Wednesday, March 23, 2005

17%

I'm annoyed with the Washington Times. No, it's any of the Moonie stuff - I wanted to get mass-married, but my fiance wouldn't let me. Rather, it's that they're putting Peter Angelos propaganda on the front page.
Ticket sales for the Baltimore Orioles have declined 17 percent from a year ago, a drop that the club officials attribute primarily to the arrival of the Washington Nationals in the District.
Yeah, ticket sales are down for the O's, but couldn't Times reporter Eric Fisher have done some reporting before he started parroting Havana Pete? This a front-page article, and there is not one other explanation put forth for the ticket slump. I shall now address Eric Fisher in an apostrophic manner: you used to be good, Eric. Remember when you scooped the Post day after day? You were on top of everything. So what the hell is this crap? Feeling the heat now that the Post's coverage has surpassed the Times' in every way? Fortunately, when the mainstream media (or semi-mainstream in this case, I guess) let you down, you can turn to the blogs. What do you think, Capitol Punishment?
The Orioles are claiming that ticket sales are down 17% from a year ago. Considering how many consecutive losing seasons they've had, and how, until recently, Steve Kline was their only notable addition, they were destined to decline in attendance, even without the presence of the Nationals. (A 17% decline puts them just a smidge behind their 2003 attendance level, and until last year, their attendance had been in decline every year since 1997.)
That sure seems like something that Fisher could have mentioned. Yurasko?
Maybe, instead of constantly whining about the Nats, the Baltimore braintrust should have been engaging their fanbase with things like alternate hats that had a "B" on them (rather than "O's"). A Maryland flag on the sleeve and Baltimore on the road uniforms would have made a lot of sense too. Play up the Baltimore/Maryland pride Petey, people love that. You cannot go to anything in Maryland where you do not see the "Maryland With Pride" logo.

Just a crazy idea, but being positive might have been more appealing to people than constant negativity. Also, bad-faith dealings with Angelo$ have ensured that many people who would have made some trips from the D.C. area to Camden Yards no longer will.
I'm not qualified to speak for Orioles fans, but you don't have to be a clairvoyant to figure out why they might be upset. They're sick of this shit. They're sick of losing seasons (seven and counting), they're sick of being told they can't or won't support the team. Orioles attendance was way up last year as the fans were excited by the high-end free agents joining the team. But the O's sucked again, and their owner seemed more interested in keeping the Expos out of DC than in improving the team. As much as I applaud the fiscal restraint shown by management this winter, the fans saw failure as the O's lost out on every major free agent they pursued. Sammy Sosa helps, but the luster's come off him. The Orioles are blessed with a great ballpark, a strong tradition, and a loyal fanbase, but Angelos insists on pissing away his advantages. I'm not claiming that the advent of the Nationals is having no effect on O's attendance, but there's no reason to think it's the only reason or even the main one. No reason, that is, unless you read the Times, which deserves our censure and more for this garbage.

2 comments:

WFY said...

Amen.

Basil said...

Miraculously, it's down to 12% today.