Friday, March 9, 2007

MASN, HFS and Baltimore

Who is buried in Grant's Tomb? Where are the Baltimore Orioles from?

Two questions that should be easy for people to answer, but for some reason they actually might get it wrong. The Grant's Tomb question is a result of the adverse reaction to question anxiety and a lack of American history knowledge. The Orioles, well people might forget where they are from because since 1993 the Orioles organization seems to have done all it can to eliminate the word BALTIMORE from all things Orioles related.

Much to the constant consternation of the Baltimore sports community.

That's the thing about Baltimoreans, we love our teams but we L O V E our city. Baltimoreans are a fiercely loyal to their town and even with all its problems we will stick up for her until our dying breath. We also love the Orioles, we may not show it as much as we used to but we do. And we want the Orioles to love Baltimore again.

Baltimore hasn't been on the road
Jerseys since 1973. Nixon was President. Flanagan, Ripken, Orsulak, Mora, Anderson, Roberts, Alomar, Tejada, Mussina, Olson, Erickson, Milligan none of these men EVER wore a shirt with BALTIMORE blazed across it. But the real sin isn't that so much as the slow almost de-stalinization, of Baltimore from other team media.

In 1993 Baltimore was removed from the Orioles logo. Then the
BAL on the score bug on TV was replaced with O's. This is also true at the ballpark's scoreboards as well. Announcers started saying "Orioles" instead of "Baltimore Orioles." Little changes that, over time, became glaring evidence of the team's disconnect with the hometown fan. This lack of respect for the city has been the driving force behind at least a couple protests and countless hours of snarky comments from radio hosts and callers alike.

But could the Orioles finally be getting it?

Since their move to
WHFS Orioles on air ads have been featuring the word Baltimore very predominately. Commercials on MASN show an Orioles fan wearing the coveted 1966 Brooks Robinson away jersey with Baltimore scrawled across it in that now classic script. And I am pleased to say that, as I caught today's Spring Training game replay: BAL has returned to the score bug, Baltimore is on the commercial scoreboard bumps and Gary Thorne is saying Baltimore with great regularity.

I think you have to call this a step in the right direction. These little things, these easy things have to be the first steps the Orioles take in reconnecting with the city of Baltimore. And they need to. Since the last incarnation of the Senators left Washington, and Baltimore went into a financial depression, Orioles ownership has been trying to appeal to the more affluent suburbs to sustain the team. And while, from a business
standpoint, you can almost understand that mentality times have changed. Baltimore and its immediate suburbs are going through a renaissance of rather large proportions. People are returning to the Crown Jewel of the Chesapeake and now that Washington has their own team, with their own uniforms and everything, it is now time for the team to come back home and be the BALTIMORE Orioles again.

These early baby steps are great, but I want to go to opening day and hear the team announced as the
Baltimore Orioles, lets see BAL up on the scoreboard and one day lets finally get Baltimore back on those road jerseys.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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