Large in number, Sox fans show a limited vocabulary

April 10, 2006

One of the real joys of watching a game between the Orioles and Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards is listening to the boorish Sox fans sitting right in front of the press box.

Never mind how they always get a big group of prime seats right behind home plate on the field level - they must know how to use the Orioles' Web site better than you do - but wouldn't you think if you were going to drive this far to watch a ballgame you might bring along the rest of your vocabulary?

I haven't heard this kind of crude language since the last time I asked Peter Angelos what he thought of my radio show.

(OK, I never really asked Peter what he thought of my radio show, but if I did, I'm sure he'd use a lot of words you can't print here.)

Stay calm. I'm not going to go off on another don't-sell-your-tickets-to-Red-Sox-and-Yankees-fans rant. Been there. Done that. Nobody listened.

The way things are going around here, the Orioles aren't exactly in a position to turn their noses up at any enthusiastic customers, even if they are more enthusiastic about the 5-1 Red Sox than the 2-4 home team.

Heck, there was a guy in Atlanta Falcons garb in the same section. I don't even know what to make of that. He must have taken a wrong turn on Peachtree Boulevard and ended up in the Scalp-free Zone.

I guess I just expect more from Boston fans, who hail from an area that is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Of course, the Boston area also produced Ben Affleck, so you can't really generalize, except to conclude that they must be using a tougher version of the Wonderlic Test to decide who gets tickets at Fenway Park.

Is it a bad sign that the Orioles have lost their three best-pitched games of the new season?

Kris Benson pitched very well in a 2-0 loss that apparently jumpstarted the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Bruce Chen pitched great in Saturday night's 2-1 loss to the Sox, and Rodrigo Lopez pitched better in yesterday's loss than he did in the Orioles' 9-6 victory on Opening Day.

Where I come from, they call that small consolation.

Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield is now 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 19 appearances at Camden Yards. I remember somebody telling me once that trying to hit a good knuckleball is like trying to eat soup with a fork. I'm guessing the Orioles - except sizzling Ramon Hernandez - can identify with that.

Can't discount the season-opening series victory over the Devil Rays anymore, since the Rays bounced back to win a road series against the Toronto Blue Jays and have won three of four games going into their home opener against the Orioles tonight at Tropicana Field.

Give That Yankees Fan a Contract Dept: When a fan in a Yankees hat snagged a foul ball in the upper deck in the sixth inning, his post-catch histrionics brought Orioles fans and Red Sox fans together for an off-color, anti-Yankees chant. Finally, something everyone in the ballpark could agree on.

Apparently, I ruffled some feathers Saturday when I ranted on WBAL about the Orioles' reluctance to spend their own money to build a state-of-the-art spring training complex in South Florida.

Sorry, but it has only been 16 years since the organization began its search for a permanent facility that would house both the major league and minor league operations. During that period, almost every other major league team has moved into a new complex.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems odd that an owner of Angelos' public stature would be satisfied with an antiquated facility that essentially is a hand-me-down from the Yankees.

Glad to hear that B.J. Ryan harbors "no ill will" toward the Orioles. If they had given in to his contract demands last spring, he would be making less than $5 million a year right now instead of the $9.4 million he will average each year through 2010 with the Blue Jays. I think he ought to send flowers.

"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) Saturdays at noon.

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