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Baltimore Orioles Have A Different Kind Of ‘Only Fans’ Problem

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Headed into the eighth inning down 0-5 last night, the basement-dwelling Orioles somehow strung together nine miraculous runs and held on to beat the Royals 9-8.

The only problem? Nobody was on hand to see it. While amassing one of the league’s worst records, the Orioles (45-93) are setting all-time low attendance records as well.

One night after a record-low attendance of 4,981, Camden Yards had an even lower announced attendance on Wednesday night: 4,965. Who knows how many fans actually stuck around late in the game with their team down by five runs—surely it was as quiet as the COVID era of baseball.

Baltimore apologists would point towards the team’s top-ranked farm system as reason for optimism. If the front office can mold their young players into a winner like Houston did six years ago, then maybe all of this losing will pay off.

But so often the lack of salary cap in baseball leaves teams pinching pennies instead of spending freely. Occasionally a ‘rag-tag’ bunch can string together a special season, but well-built franchises stay relevant for years on end because they care about winning as much as balance sheets. If the Orioles surround their upcoming talent with veteran minimums and castaway relievers, the cycle will just perpetuate itself again and again.

Cover photo via The Comeback.

Written by TK Sanders

TK is a southerner who has lived on both coasts and definitely prefers sunshine to snow. A former entertainment executive in Los Angeles, he was run out of Hollywood for misgendering a director's dog, and is now forced to blog for a living. Breaking 80 will always be his number one goal in life.

Follow him on Twitter @outkicktommy.

5 Comments

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  1. Sad. I used to go to O’s games in 90’s and the place was packed and rocking. Bad ownership amplified by years of tanking have torpedoed this once dominant franchise.

    That, coupled with the fact that Baltimore is a 3rd world $hit hole doesn’t help.

    • When they opened OPACY you couldn’t get a ticket. They had pretty good teams then also. Then they had a dozen or so bad years and the fans got fed up. They had some good years when Buck Showalter was there but not all the fans came back. They still had problems selling tickets. I wonder how many more won’t be back after the scorched earth rebuild they’re in the middle of? The Nationals haven’t helped. Lots of DC and NOVA residents used to go to games. Now, they’ve got a more successful franchise closer. I’ve even heard rumblings about Nashville if they can’t get a new lease and renovation on the stadium worked out.

  2. I don’t think they’ll move. MLB needs to force the Angelos cartel to sell the team, preferably to a Cal Ripken led group.

    Yea, predictability the Nationals didn’t help O’s attendance, but that’s one piece to a complex puzzle that’s outweighed by years of poor management and mediocrity.

    There’s been plenty of population growth on the Maryland side of the DMV to offset Virginia based fans going to DC versus Baltimore, so that argument can’t hold up much longer if it does at all anymore.

    Also, Baltimore is an absolute dump. There’s no reason to hang out before or after ballgames so unless the product on the field isn’t compelling then they cant be shocked at these attendance figures.

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