Taking Sides

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Taking Sides

Locked inside for six days and slowly going insane. I drafted a number of posts and deleted them all. No reason for you to have to read my ridiculous ramblings.

There’s a fun rivalry that has been growing over the last few seasons of Orioles baseball: those who believe that the team is actually interested in fielding a decent product for their fans versus those who believe very much the opposite (that the organization would do anything for a buck, wins be damned).

In a not-so-playful way, each side has taken it’s name… Those who are against the team call themselves “the realists.” Those who support the team have been labeled “the warehousers” by their counterparts. It’s so very English Civil War of them. Personally, I call them the ‘cynics’ and the ‘apologists.’

In my varied interactions with these developed political parties, I’ve been called both – though probably more frequently a warehouser than a realist.

As in most online conversation, you are labeled by those around you, those who read your what you write. And like all online unmoderated online conversation, there’s an elementary school vibe to it all. Name-calling, labeling, rubber, glue, boing-flip. It’s a shame when quality baseball conversation can be drowned by such nonsense (such an apologist, I know).

I like to think that I tend to walk the very fine line between taking either side in the great debate. As such, I’d like to point out a few tenets that I believe about Orioles baseball in its present form.

First: There is no excuse for the performance of this team over the last decade-plus. None.

Second: Peter Angelos does not have the interest of Orioles fans at heart. He has not only made the club unsuccessful for innumerable reasons, but he has alienated a large number of good fans and continues to divide the present fanbase. And relative to the Ravens, the Orioles organization is baseball’s North Korea – isolated, shut down, and pumping out propaganda to anyone that will listen.

Third: Despite all of that, there is no grand conspiracy within the organization to keep the team uncompetitive. Nor is there any conspiracy to exploit the fanbase (at least not more than any other professional sports organization).

Fourth: While the reign of Andy MacPhail has been unsuccessful thus far (in the standings, at least), I believe that he does have the best interest of the club and its fan at heart. MacPhail’s overhaul of the club is moving forward and you can see that in the recognition received around the league.

We’ll discuss all of this a bit more in time – we can talk payroll and revenues, free agent signings and player development, rising ticket prices and falling sales – but for now, that’s all I have.

I don’t know that I’ve taken a side. I’m just a fan. But I’m sure there are plenty of people out there willing to tell me just which side I’m on.

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