it to this level.

The NESN signs annnoyed me - I know everyone wants to get on TV, but the amount of signs I saw at the Park was ridiculous.

I don't blame the Sox fans at all, you can get up close to the team without paying your mortagage in a park that's for the most part friendly and the home fans are just tame. Honestly, it's downright peaceful here, and there are few if any fights when the Sox are in the Park.

(Yankees are a different story.)

Most Boston fans want to be around their team, and a great portion come with their family, as well you run into quite a bit of elderly fans here too.

Like I have said, the vast majority of experiences with Sox fans are nothing but pleasant.

The Oriole fans are no where to be found except the die-hard who would be there anyway.

The "bandwagon" fans are those who follow the team because it is the "in" thing to do, and know nothing about the history.

I don't begrudge anyone for following a team, especially one like the Red Sox with charsimatic stars. Maybe it is because I am such a baseball dork that I sometimes laugh at people who follow a team but know very little about the history or players.

I know what you mean about the element that shows up at Femway though -- not so much the "real fan", but who treat a baseball game like a social outing and do not know the nauances of the game, etc.

For me, as a fan of the sport in general, Baltimore is a great place.

The Halls said...

I wish I could be so open-minded. I *despise* the Red Sox fans and think they're extremely disrespectful. A little cheering is one thing, but acting like you're at home, cheering for the home team? Honestly, I hate them more than the Yankees fans now, and I never thought I'd say that.

Two years ago, I was in Boston over Labor Day when they were playing the Os. I didn't hold back and loved every minute of giving them a taste of their own bitter medicine. The Os won and I rubbed it in with as much enthusiasm and volume as I could. Of course, I was only one small voice, so it doesn't compare does it?

Maybe one day I'll be more enlightened, but at the moment, I really, really hate the Sox fans. I admire your ability to stay so objective.

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