Baltimore sports fans - at least many of them - seem to crave respect for their sports teams. They don’t like it when national networks cover teams like the Yankees and Red Sox more.
So when the first American League All-Star balloting was announced yesterday it seemed to me that the Orioles were given a whole lot of respect.
That can’t be just O’s fans that cast all those votes. Orioles players are first or second at five positions. Chris Davis and Adam Jones would be starters if the voting ended today.
The Orioles have not had two players voted to the starting lineup since 2005, when Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada started for the AL.
They have not had a first baseman voted to start since Eddie Murray in 1985. They have had just three outfielders start the game in Frank Robinson, Brady Anderson and Ken Singleton.
Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado are second at their respective positions. Among outfielders, Nick Markakis is sixth and Nate McLouth seventh in the voting.
So five Orioles in the top two and three outfielders among the top seven? Wow, now that is respect.
It is also fans around the country noticing the Orioles turnaround and that the team has a pretty strong offense.
Richard Justice of MLB.com wrote an article about the Orioles and the All-Star vote. The headline says the vote shows the “O’s rising power.”
“Baltimore was one of the sweetest stories in a 2012 season filled with them, as it made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. They got the folks of Charm City invested in baseball, and that investment has carried over into this season.
Home attendance is up 23 percent, the Orioles are back in contention, and when the first round of American League All-Star balloting was announced on Monday, it was the fans of Baltimore who spoke loudly.
Seven AL teams are averaging more fans per home game than the Orioles, but the O’s were the only team to have the top or second-highest vote-getter at five spots.”
So what do you think Orioles fans about that All-Star vote?