I’ve covered Baltimore sports long enough and hosted enough radio shows over the years to know that Baltimore sports fans spend a lot of time, almost obsessive, over what the national media is saying about their sports teams.
That being the case - and I don’t really agree with it, but I don’t deny it’s true - the fans had to love the last two days.
Orioles fans got to see their team win over the New York Yankees on two different national networks as the announcers heaped praise on the Orioles.
I don’t really know just how much praise they heaped upon the team since I didn’t see either telecast, I was covering games in Bowie and at Camden Yards, but I heard from enough people that saw those telecasts.
So what was it like for the fans? Was this an O’s fan’s dream come true, to get national TV, two wins over the Yankees, and the big boys (FOX, ESPN) talking up your team?
Chris Davis was asked about winning the games in front of the national TV audience.
“More and more people are getting a chance to see us play and kind of understand what we’ve got going on here,” Davis said. “We’ve had belief in ourselves dating back to last year. People got to see us at the end of the (2012) season on a national stage, but the more they see us and more we win, the better for us.”
The Orioles needed to take care of business against a depleted and shaky looking Yankees lineup and they did. The Yankees are 5-13 in their last 18 games and they don’t have the look of a contender right now.
Is this finally the demise of the Yankees? It’s been discussed for years now but it never happens. Maybe we are seeing it now, but I will continue to insist that I’ll truly believe it when I see it. Right now that lineup doesn’t look nearly good enough to win the division, but they still have Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia, but the O’s got by both this weekend.
Last night Brian Roberts returned to the Orioles lineup. He got several loud ovations from the fans. If you listen to sports-talk radio in Baltimore, you could get the feeling that the fans are down on Roberts, but last night showed that is a small segment of the fan base and that in no way represents all the fans. Roberts remains a big fan favorite, in case anyone doubted that, and his critics now look like a very small group with a very large voice.
The O’s Camden Yards crowds were on display too this weekend. The fans came out in big numbers and cheered long and loud, showing the nation the passion that is out there for this team. The atmosphere at the Yard was just terrific.
Here on our blogs and on message boards, fans worry about aspects of the Orioles like the rotation and Jim Johnson’s shaky saves, but the bottom line was the Orioles had a very good weekend.
Baseball in Baltimore continues to look good on the field and the fans are pouring back into the stands. The TV cameras captured all of that this weekend and O’s fans must have been giddy about that fact.