Everyone Loves A Winner*

It’s the kind of game that you will never forget if you were lucky enough to grab a ticket to the event.

Manny Machado, the next great player in Major League Baseball, hit a pair of homers in his second career game in the big leagues on Friday night against Kansas City. Machado did this in front of his home fans on a perfect summer evening on a team that’s a legitimate playoff contender for the first time in a generation.

Only 17,277 fans showed up. That’s the announced attendance. That doesn’t include the season ticket holders who didn’t show up for the game. More fans showed up for a Ravens practice in Annapolis on Sunday. Not a game. Practice.

The Orioles would need to suffer a fate worse than the New York Mets to fall below .500 on the season. You’d have to think that was the primary goal of the season. Baltimore hasn’t finished with more wins than losses since 1997. That’s the year they got rid of Davey Johnson. He’s now the manager of the other team on MASN, the more successful one, who leads the majors in wins and has a lock on the National League East crown.

There’s an old adage in sports (and life) that’s easy to understand. Everyone loves a winner. This isn’t the case at a ballpark celebrating twenty years of mostly malaise. The Orioles built a beautiful ballpark twenty years ago. Four years later, they built a winner for their shrine. The O’s went to the American League Championship Series in ’96 & ’97 and then promptly fell off the map. This team hasn’t finished higher than third place in its division since I was a freshman in college.

It’s slowly starting to change in 2012. The Orioles are nine games above .500. They have a wild card spot with a month and a half left in the regular season. The conventional thinking around spring training put the chance of you going on a date with Mila Kunis on par with the O’s playing October baseball.

Magic happens in baseball more than any other sport. Will anyone fill the seats to see it in Baltimore?

Follow @WBALDash on Twitter for all things sport. And otherwise. 

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2 Responses

  1. *** Do O’s fans even deserve a winner? *****
    Where do I start..? Thursday night, last game of a 3 game set against
    division rivals the Boston Red Sox. My wife and I decided to go to
    the park after cheering and celebrating the first 2 wins in the
    comfort of our own home, thinking how fun it would be to witness the O’s ‘sweep’ the Red Sox. As my wife and I arrived at the park, I made it
    a point to observe the number of Red Sox fans in town, as we all
    know, usually out number O’s fans 3-1. Well, walking from the parking
    lot to the stadium, there was black and orange abound, only being able
    to count Red Sox fans on 2 hands, as apposed to years past, when needing a calculator.
    While enjoying some chicken and ribs we watched the Red Sox fans almost slither around the stadium in embarrassing fashion, while O’s fans walked tall and proud around the concourse. By the time we made our way to the seats I just purchased on stubhub that morning, the O’s were up 3-1.
    We walked down to a fairly packed section, only noticing the Red Sox Fans by the fact that they ‘did not’ have Orange and Black on. The plaid shorts and golf shirt attire was pretty much a dead giveaway that they weren’t from O’s country, or at least O’s fans. Ok, back to the game…
    I’m not going to play-by-play the game for you, but as a person that’s been around baseball all my life, there were early (4th inning) situations that warranted some support for from the hometown ‘faithful’. Was it me, or did the Baltimore fans think they were in Aberdeen? With no disrespect to the Ironbirds, the Fans sat on their hands quietly as Chris Tillman struggled
    on the mound. I would stand up on a 2 strike count and start clapping, you know, what ‘real’ baseball fans do in the various parks around the country. I’ve been there, following the O’s around to Toronto, Cleveland and even
    Boston to name a few. Those fans were ‘doing what fans should do’ from the first pitch to the last, trying to be that 10th player. After realizing I was the only one standing up during 2 strike counts, I thought, maybe it’s too early for the fans to get into it. Well, where do you draw the line
    on early, 5th, 6th, 7th…? It didn’t matter! There was not one 2-strike count had by an O’s pitcher where the fans showed any support during the ‘whole’ game. At times, you could here a pin drop in our section during 2 strike counts. At one point, I yelled to the first base ump, “when does the game start?”
    Now, for the record, I bleed orange, and have since 2000, when I relocated to the baltimore area. I was at the park, with season tickets during a couple ‘losing’ seasons, as I am NOT a fair-weather fan. Then, between innings,
    they showed the last game of 2011 that ‘Real O fans’ embraced and cherished… The game ‘WE’ knocked Boston
    out of the playoffs. Well, here we go, I stood up amongst semi-subdued Red Sox Fans, and zombie-like O fans and cheered during the whole clip….. At the end of the clip, when the O’s were seen celebrating on the field like they had just won the division, only to put an end to one of their many losing seasons. While on my feet, I turned around cheering, thinking I would see O fans standing and cheering such as myself. Well, I turned around only to see a handful of fans on their feet enjoying this clip. I thought, ‘Are you flippin’ kidding me?’ This isn’t happening! Here we have Boston fans in our house, and we’re showing them one of our home movies,
    one in which the outcome was devastating to them, our arch rivals, and all the O fans do is sit there and look up at the big screen and….ready for this..? The applause was just above ‘golf clap’ scale. At that moment, I thought ‘This town does NOT deserve a winner!~.The Fans aren’t real, maybe the O’s aren’t either, but it’s a fun season for a ‘real baseball fan!! Bottom Line here folks… “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. ” A Losing Team, with Losing Fans. And don’t worry, all you ‘so called’ faithful fans, I will not be back any time time soon to witness you’re sad, I mean SAD, display
    of fan support. You guys are the worst Baseball Fans I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot. Go Ironbirds??!!

  2. I beg to differ, so what if we do not show up in abundance to games… we have more heart than most fans and ill tell you why…. we unlike most “Yankee fans” or Red Sox Fans” are devoted….. we have not had a decent season in my entire life, but i was born and raised to be an O’s fan and i will be one till the day i die, regardless of their winning or losing and regardless of negative comments people like you post about people like me… I have a full time job and i am a full time student so i can not go watch games when i want to, but don’t think for one second that because i am not there, that i am not a fan. I fight with New Englander’s all the time about baseball and the simple fact is… i know the players on my team, and i can name alot more than most yankee fans could or red sox fans could. I love the sport and i love my team, and that will never change no matter where i go or where i live… i am a true BALTIMORON! I am a Orioles Fan… and you can quote me there!!!

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