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