Tap-In Question: Seriously, why do O's fans dislike these O's so much? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: Seriously, why do O’s fans dislike these O’s so much?


I’m not really trying to get too philosophical on you at Connolly’s today, though I do have my BT degree (bartending) in philosophy.

The thought for this one came to me while I was talking with ESPN.com’s Boston Red Sox beat writer Scott Lauber about this Orioles-Red Sox series on our “Around The Beat” podcast.

Lauber said he didn’t expect to see a sweep. He said he felt a split might be the most likely scenario – which would mean the Red Sox would stay three games ahead of the Orioles in the AL East race with nine remaining after Thursday.

He surmised that the Red Sox would be happy with that scenario, and the Orioles would be disappointed.

I agreed, but then I added that I didn’t think Orioles’ fans would be exceptionally disappointed by a split, simply because my sense is they are expecting the worst anyway. That many Orioles fans have been waiting for the other cleat to drop all year, and that this four-game series would be as good as any for it to hit the ground.

I can’t tell you how many times in 2016 I’ve told friends or readers to relax as they’ve complained about the flaws of this team: the all-or-nothing offensive approach, the shaky starting rotation, the streakiness, etc.

My response: It’s a long season. The Orioles will play meaningful baseball in September. And, really, that’s the realistic goal of all teams in April.

Well, now they are doing that. And the goal obviously has shifted – and should shift — to the playoffs.

I still think this club makes the postseason. They are flawed, but resilient. They have a lot of veteran players who won’t crack under the pennant-race pressure.


I’m also not sure how far they go in that said postseason, but I don’t imagine it will be much beyond a wild-card game or the ALDS – because of the above-mentioned flaws.

But, then again, I can’t effectively predict the future.

The whole beauty of the playoffs is you work to get there and then see what happens.

Still, there’s just this aura of doom surrounding the fans and their relationship with this particular club – a team, I might add, that controls its own destiny for the postseason. Something many of those same fans would have killed to witness five years ago.

There were only 18,456 at Camden Yards on Monday to kickstart the most important series of the year. And a third or so was Red Sox fans.

I don’t want to make this another post about why fans haven’t attended games at Camden Yards this year. We’ve beaten that one with a crab mallet.

I want to get into the philosophy, not the action.

I guess I want to know why this team appears to be so unlikable to a large chunk of this fan base. It sounds funny, and maybe it’s the nature of those that reach out to me, but I’ve gotten more negative feedback about this team, which already has 82 wins, than last year’s that won 81.

I understand that these Orioles can be frustrating to watch at times, but they win. They win more than all but six other teams in the majors. And, to hear and read the comments, this is a mail-it-in squad of 100 losses. This is the same old, can’t-win Orioles. Everywhere I go, people complain to me about this likely, playoff-bound club.

I really don’t comprehend it. So share.

I’ll pour the drafts.

Tap-In Question: Why do O’s fans seem to dislike this team so much?




  1. bill-s

    September 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    This is a tough one. But as I watch this team from a distance (I am an O’s fan and Bmore native living in NJ), I get very frustrated about correctable issues that don’t get corrected. To me, the biggest one is the strikeouts. They tend to make the games long and dull. Losing a close game on balls that are hit to fielders is more exciting than watching guys swing at strike three in the dirt. And frankly, rallies with base hits, plays at the plate, and good base running are more exciting than home runs. So I think it’s the style of play that makes this team less fun to watch than a team with solid fundamentals and a keep the line moving style.

    Side note: Did anyone notice that last night Porcello needed 89 pitches for the complete game win, while Bundy needed 99 to get through five innings?

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Bill: excellent post and way to lead us off. Drink Chip. You have adeptly explained the frustration. I agree with it all. I guess what I don’t get is the forest and the trees. With all that, this team is most likely playoff bound, yet most of what I hear — and not just online — is why this team is so frustrating. Very curious to me that most people don’t look at big picture too.

      • Joe-s

        September 21, 2016 at 11:37 am

        I’m gonna piggy-back off of bill here. I agree with pretty much every thing he said. I’ll also add that Buck’s unwillingness to change adds to the frustration. I don’t care what limb the guy is throwing with, Nolan Reimold should never play over HSK. He’s awful. The plate approach seems to be just lazy right now outside of Hardy. But I have to tell you it’s the fans that frustrate me most of all. I can’t say much I guess because I wasn’t at the yard either, but I live 1000 miles away otherwise I’d like to think I would be. The team looks largely deflated in this series and I think the poor attendance has something to do with it. Then again, I’m willing to bet if we had won the Rays series there would be more people for this one.

  2. LenSakata

    September 20, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I can’t recall watching a more frustrating team. I agree with what Bill-s said. It is so extreme the all or nothing offense. It seems the focus is on hitting home runs and not scoring runs. Let’s get men on base, make the opposing pitcher pitch. Let’s rally and not put in rally killers like Caleb who on a good night will lay down a bunt.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:33 am

      And yet only 6 teams in the majors have won more. Only one team in the vaunted AL East has won more.

  3. blarmac

    September 20, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Dislike seems a little strong, but their is definitely an air of hopelessness around fans right now. Maybe it’s the injuries and runners stranded in scoring position?

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Perhaps. I think it is the streakiness more than anything. People don’t like to invest in an eventual failure. But 90 or near 90 wins isn’t a failure.

  4. eddienj

    September 20, 2016 at 8:10 am

    It’s definitely the style. Whenever we have men in scoring position, you just feel like the only way we will score is if the pitcher makes a mistake. Taking a two-strike swing and flaring it the other way for an RBI single (off of a good pitcher’s pitch) is a very rare occurrence for this team. We are up there hacking. You speed us up with a couple of high heaters and it’s virtually guaranteed that we will be hacking at that breaking ball that bounces two feet in front of the plate. Throw high and inside then go soft down and away. Pitchers’s do this constantly against us. It’s even public knowledge now. Pitcher after pitcher tells the media “they like fastballs” or something to that effect.

    I’m an older guy. I am grateful that we are playing meaningful games in September. But sometimes this team is painful to watch. 1st-and-3rd, one out, and I have no doubt that someone will K. I’m surprised when we come through.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:35 am

      It is painful to watch. A lot. I get that. But the ultimate result works. And so many are hung up on that.

  5. Creatively_19

    September 20, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Double Natty Boh here, Dan.

    I think as Bill and Eddie have mentioned before me, its the one-dimensionality of the team. Our pitching is OK, but not often great, and we live and die via the homerun. Its particularly frustrating to watch the team NOT play small ball and leave so many runners stranded on the bases.

    I should get to the Yard tonight, and definitely tomorrow night, but I personally don’t have high expectations of victory.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Beers at your spot at the bar. Again, like with the other commenters, I totally understand the frustrating flaws. But what about when it is working — which, surprisingly, is more often than not.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    September 20, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Dislike is probably a bridge too far. Frustrated seems a little more appropriate. Looks like the critics are out in force on the style of the team, so no need to beat up on that. The Orioles brand of bludgeon-ball is more like boring-ball when it’s not working.

    One thing we should probably consider; all this “biggest series of the year” hype for every series really started with Toronto at the end of August. Since that time, the Birds are a wimpy 2-5 in Series openers. Series openers tend to get a significant emotional charge out of people because of the anticipation. I know I was looking forward to this Boston opener all last week, engaging in considerable social media sparring with my friends who are Boston fans. Then, when the moment of truth arrived, the Orioles lineup performed like a slow-pitch softball team that spent all afternoon before the game doing shots of Jagrmeister. So a lot of fans last night had feelings of ‘ugh, here we go again’. While it’s not the primary factor in the fans displeasure, I’m sure it plays a role.

    Also, your team is viewed as an amalgamation of personalities, and the best player’s personality tends to stick out the most. I’ll probably get some flak for this, but I think it needs to be said; Manny Machado is an a**hole. That response to Porcello pitching him inside and nicking him was something I’d expect from a pompous High School senior, not the face of an MLB franchise.

    • Creatively_19

      September 20, 2016 at 9:11 am

      I wouldn’t go so far as to call Machado an a**hole, but I’ve grown to be a little dissapointed by his attitude. He doesn’t hustle on ground balls, he can get lazy at 3rd in getting the ball over to 1st, and the way he gets his proverbial feathers ruffled every time he gets pitched inside grinds my gears to no end.

      I’d really like to see Manny mature as a person and a player beforehand if we’re going to try to pay him $400 million dollars for his future services.

      • Bancells Moustache

        September 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

        Apologies for my choice of words. I’m an ex-Paratrooper and my delivery can sometimes be a bit coarse.
        That being said, everything you just described sounds, at least to me, like an a***ole. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Manny Machado is a kind, loving gentleman who brings smiles to the faces of every child he meets. But when you come into my living room at 7 pm every night and consistently act like a d**k, I’m gonna call you a d**k.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

      The Stache brings it. Drink chip. But I will add this. From a personal standpoint, this is one of the most engaging teams I’ve covered. I wouldn’t call any guy in there an a-hole. And that’s really rare for any group of 25 (or more) people.

      • Bancells Moustache

        September 20, 2016 at 11:55 am

        Not here to argue with you Dan, it’s your place. But while you have the benefit of actually speaking to Machado, the casual fan does not, aside from the usual post game cliches about “just gotta keep grinding” on MASN. All we see is a guy who, after being awarded a free base with the big boppers coming to the plate, decided to go all Ric Flair at the Cy Young front runner and risk ejection and possible suspension, all with both the game and potentially the entire season in the balance. Not a good look…

  7. brian_byrd

    September 20, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I think it’s the same issue people have with the Ravens — the same easily correctable mistakes that turn into fatal flaws year after year.

    I quite like this team and think they’ve overachieved given their starting pitching staff in a ridiculously tough division. But the high number of strikeouts and the season-long ineptitude from two high-priced FA pitchers (Gallardo and Jimenez) takes its toll after a while. The Orioles probably won’t win the division, which means a one-game playoff with a Toronto team that’s been a thorn in their sides for years. Most fans seem resigned to that fate.

    • eddienj

      September 20, 2016 at 9:41 am

      I agree with Brian in that this team has overachieved. Whether it’s Buck, the bullpen, the HR’s, a bit of luck or a combination of everything, we have more wins than the advanced stats show we should. For that I am grateful. Oh hell, if we win tonight then the food will taste good again.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Good points, fellas. As for being resigned for losing in the wild card game, that’s the feel I get too. And that’s not the World Series. But that’s still a good season. It seems like now that the Orioles are good, anything but a title is a disaster. Maybe a disappointment, but playoffs are playoffs.

  8. talisnw08

    September 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

    This is a very personal response, and I’m not sure how it applies to others here or in general. But the answer to your question of why do I dislike them is that I very, very much don’t. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever found the individuals on a team more likable, from Schoop’s giant smile to Jones’ general contributions to the community and leadership on the team to Buck’s acerbic wit and calm demeanor. I love these guys so much, it can feel as though they’re family to me. And that’s where the frustration comes from, it’s similar to the frustration one feels towards family when they come up short of where you want them to. I want them to succeed so badly that at times I can certainly turn that around on them, or search for a scapegoat.

    More generally, I know that when the Orioles win, my reaction is to text my family in celebration and go over all the awesome things that happened. If I go on the Internet after a win, it’s to watch the MLB.com highlights, not to bitch or moan. And that’s where I think Internet representatives of the team like you, Dan, get a bit of a rough go of it. When there’s an Orioles loss, or someone feels frustration, they turn to the Internet. And for better or for worse, you are one of the more visible Orioles internet presences. But at least from my point of view, let me say now, you may be seeing a lot of complaining and negative energy towards the Os, and I can’t deny I feel some of it at times. But perhaps it’s the venue that’s responsible for the proportion of content that is negative (Twitter sure ain’t a happy place). I love this team, man. I like our guys.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

      First of all. Excellent post. Two drink chips. All the posts have been great today. It’s why I really have enjoyed this forum. Secondly, I get what you’re saying but it’s not just Twitter. When I am out in the community and people know what I do, this is what I get, too. This team had no expectations nationally, and is headed to the playoffs. And when you walk around town, people commiserate like it is 2005 all over again.

  9. Osfansip

    September 20, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I am a huge Oriole and Baseball fan. I watch a lot of different games and never miss an Os game even if I follow on the MLB app. This team is not fun to watch. It’s all or nothing. Home runs are overrated. Our HR to RBI ratio is so unbalanced, the majority are solo shots or when they just don’t matter. For the most part we have had to play catch up baseball. It’s a very unbalanced team. I never had been a fan of Dave Wallace and would like to see another pitching coach, he has missed a lot of games this season too. There is little if any consistency with this team. The outfield and starting pitching was a huge issue after 2015 and it still is.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:47 am

      And yet it entered a four-game series with first place Boston in late September 3 games back and leading the Wild Card.

  10. OsFanStuckInNY

    September 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Frustration, not dislike. Way too many runners left in scoring position as sluggers swing hard at pitches out of the strike zone. I love watching homers but, as others have said, I love great small ball and great fielding & pitching more. (Why anyone throws these guys a fastball over the plate is beyond me; not when they are so willing to swing at low breaking balls and high heat.) Unfulfilled potential adds to frustration levels, though seeing Gausman & Tillman finally get it together, the brilliant flashes Bundy earlier showed, and the redemption of Jiminez have been a joy. I’m especially delighted my prediction for the success of Hart has proven out. He, Brach, Givens, & Britton, have been as close to a lock as you can get. But….the frustration of playing with big deficits early on due to batting practice starting pitching has been very discouraging.
    Why can’t players bunt? Why can’t they learn to hit against the shift? Lack of talent or lack of effort?

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:50 am

      It goes to the lack of diversity in this lineup. You have sluggers, not small ballets. They bludgeon, not bunt. But as many have said, it comes at a price when bats go cold. Again, though, the big-picture result is acceptable.

  11. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 20, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Dan, I’m as flummoxed as anyone as to why the fans seem to dislike this team so much. I’m not sure that ‘dislike’ is the word. Frustrated maybe. We love ’em when they’re banging the outfield walls down, and frustrated when they aren’t.

    I’m on record as stating that this may be my favorite team since I’ve followed them over the past 47 years. The fun they seem to be having and sheer joy they exude every night is infectious. To me at least, they are the very definition of “The Boys of Summer”. As the old adage goes, they look like they’d play the game for nothing. Heck, we (the fans) all would if we could.

    I love the current crop of players, starting the Jones & Hardy, all the way down to Hyun Soo and Flaherty.

    As for why the rest of Birdland doesn’t, (IF they indeed don’t) I can’t explain.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Yes. You have definitely accentuated the positive this year — with a side of BBQ sauce.

    • Bancells Moustache

      September 20, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I don’t necessarily think the criticism of the Orioles is a bad thing, Boog. If anything I think it shows that the fans are beginning to be more confident. Expectations are high now. What’s wrong with that? I myself think the Orioles have actually gotten a pass the last few years. It’s time to put to bed this image of the “plucky little Orioles”. This team has one of the best records in the Majors these past 4 years, and has been to the ALCS. They aren’t some upstart small market over-achievers, they are actually a powerhouse. So it annoys me when people accept second place and a wild card berth as good enough. No one in Boston thinks that’s good enough. No one in New York does. Toronto either. So why should Baltimore?

  12. karks

    September 20, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I don’t get it. This team is fun to watch and they are beating the heck out of all expectations most had for them coming into the season. Fine, the rotation doesn’t scare too many people (if Bundy stays healthy though, watch out for next season). The lineup is often all or nothing. But it’s fun! They hustle, they play great defense and every game is a legitimate chance for a win. I can’t ask for much more than that.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Apparently Karks, you can ask for a lot more. Or others can. Good comments. Drink chip.

  13. pjclark4

    September 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I’m not much of a hater when it comes to my O’s–at this point in my life anyway. I can’t say the same for when I was younger.
    I am proud to call this group of Orioles my team. We have a roster almost entirely comprised of class act guys. They make it easy to root for them as individuals, especially as a dad. I greatly appreciate guys like AJ who give so much back.

    It isn’t the team itself that is frustrating for me, it’s the philosophy we appear to stick to. We get so close to being a WS contender, but then we sign Ubaldo’s and Gallardo’s and trade for guys with 5.00 ERAs at the break. Last year, while still in the hunt, we traded Hunter to make room for a rule 5 guy. Shoot, the organization even turned the fan base on Kim before the season started! “Welcome to America and MLB, let’s make this even harder for you to help our team win!”

    It’d be nice to see them just go for it one of these years when we are so close, either in the winter or at the trade deadline. Our pitching was horrendous last year, so signed a hitter who was suspended and hit .197 a year earlier to a $160 million deal, and we signed a pitcher who the rest of the industry had concerns about… oh and released Miggy. RELEASED HIM. I mean ouch. I imagine that was a bit frustrating to a lot of folks. I know there wasn’t much out there, but there is always less out there in February, when we like to sign pitchers. I’m looking at you, DD.

    The other is the unwillingness to take what is given. CD. Wieters. Alvarez. All the shift guys. Learn to lay down a bunt. You play baseball for a living, and while I get the argument that we don’t pay power hitters to bunt, I counter with the argument that we sure as heck pay them to do whatever it takes to win, so start learning. CD grounded out to second with no outs, a runner on 1st, and down three runs in the 9th on Saturday. Full shift was on. A halfway decent bunt gets the tying run to the plate, and by the way it changes the defense the next time he is up, opening more holes to again reach base. Crazy!

    It just comes across as selfish to the fans.

    My last point is stop giving away bobbleheads. For the love of all things sacred, no body wants a bobble head.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Great post PJ. The Gonzalez decision was a mistake from the get-go for various reasons. As for going for it in the offseason, this team spent a ton on FAs. Highest payroll in their history. The problem is they are not going to commit 4-plus years for a starter because it almost always is a terrible long-term investment. and the free agent pitching crop this offseason is awful. So you are gonna have more of the same. Score lots of runs, boast a great bullpen and hope for adequate starters. And one more thing: did ya have to bring up bobbleheads? You’ve now ruined Boog’s day.

      • pjclark4

        September 21, 2016 at 9:53 am

        Hahaha I mean seriously though with the bobble heads! Why??!!!

        You are certainly right that they spent a ton this offseason, it just never seems as sexy as other teams, and therefore doesn’t generate the excitement.

        As for the long term pitching deals, I 100% agree they are terrible long term investments most of the time. However, If you get one WS or even a WS appearance out of those 4-5 years, then does it become worth it?

        I’d say yes, particularly if an organization hasn’t developed a solid rotation in as long as I can remember. Obviously Tillman, Bundy, and Gausman look good this year and provide hope that the cavalry we’ve heard of for roughly 20 years has actually arrived. Still, I’d pull the trigger to get that ace if given the chance.

        Easy decision I think… when it’s not my money!

  14. tfconway

    September 20, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Dislike? No way. Love the O’s! But frustrating to watch, and sometimes cringe-worthy? You bet! Like any relationship, it’s complicated.

    Look, we all knew at the end of last season that we needed better starting pitching, or else this season was going to be challenging. So, did we address that need? No! Instead, we doubled-down on high power, low on-base guys. So we knew we’d hit a lot of home runs, but we figured we’d be in for a lot of 13 – 10 games. And those take forever to play, so it’s a tough sell to ask a family where both parents work and the kids are in school to come out routinely for a 4 hour game, get home around midnight, and have to get up the next day for work or school, and spend over $100 for the privilege. I think that’s a big factor – it certainly is for us. (And no, starting weeknight games earlier might not help a lot because of people getting home from work later in the day.)

    The lack of help at starter is appalling. That, coupled with the late price increase during the off season (it was after Spring Training started before season ticket info went out) sent a very poor message to the fans, I think. Sure, the starting pitcher market was thin, but it never seemed like we were even in the running for any top-line guys. And knowing that the O’s have historically not wanted to shell out big $$$ for long term contracts makes it hard to root for players that you think will leave. (Nice to see that turning around with Jones, Hardy, and Davis – hope we can keep Manny, Schoop, and Wieters, but I have my doubts.)

    Also, bring back the pies! That was so much fun, especially the playoff clincher where Adam pied some fans. Come on, man!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Tfc: paying for quality pitching makes plenty of sense. But then you are agreeing to pay $20-$25 million when a guy is 36 and a shell. We’ve seen it so many times. One of the reasons the O’s have been good the last few years is they didn’t have to budget sunk costs. The worst sunk cost — up until August — was Jimenez and his was a 4 year deal, longest in team history for a FA pitcher. Imagine 6 or 7!

  15. Melbay2112

    September 20, 2016 at 10:56 am

    The inability to develop a strong starting rotation, combined with a “dumpster diving” approach to finding the right pieces on the free agent market, has an effect on the fan perspective. If you continually fall behind early & tax the bullpen regularly, it will cause players to press, and with this team that results in a lot of big swings, and misses.
    I really feel strongly that the team is not really disliked, it’s the public mistrust of the folks in the Warehouse. The approach to marketing must be critically evaluated, and find creative ways to put fans back in the seats. Period.
    Love my Birds, and I look forward to an Orange October!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 11:08 am

      The marketing thing is a major issue to attendance. No question. But your earlier points again make this sound like a fourth-place team. That’s the crux of this issue imo. Dumpster diving is terrible. Except when it works.

  16. bv22

    September 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t think anybody dislikes the team at all. I think the lack of enthusiasm is due to the team not being able to generate any momentum. They seem to start to get rolling, and then lose a game or two and they always seem to lose at the worst possible time (which happens to be a day when Toronto and/or Boston wins; another case in point- last week, Anaheim is handling the Blue Jays and we throw away a couple of gimme games against TB; a totally missed opportunity to gain some ground). They are essentially constantly starting and stopping; it never seems like the team is taking off and gaining separation from the other contenders. Throw in the team-wide cold streaks on offense, which seem to occur at the worst times, and everybody is just waiting for the wheels to fall off in the next two weeks and come back to earth (even though they’ve proven to be somewhat resilient). Ever since they lost hold of 1st place, they’ve slowly started going backwards in the standings to where they are 4 games out and fighting for a wild card. I think the sense is if they get in as a wild card, they’re going to face Toronto, and promptly lose since Toronto has been super tough to defeat the last 2 years. If they have to face Boston in the Wild Card game, and if the game is at home, then the odds aren’t looking too good for the O’s either. Ideally, the O’s win the division and Tor/Bos face each other in the Wild Card game and we have a fighting chance against the winner in the ALDS; but, it’s probably not going to work out that way. I think that’s why you perceive the team to be unlikable. The “it’s a long season” answer is no longer applicable since the season’s over in 2 weeks…..in 2014, the team caught fire and barreled it’s way to the division crown and through the ALDS. Everyone was on board since the team was legit and looking like a true, complete, contending team, even though a lot of people were playing way over their heads and came crashing back to earth in the ALCS (think Pearce). This 2016 team isn’t anything like that 2014 team and they’ve run out of time to show that they are like that 2014 team, or even better.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      BV: First, thanks for stopping by. Secondly, I’m not talking lack of enthusiasm. I am talking a flood of “they suck’ tweets every time fall behind in a game. Third, I disagree when it comes to running out of time thought. They get to the playoffs and it is a new season. Sure, they don’t look equipped. But you never know. Go back and look how the 89-win, 2014 Royals stumbled into the playoffs. Then a light went on. You just never know in the postseason.

  17. claudecat

    September 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Great question Dan! One that gets to the root (one of many) of why attendance is down. To me it goes back to how this team was constructed during the offseason.

    – The addition of so many all or nothing hitters in the Chris Davis mold.
    – The last scrap at the table scenario playing out yet again, then again, with the starting pitching.
    – To a lesser extent the failure of Hyun Soo Kim to become anything but a tale of woe until the season began and he proved to be a valuable player, the kind we need more of – he’s now a fan favorite yet plays only sporadically.

    These things are all too familiar to O’s fans. And longtime fans have a greater appreciation perhaps than most for baseball traditions like eschewing strikeouts, being able to move runners over, make contact, etc. All the things we’re bad at.

    Pitching, defense and the three-run homer? Not so much… Now it’s often poor starters, lackluster, even bad defense at many positions, and way way too many solo shots.

    Last night’s final at bat by Manny epitomized something else for me, possibly for fans at large. Down by three, he’s swinging harder than even Schoop ever has, noticeably NOT trying to simply get on base. Then Davis once again refusing to take the gimme bunt base hit that’s been there all year long. Hard core fans are smart enough to see that this is… not team-oriented play.

    I think that fans want a team to love, would probably come out more often for a less one-dimensional, more team-oriented style of play, with starters less likely to be terrible on any given night, hitters that K less predictably. But when we see what we see so often, who can blame ’em for watching so much MASN?

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      I hear what you’re saying, and I completely understand. BUT isn’t the bottom line supposed to be winning? And they are winning. Ain’t pretty, but through 162, they will have won 88-90 or so.
      I was told for years that if the Orioles won, fans would come out. Now it’s if the Orioles win, win a certain way and have a certain momentum. I don’t know. Everything you (and many others) write make sense on one level, but not on another. Drink chip anyway.

      • claudecat

        September 21, 2016 at 1:02 am

        Hey, I’m with you. Like you I’m at every single home game (hint hint), and often have discussions with fans, colleagues, anyone that will listen regarding the attendance thing. And like you I (and most people I talk to regularly) assumed that winning baseball would put butts in seats. It hasn’t. You asked why, I answered. I really do think the brand of baseball played is a factor, along with the entire all too familiar laundry list of other reasons.

  18. 5brooks5

    September 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I love the O’s but I dis-like ownership and their lack of regard for the fans. Compare our marketing with regard to the Yanks, they have many more promotions and 5 dollar dollar bargain nights and the cheapest we have is 8 bucks on student nights. That’s a city with 7 million people as opposed to 600,000. Just simple things like parking in B/C lot, to get to your space is a convoluted path instead of a simple right turn, another example is the ushers, I’ve seen them tell fans to have a seat when all they were doing is cheering the home team. To me the fish stinks from the head down! Of course,this could be a ploy to keep attendance down, to provide ammo. for the legal battle with the Nats, though I’m not at all a cynic!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Wow Brooks, wow. You make me look like an optimist. Let me say this, though: The prices at Camden Yards are wayyyyy below Yankee Stadium on average. And you can bring in your own food, yadda, yadda, yadda. I do, however, think ownership made a mistake by getting rid of certain discount nights.

  19. 1969sschevelle

    September 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I have been wondering for awhile, why the Ravens seem to get a pass on things like “Ray Rice” and the Orioles seem to get hammered on every decision? Like signing players or other PR moves.

    National media also hammers them about medicals but they have been right alot more than they have been wrong. Which only feeds local fans.

    I also believe it could be a generational thing. I am 41 and my friends around my age have kids and are involved in sports among other activities and dont have the time or money for things Oriole games. While the younger generation simply doesnt watch enough baseball.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      The Ravens get a HUGE HUGE HUGE pass that the Orioles don’t get. No question. But the Ravens haven’t been consistently good most of their time here. And during that period, the Orioles have been mostly bad up until 2012. And the Ravens have won two titles and the Orioles none in that span. So I think with the victors go the spoils.

      • 1969sschevelle

        September 21, 2016 at 10:43 am

        Point taken, but the orioles have been on the winning end for last 5 years. I think that goes back to my generation comment, they lost a generation to losing that became Bos or NY or any other team fans or simply dont watch baseball.

  20. simpsonps121

    September 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    First time poster…

    I can not agree more with the above posters. It is not the pitching that is so incredibly irritating… we understand there is a lack of talent.

    It is the terrible approach to hitting. You sit there with your 8th grade son… who is VERY active in club and high school baseball… and what do you say? “That is an incredibly bad approach by a hitter in a clutch situation.” And you end up being negative about the guys that he should be cheering for… Machado, Jones, Davis, Schoop, Trumbo…. All the star power… all have a hack at ANYTHING approach with runners in scoring position. As you teach the correct way to play, you are undermining the guys that he should be excited about.

    Now… there are things that get us excited… the defense of this team is incredible. And that is something we are excited about and try to copy. But the hitting in clutch situations is the core problem.

    As a coach/parent… you end up almost cheering AGAINST the team you love so much… so that the child you love, learns to play the game the right way.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Simpson: First, welcome in. Drink chip. I get the dilemma with your son. But here’s what you say: See these guys. They are the best of the best. They are amazing athletes. They can do incredible things. And they still don’t have this game figured out. They still have flaws and they still don’t do everything right. But in their cases, their ability still shines through. Son, you’re going to come into contact with guys you play with and against that are more talented than you are. So you need to do the little things to keep up. And if you are going to join these big leaguers one day, the best path is to be super-talented and work extremely hard at all phases. … How’s that? And I’m just a fake bartender? 🙂

      • simpsonps121

        September 21, 2016 at 12:17 pm

        Thanks Dan!!
        Cherry Coke please!!!

        But isn’t that the core of the problem? These guys HAVE immense talent… and they don’t do the little things. In effect, they are getting beat by the things that average ball players can do. And that is the frustration. Their talent has gotten them to 82 wins. But the solve to get to 90 wins is sitting there… we all can see it… but they can’t/won’t do it.

  21. Tiss

    September 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Let’s get the facts straight. This team has scored the 11th most runs in baseball (6th in the AL). The have the 10th highest strikeout percent in baseball (5th in AL). They are 11th lowest in walk percentage (7th lowest in AL) which leads to 10th lowest OBP (6th lowest in the AL). They have allowed the 13th most runs in baseball (4th most in AL).

    In all cases, nothing to hang our hat on, but nothing to get in a bind over. Nothing to be embarrassed by, stressed over, or to cause upset or poor attendance. This not a team that is dominating, but neither do they stink. EXACTLY what the record indicates.

    As no one (legit, no one) had them making the playoffs, is proving them wrong and making it enough?

    Is making the playoffs but losing the wild card game enough? Is 0: 2.714 the wild card game and then losing (likely to Texas) in the ALDS enough? Is winning the division and then losing (likely to Cleveland) in the ALDS enough? People can’t mean World Series or bust, can they?

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      excellent post. Curious to see any responses.

      • 1969sschevelle

        September 21, 2016 at 10:45 am

        I think thats also a good point, we have has winning or even seasons and a taste of the playoffs, the novelty has worn off somewhat

  22. garyintheloo

    September 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Living in St. Louis I try to watch as many games as possible on mlb.com. This team eserves support because it is winning baseball and most of us remember when it was not. But I agree it is too one dimensional waiting for the homer and the pitchers can’t put batters away leading to high pitch counts. I keep waiting for something to go wrong rather than right. Just think, we are about to set the record for fewest steals in a season.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 20, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      I think that’s the mentality Loo. Looking for the shoe to drop. And, obviously, that’s because of the flaws we’ve talked about.

  23. bigdaddydk

    September 20, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    First off, I’ve really enjoyed reading the commentary from the other posts above. I actually registered to comment here, and anticipate being semi-regular in the future. I am watching from overseas and routinely follow either via an Internet stream or on the MLB app.

    This is a really good question. I see several things that warrant further consideration. Some of us go way back with the O’s. I’m a long time fan, remembering the great O’s teams of the 70s and early 80s, and those teams did certain things very well. They had great pitching (which may still come around next year), great defense (current infield is solid but outfield is lacking), and hit well with RISP. They played fundamentally sound baseball. This year’s team, when they’re on offensively, can be a lot of fun to watch, but the breakdown in pitching has led to a lot of 2, 3, and 4 run deficits after one or two innings. At that point, each hitter in the lineup appears to be trying to tie it up with one swing. Although, oddly enough, I’ve watched Adam Jones take a few BBs recently, which shows a lot more patience than I’m accustomed to from him. What’s bothersome though, and this was previously mentioned, is that we get into these first-and-third/second-and-third scenarios with less than two outs and we don’t score. That was painfully evident in the TB series.

    Don’t get me wrong. I really like this team. I like the players overall. They seem to have a great deal of camaraderie and they can be as dangerous as any lineup in baseball on any given day. What frustrates me the most is knowing that going into the off season there will be needs to fill and everything is put on hold to pony up a huge contract for Crush (who I really like a lot) but not to bring back Chen (which would have avoided the mid-season trade for Miley). Then, when the rumor mill cranks up about other players being pursued they end up either being rumors or a case of being outbid for services. So, the holes persist and the outfield becomes a patchwork arrangement (Trumbo in RF? Really?) to accommodate a power-laden batting lineup that is incredibly streaky, apparently in a synchronized fashion.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 21, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Welcome in Big Daddy. Grab a seat. Glad to have you. I guess the one thing I’ll add here is not a ray of sunshine. The starting P market is ridiculously thin — Rich Hill may be the best — so that hole won’t be filled thru FA.

      • bigdaddydk

        September 21, 2016 at 7:44 am

        You’re right about the FA market for pitchers. Same with catchers, so I expect that Wieters will get a contract offer from the O’s pretty soon rather than another QO. While his institutional knowledge and handling of pitchers will be welcomed, his overall skill set seems to be diminishing rather than peaking, and he doesn’t offer a bat that can transition to DH if/when Sisco is ready to come up.

        What are your thoughts on Hellickson? Hill is a bit older than I’d like to see the O’s pursue, but he might not be that big a risk. But Hellickson could be signed for similar money per year and he’s only 29. 12 wins with the Phillies and a sub-4.00 ERA would be a definite improvement over Gallardo or Miley, and the O’s were rumored to be interested before the trade deadline. He doesn’t provide a LHP, which Hill would do, but he shows signs of returning to form from when he first came up with TB. I don’t see the O’s competing for Kershaw/Sale/Price/Scherzer type pitchers anyway considering the money they would command in the market, so I figure looking at pitchers who appear to be on the upswing or at least holding their own is the team’s best bet.

  24. Steve Cockey

    September 21, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Here’s a big factor for the lack of enthusiasm, in my mind:

    July: 12-14
    August: 13-16
    September: 10-8

    For all the talk about this being one of the best O’s teams of the last 20 years — which is both true and sad all at the same time — they haven’t played like it in almost 3 months. Whether they make the Wildcard game or not, they’ll be limping in unless they get on a serious roll over the final 11 games.

  25. jannpls

    September 21, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    WOW !! A constructive and civil conversation, unlike on the ESPN.com boards where O’s fans are attacked daily. I do disagree with the term “dislike”. Frustration is more appropriate. Many points have been mentioned above, so I’ll just add a few and second some others. All comments are “record not withstanding”. Chris Davis, is he hurt worse than they let on ? The epitome of our frustration. Strike one looking on ball right down the middle. Strike two foul ball. Strike three looking. And BUNT !! Variable pricing, a good idea in theory but a flop in the court of public opinion. The “walk up surcharge”, a slap in the face. Going to OPACY is OK, but how many of us here grew up with Memorial Stadium and Wild Bill ? That was an experience/event, not just a night out. B’More reputation, deserved or not,it’s out there. Bowie Baysox 15 minutes away (usually an Oriole there on rehab). And finally, we are lucky enough to have one of the best TV broadcasts (IMO). The O’s marketing dept. will have as busy an off season as the front office. Wishing them both success.

  26. shabadoo25

    September 22, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I really like this team, but they can do better. What happened to the patience at the plate from April and May?

    Injuries have hurt them and Brach has been average since the ASB. They need more of the HSK approach at the plate, not less.

    Bundy has been a pleasant surprise but is fading as expected. The rotation needed a talented lefty all year.

  27. ubetonit

    September 22, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I think the fan base realizes that Angelos is NOT doing everything that they can to win. The organizational aim is to be “just good enough”. The fans are tired of the dumpster diving.

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