Like I have said time and time again, despite the lack of fans going to games at Oriole Park Camden at Yards for the past several years, fans do care very much for the team.
If the losing would stop, and the team could be one that connects with the community, the fans will return. If you take a look at Roch's blog, message boards like the expansive Orioles Hangout, The Baltimore Sun and Orioles.com, as well also as popular team blogs like Camden Chat, the Wayward O, Oriole Magic, Oriole Central and countless others, the rabid fan interest and opinions are still there.
Ray Frager, in an article in the Baltimore Sun commented on the fan situation by saying this:
"You might think Baltimore fans have grown indifferent to the Orioles, their interest diminished by a decade of losing baseball. But people clearly still care a lot.Again, the fans do care and love the Orioles, as they have been an institution since 1954, and have brought fans young and old countless hours of joy -- despite the losing.
At The Sun, we can see how any shred of Orioles news piles up page views at baltimoresun.com, often outpacing Ravens news. And listening to sports talk shows Tuesday night, I could hear that passion. Callers were lined up to talk baseball on Amber Theoharis' WHFS (105.7 FM) program and Steve Davis' WBAL (1090 AM) show.
Theoharis had the Orioles' Kevin Millar on with her, and lots of people were calling in to express an opinion not on any potential trade, but just on what should become the team's new music when the players take the field. Meanwhile, Davis and my colleague Peter Schmuck were getting calls from fans who just wanted to be able to reconnect with the Orioles with something as simple as getting autographs.
It seems that interest - along with hope - springs eternal."
Alas, although the W and L's have not come along, the team has done some good work outside the park, and have devoted themselves to making the area better. In light of it all, winning will bring the fans back, and there's only so much a fan will take if their favorite team keeps losing with little end in sight.
Here's what Ray said: "The Orioles haven't won a game yet this year, but their regional sports network has. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network recently came out on top in a dispute with Time Warner Cable in North Carolina. An arbitrator appointed by the Federal Communications Commission ruled Time Warner must carry MASN, at a rate to be determined by the arbitrator. The ruling - if upheld on an expected appeal by the cable company - would send Orioles and Washington Nationals games along with other MASN programming to more than 1 million households served by Time Warner. Arbitrator Jerome Sussman said: "Time Warner deliberately discriminated against MASN" in favor of its own regional sports network."
- Former Orioles third baseman Ryan Minor will return to the organization this year as a coach at Single-A Delmarva. As well, Chris Ray and Matt Albers agreed to one year deals with the club. Roch Kubatko gives his thoughts on Ryan Minor.
- The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec takes a look at MacPhail's wheeling and dealing throughout the offseason.
- PressBox Online takes a look at Bedard, Roberts and Daniel Cabrera and also states the obvious, Nick Markakis is the man for the offense.
- Spencer Fordin has an interview with Dave Trembley posted on the orioles.com site.
- Of course, we have no centerfielder....
- SC of Camden Chat reports that the Orioles badly want Erik Bedard as does Ben of Oriole Central.
- The Wayward O believes the 2008 season is lost...