September 23, 2006

Looking back at '66, looking ahead to '07

Peter Angelos and the Orioles had the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the Orioles' 1966 World Series championship team earlier in the season when the man who put the franchise "over the top" was in town.

A weekend series in June with the Washington Nationals brought Frank Robinson back to Baltimore as manager of the Nationals. What better time than that weekend to have scheduled this much-deserved tribute?

Of course, it never took place.

A non-refundable deposit on season tickets is required prior to the December baseball meetings. This is, also, prior to the time that clubs start making trades or free agent signings. With attendance in an embarrassing decline and with absolutely no positive signs coming out of the senior management suite of the warehouse, I have very serious doubts about continuing my support of the Orioles.

I am personally offended by this continuous downward spiral and I am leaning toward not renewing my tickets and finding something else to occupy my summer with.

Mark Cavalier

Owings Mills

Season-ticket holders left out in the rain

I am an Oriole season-ticket holder and have been for over 10 years. I attend 20 to 30 games a season.

On Sept. 14, I had tickets to the Boston game. The weather was abysmal. In spite of this, I planned to go to the game with a friend. At 6:30 p.m., the rain was still falling and we figured that the game should be postponed, so my friend and I had a leisurely dinner and about 9 p.m., we found out that the game was being played.

This has happened to me a number of times. I do not understand why the Orioles penalize their best fans by forcing them to attend games, while other fans have the choice of simply not buying tickets when the weather is bad.

The Orioles certainly are losing many fans because of their poor performance, and they make no provision to take care of their season-ticket holders.

If the Orioles keep this up, the fans will disappear, and I may become one of them.

Albert M. Harris


Lopez should learn from his demotion

A year ago or so, I was in a dire situation at my job. I was not performing up to established standards and was given two options: start over at the bottom rung in another position in another department, or be terminated.

I chose the first option, worked hard, stumbled a few times, yes, but worked my way up to a higher position and earned the respect of my colleagues as an expert in my area.

Not that I think I'm such a management guru, but Rodrigo Lopez needs to heed the lesson I present to you. In the first half of the 2004 season, the Orioles' bullpen was unshakable.

Then Lopez threw a fit, insisted on being a starter, and Lee Mazzilli granted his wish, disrupting the rotation and the bullpen. Now he's doing it all over again, saying he's disappointed ("Perlozzo sends Lopez to 'pen," Sept. 9).

Don't think of it as punishment, Rodrigo. Think of it as an opportunity. Instead of working on being the starter with the worst record in the American League, how about working on being the best middle reliever you can possibly be?

The Orioles could use the help.

Beth Woodell


All-business focus disenfranchises fans

In his recent interview the owner of the Orioles reveals his fundamental lack of understanding of the relationship between a professional sports team and its fans. From the fan's point of view a professional sports team exists only to win games and ultimately a championship. Baltimore fans have shown they will embrace convicted felons if they perform on the field and help our teams win.

The owner tries to rationalize the Orioles' abysmal record by talking about the cost of players and revenue streams. This is immaterial to fans who do not expect a dividend check from the team if it makes a profit so there's no reason why they should be concerned if the owner loses money.

Because of his misconception, the team is now faced with two of its top performers questioning the owner's commitment to winning - Miguel Tejada, last winter and recently Brian Roberts. Roberts, when asked about signing a long-term deal with the team said that he had to be convinced that the team was committed to winning. One has to wonder if players contemplating signing with the Red Sox or Yankees have to ask that question. While the management of the team likes to talk about "the young arms" we again have to wonder that if they do pan out, still a significant question, will the team be able to sign them or will they sign with a contender while the owner is waiting for a phone call, as in the Mussina fiasco?

If the drop in attendance is echoed by a drop in broadcast ratings resulting in a decline in revenue, then perhaps the owner will respond by putting a product on the field that will again attract fans.

In the interview, the owner suggests that he would have to be Santa Claus to buy all the players the team needs. Perhaps, but presently he's widely considered to be the Grinch who stole Baltimore Baseball.

Ken Gelbard


An education in how to win World Series

My daughter went to college in Boston, and the Red Sox won the World Series. She went to law school in Chicago, and the White Sox won. If Peter Angelos would pony up her law school tuition, she may be convinced to return to Baltimore, making her the ultimate free agent.

Richard Schneider


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