After 25 years of being simply the “Orioles,” when they travel, the O’s will finally once again properly represent the city of Baltimore around MLB. There has been a bit of a grassroots movement going on for years, led by one particular Baltimore radio personality, to get this done. The overwhelming majority of fans of the team are in favor of the change. However, since said radio personality happens to work for a station that the O’s have basically been waging war with for some time, the team not only refused to give in to the wishes of the masses, but even issued ridiculous statements saying things like “we will allow a vocal minority of fans to dictate club policies.”
You see, the geniuses of marketing and P.R. in the Warehouse have it in their minds that the O’s should be a team of the entire region, and not just of the city of Baltimore. In many ways, they are absolutely right to feel that way, but now that the Washington Nationals exist and fans down 95 have a choice, it makes sense to stop worrying so much about “alienating” them, or whatever. Sure, many around the DC and Northern Virginia area grew up as O’s fans and will continue to support the team that they always have, even as they get used to the idea of having a team to call their own closer to home. But, O’s fans of the slightly south, I ask you: Will you root for the O’s any less because their road jerseys now say “Baltimore?” Methinks not.
Case in point: The team that now claims to have an entire “Nation” cheering for them wears jerseys on the road that read not “Sox Nation,” but “Boston.” There are no fans to be lost by emblazoning “Baltimore” across our chests.
There are, instead, fans to be reclaimed. Those fans that have felt pushed away repeatedly by management that seems to be waging a constant battle against the people of the city in which their organization calls home. Those long time O’s fans who now find themselves completely jaded by the team after years of poor treatment by ushers and asinine public relations practices. Perhaps some of them can look at this act as the team maybe entering the preliminary steps of at least sewing together a white flag, even if they are far from waving it in defeat.
Next step: “B’More” on the front of home jerseys.