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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Orioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park

Hey, at least they’re not the Baltimore Rabbits.

Have you heard?! Have you heard?! There’s a billboard promoting Orioles tickets near the D.C.-Maryland border and it’s rubbing some Nationals fans the wrong way.

...Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier spent a segment discussing the billboard, which is located seven miles from Nationals Park, yesterday on 106.7 The Fan. On the LaVar and Dukes Show, Chad Dukes conceded that the billboard makes good business sense before going on a rant against the Orioles and their D.C.-based fans.

  “If you’re from Baltimore, fine, I don’t care, root for them until your lungs turn orange,” he said. “It doesn’t make no nevermind to me.”

LaVar then interrupted to ask about fans who live outside of Baltimore but still root for the Orioles because there was no team in the District. Fans like me. I grew up a Redskins and Orioles fan while living in Cheverly and Arlington. I still root for the Orioles. I also root for the Nationals. I don’t root for the Ravens, despite John Harbaugh’s best efforts. Direct your ire here.

Back to Dukes:

  “That’s fine, you have a team now. My family has a lot of family in Illinois. I was a Cubs fan because we didn’t have a team. I still check in on them. I like to see them. I went to see them in spring training this year. I am a Nationals fan, because now we finally have a team, and I’m going to support that team because it was a long, arduous process, and many failed attempts, to make it happen. You’re spitting in the face of your own market here, so as a fan, this irritates the hell out of me. And it irritates the hell out of me when I tune into our midday show, and I hear people calling in saying, ‘Well, I’m from Reston, should I just turn my back on my team?’ They’re not your team. They’re Baltimore’s team. They’re not yours. They’re Baltimore, Maryland’s team.

Repoz Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nats, orioles

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Joey B. Posted: April 17, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4687909)
"There are no real baseball fans in D.C. That's a fiction."

-Peter Angelos

Nine years a slave, and counting.
   2. JE (Jason) Posted: April 17, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4687990)
“It doesn’t make no nevermind to me.”

Excuse me?
   3. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 17, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4688007)
You've never heard that colloquial expression before? Doesn't seem particularly odd (though certainly ungrammatical, as is often the case with such) to me.

Man, these effete East Coasters ...
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4688134)
The Orioles never really captured the DC market. They really didn't even make much of an effort until the Edward Bennett Williams ownership and the subsequent building of a new stadium located with fans coming from the south in mind. But many of the DC area attendees at Camden Yards were transplants who rooted for the visiting teams, most notably the Yankees & Red Sox, or at best weak Orioles fans who allegiance didn't outlast an easier trip to Nationals Park. The Northern Virginia and DC markets are pretty much already lost for the Orioles, but it is probably worth it for Angelos to market to the Maryland suburbs. They always had more of a connection to Baltimore - being closer, being in the same state, and being used to Baltimore playing an outsize role in their state's politics.
   5. escabeche Posted: April 17, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4688153)
I grew up in Montgomery County, MD and am Orioles for life -- can't imagine I'd have switched teams if I still lived in metro DC.
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4688157)
I can't believe nobody has drilled that fat meathead Angelos in the skull for what he did to the Nats' turf. When is this team going to stand up for itself against these bastards and show some fight?
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4688209)
The Orioles never really captured the DC market. They really didn't even make much of an effort until the Edward Bennett Williams ownership and the subsequent building of a new stadium located with fans coming from the south in mind. But many of the DC area attendees at Camden Yards were transplants who rooted for the visiting teams, most notably the Yankees & Red Sox, or at best weak Orioles fans who allegiance didn't outlast an easier trip to Nationals Park.

That's totally untrue. The Orioles were drawing large numbers of Washington fans to Memorial Stadium in the 70's and early 80's, in part because back then the Post treated them as a de facto home team. (Boswell's best writing was as the Orioles' beat reporter.)

They also had a ticket office on the 17th St. side of Farragut Square beginning right after Williams bought the team in 1980, and in fact at one point shortly thereafter the Post was actively encouraging him to move the team to DC.

By the early years of Camden Yards, the common estimate was that 25% to 33% of their attendance came from Metro DC. What drove them away was the way that Angelos destroyed the franchise in the late 90's and early 2000's, but then at that point he was scaring off fans from everywhere.

As for all those Yankees and Red Sox fans supposedly outnumbering the O's fans in Camden, that only happened after the attendance plummeted and tickets became easily available. Hard as it may be to believe, for the first 9 years in Camden Yards, they averaged over 40,000 fans a game, either led the AL or finished second in attendance for that entire run, and finished ahead of the Yankees every year.

--------------------------------------------

I grew up in Montgomery County, MD and am Orioles for life -- can't imagine I'd have switched teams if I still lived in metro DC.

I lived in DC through 1991, and before I opened my shop in 1984, my friends and I probably drove up to Memorial about 15 or 20 times a year. You could get there in an hour, the parking was free, and the team was consistently contending. Out of the nearly 30 parks I've been to, I still don't think any ballpark crowd could top Memorial for atmosphere during the Wild Bill Hagy years.
   8. DKDC Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4688224)
#4 does not jibe with my personal experience at all. I grew up in DC proper and left for good as an adult before the Nats came.

The Orioles were certainly considered the home team by us natives.

I definitely saw some of the more casual fans (particularly in Northern Virginia) switch over when the Nats, but all of the diehard Os fans I knew growing up are still Os fans.
   9. jmurph Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4688237)
In addition to what 7 and 8 said, HTS ran pretty deep into Virginia in the early part of the 90s (and presumably 80s) and carried O's games. I lived about 3 hours south of DC for a while and most of the locals were O's fans, with some Cubs/Braves mixed in due to the superstations. Not DC, obviously, but anecdotal data on Virginia.

   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4688252)
I don't think #7 really captured the meaning of "captured", at least as used in #4. The Orioles no doubt drew fans from the DC area, but not all of them rooted for the Orioles, and many were just there for an opportunity to see MLB in person. Whatever the Orioles' hold on the DC area, it didn't last long after the Nationals arrived, especially once Nationals Park opened. I'd take that as pretty strong evidence that the Orioles never had much of a hold on the DC market; just as the Redskins never captured the Baltimore market in the years between the Colts & Ravens. Two different cities; two different markets; then & now.
   11. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4688275)
I grew up in the DC Suburbs, inside the beltway on the Maryland side, and grew up an Orioles fan. Everyone on my little league teams wanted to play shortstop and wear number 8. I went away to college in New England in 1999, and drifted away from the O's. The main reasons were Angelos' mismanagement and the increasing agitation within the Washington area, and in the Washington Post, for DC to get a team. The more Angelos stood in the way, the less I felt that I could root for the Orioles. I now root for the Nationals and the Red Sox.

My dad, on the other hand, grew up watching the Senators. I didn't even know he was a baseball fan growing up. He never talked about baseball, he never watched any games. I was very surprised to find out that he was a baseball fan when the Nationals moved to town. Now that he is retired, he hardly misses a game. So the Orioles definitely never captured my Dad. They kind of captured me. They did capture many of my childhood friends, who are probably about evenly split between Nationals and Orioles fans.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 17, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4688291)
I don't think #7 really captured the meaning of "captured", at least as used in #4. The Orioles no doubt drew fans from the DC area, but not all of them rooted for the Orioles, and many were just there for an opportunity to see MLB in person.

Sure, but you can say that about any city or any stadium, especially in a tourist-infested city like Washington.

Whatever the Orioles' hold on the DC area, it didn't last long after the Nationals arrived, especially once Nationals Park opened.

The exception would be for those who were primarily AL fans. Personally I think the Orioles are a far more compelling team than the Nats, but that's obviously a purely personal preference, to a great extent due to my lifelong preference for the AL.

I'd take that as pretty strong evidence that the Orioles never had much of a hold on the DC market; just as the Redskins never captured the Baltimore market in the years between the Colts & Ravens. Two different cities; two different markets; then & now.

Yes, but while the Orioles drew hundreds of thousands of DC fans a year to Baltimore to root for the Birds, the Colts fans never picked up on the Redskins for the simple reason that they hated them. This went back to the first years the Colts were in Baltimore, and it never let up. It would be no more inconceivable for Boston fans to begin rooting for the Yankees or the Mets if for whatever reason the Red Sox left Boston, than for any Baltimorean to root for any Washington team.

I'd mentioned Boswell's influence earlier, but in addition to him, the Post and the Star (until it folded) used to periodically feature stories on making the trip to Memorial. And when the Post's book critic and Style columnist, Jonathan Yardley, moved to Baltimore in 1979, he devoted one column after another proclaiming his love for the Orioles with the enthusiasm of a schoolgirl describing her first love. If there was any pushback to those writings from outraged former Senators fans, I sure never saw it. The only real passion they ever showed was when the name of Bob Short was mentioned.
   13. Belfry Bob Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:47 AM (#4688309)
Clapper, It's been a good while since I've read such nonsense. My place of business is in Montgomery County. I see just as much, if not more, Orioles gear as Nats gear out here. When I go to a sports bar after work, there are just as many fans watching the Orioles as Nats. The Orioles were baseball for a long, long time in this area, and while there are some folks who root for both, there are a LOT of fans who still root only for the Orioles. There is a LOT more Orange at a Nats/O's game in DC than there is red at the Camden matchups.

As for the original article, it's just radio talk trying to stir up a tempest in a teapot. If the O's want to spend their money like that, it's their choice. If the Nats posted a sign in downtown Baltimore, I wouldn't care. I might even look at it and think 'Hey, that's pretty cool. Maybe I should go down there sometime.'

As Jolly said, comparing the NFL situation doesn't work at all, especially since the Redskins sold out their games already, Cooke didn't want or need the market, and as Jolly points out, the Colts fans hated the Skins with a deep passion (which I didn't understand since they hardly ever even played each other, but there it was.)
   14. DFA Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:10 AM (#4688313)
Agreed on all counts bob.
   15. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 18, 2014 at 04:34 AM (#4688319)
I've been living here in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. for almost ten years now, and I've seen as much evidence of Orioles fandom as Nationals for the whole time. Just as many people are wearing Orioles apparel, just as many cars have Orioles stickers (though they could be down from Baltimore, obviously), and I've often seen Orioles games on the televisions in bars and restaurants, though perhaps not coincidentally, they've always been playing the Yankees or Red Sox as far as I can remember. I will say that while that holds true for Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties and the northern and western parts of Price George's, the eastern and southern parts of Prince George's county seem to have gone over largely to the Nationals, along with northern Virginia. It's noticeable, which is one of the ways I can tell that fandom is still split elsewhere in the area. That's not to say that there isn't still a considerable Orioles presence in those places, though. Anywhere in the metro area, it's easy to see that it's a two-team market. I think there are a sizeable number of people who have taken to rooting for both teams, too, which is of course acceptable by fan code since they're in different leagues.

And I spent the first five years of my life in northern Virginia, or what was then more like the northernmost part of central Virginia, and we toddlers were Orioles fans. (Well, my fellow toddlers were, except the Yankees fans whose families came from Poughkeepsie. I was a Tigers fan, since we were from Detroit. 1983 followed by 1984 was pretty sweet.)
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:44 AM (#4688325)
I've been living here in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. for almost ten years now, and I've seen as much evidence of Orioles fandom as Nationals for the whole time. Just as many people are wearing Orioles apparel, just as many cars have Orioles stickers (though they could be down from Baltimore, obviously), and I've often seen Orioles games on the televisions in bars and restaurants, though perhaps not coincidentally, they've always been playing the Yankees or Red Sox as far as I can remember.

Part of this can be explained by the fact that before 2005, the National League was a nonexistent entity in Washington. An Orioles fan has rivalries that date back 60 unbroken years to draw upon, while the Nats' only "natural" rivals are a mediocre Phillies team and an Atlanta team that seems to own them lock, stock and barrel whenever they meet. Beyond those two, the Nats' schedule consists of way too many teams that have zero appeal from the standpoint either of rivalry or history. This is proving to be a good baseball town, and the Nats are definitely on the way up in terms of attention span, but it's probably going to take a World Series appearance or two for them to take permanent hold over the Metro area population.
   17. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4688330)
As a lifelong Pirate fan who eventually settled in Northern Virginia, the arrival of the Nats hasn't affected my secondary interest in the Orioles as my "AL team." There are still O's fans around the office, though the Nats interest certainly took a quantum jump when the new park opened.
   18. sinicalypse Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4688347)
as an expos fan it would amuse me to no end if someone were to outright capture the fighting walgreens, let alone their market.

then again, that would give me less reason to show up at natinals games in a grim reaper outfit with an expos hat and a sign that says "STRASBURG KNOWS WHEN TO LEAVE THE PARTY IN STYLE (6th)". c'est la vie.
   19. Chris Needham Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4688350)
[18] When you come next time, please pry off the Gary Carter and Andre Dawson names/numbers off the wall of "hono(u)r". We don't really want them there.
   20. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4688364)
I don't think #7 really captured the meaning of "captured", at least as used in #4. The Orioles no doubt drew fans from the DC area, but not all of them rooted for the Orioles, and many were just there for an opportunity to see MLB in person. Whatever the Orioles' hold on the DC area, it didn't last long after the Nationals arrived, especially once Nationals Park opened. I'd take that as pretty strong evidence that the Orioles never had much of a hold on the DC market; just as the Redskins never captured the Baltimore market in the years between the Colts & Ravens. Two different cities; two different markets; then & now.
Not true wrt baseball. DC grew massively between 1972 and 2004; most of the people living there had no Senators tradition, and adopted the Orioles as their home team. The Dc media treated the Orioles as their home team. (In contrast, Baltimore's media, with their inferiority complex towards DC, never treated the Redskins as their home team, and so the public didn't either. But of course the suburbs overlapped.)

The Orioles market, before the Lost Decade and the Nats' arrival, extended down into the Carolinas.
   21. Joey B. Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4688380)
Username proven right yet again.
   22. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4688387)
Username proven right yet again.


Too many words. "Joey B. is a loon" is more accurate.
   23. McCoy Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4688392)
I was at Camden Yards yesterday for an interview and so it was the first time I really wandered around the area. An interesting little neighborhood and funnily enough the apartments right by Camden Yards are cheaper than your typical apartments in DC. Anyone know what the neighborhood is like? Is it better to get an apartment elsewhere and commute or would gameday traffic just be too much of a hassle?
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4688425)
Too many words. "Joey B. is a loon" is more accurate.


Brevity is the soul of wit.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4688426)
I was at Camden Yards yesterday for an interview and so it was the first time I really wandered around the area. An interesting little neighborhood and funnily enough the apartments right by Camden Yards are cheaper than your typical apartments in DC. Anyone know what the neighborhood is like? Is it better to get an apartment elsewhere and commute or would gameday traffic just be too much of a hassle?

I'm not that familiar with the current CY neighborhood, but I know that in general, housing in Baltimore is MUCH cheaper than in DC, especially for what you're getting. You can find more than a few 1 bedroom apartments within walking distance of the ballpark for under $1000 a month.

As for the gameday traffic, around the stadium it can be pretty brutal, but the parking garages near the park are cheaper than the ones near Nats Stadium.
   26. Joey B. Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4688568)
Speaking of the Camden Yards neighborhood, I wonder how the new Horseshoe casino is coming along, given that I haven't driven by there in a while.

Given the number of people that are getting mugged at Arundel Mills, the Horseshoe is going to need about half of the 1st Army deployed there in order to keep that joint secure.
   27. Belfry Bob Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4689015)
There are some nice homes over in Rigeley's Delight...rooms tend to be small and staircases narrow, getting furniture upstairs can be a hassle...but it's more or less 'safe'. Haven't been in the new apartments towering over the ballpark.

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