Just when you thought the season couldn’t get any worse for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans, a bombshell is dropped on the Baltimore faithful. Let’s face it, if you still call yourself an O’s fan, you are most likely a die hard or you’re just flat out drunk. The only reason you are reading this article is because of either 1 or 2 reasons:
#1: You are an Orioles fan and you thought to yourself “wtf! No way! This can’t be true!
#2: You are not an Orioles fan and you thought to yourself “haha, this team is the worst team in baseball and they suck so bad that their own city doesn’t even want them,”
Both reasons are very valid and I respect you for both of them.
Reason for the Orioles Leaving Baltimore
Moving onto the possible departure of the Orioles from Baltimore. It was reported from an anonymous source, close to the Belly Up crew, that the city of Baltimore drafted a grievance with Major League Baseball in the early spring of 2018. The reason why you have never heard of it is because the draft was not published officially but some got wind of possible complaints that the city of Baltimore had with the Baltimore Orioles. The source tells Belly Up Sports that the city is not happy with the management of the Orioles and the financial logistics, or lack there of that the Orioles have made for the city.
The Orioles, to this date remain in a long dispute with close rival, the Washington Nationals, for a revenue split of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. This dispute is creating controversy and beginning to turn heads in the Baltimore area about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. If the Orioles do not win the custody battle between the Nationals for the MASN network, it could cause some serious financial hardship for the Orioles. Something the franchise cannot afford, being the worst team in the MLB already and down nearly 32% of all revenue within the past year (via MLB.com).
Ever since the Expo’s relocated to Washington, D.C. the Orioles profit margin has decreased by nearly 35% (via the Baltimore Sun). Within the last 10 years, Orioles fan attendance at games, as well as amount of fans in general has dropped to one of the lowest in the American League by over 40% (via the Baltimore Sun). With the Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Ravens, the famous Art Museums in Baltimore and the plethora of parks in the Baltimore Area, a trip to Camden Yards on a summers night ranks just #8 on the amount of revenue brought in for the city of Baltimore (not to calculate 2018, which is one of the worst seasons in franchise history, via Baltimore.org).
Orioles Possible Future Locations
There have been murmurs throughout the baseball world of possible expansion to more ideal locations for an MLB team such as Montreal, Charlotte, Nashville or Las Vegas. While the chances of a move within the next decade are slim, I don’t see the MLB or the city of Baltimore wanting to keep a team in the city if no revenue is being brought in on a consistent basis. Let’s also not forget about the lease that is nearing the end for the Orioles and Camden Yards in the upcoming years. Or the fact that owner, Peter Angelos gave control of the Orioles to his two sons who could care less about the location of things but would rather have money coming to the forefront.
While I don’t see the Orioles moving anywhere anytime soon because of a faithful fan following, a financially stable owner (for the time being), and a beloved ballpark, don’t be surprised if the conversation between MLB and it’s owners picks up about moving the franchise. Let’s face it, the Baltimore Colts did it in 1984 after owner, Robert Irsay said that they wouldn’t move so why wouldn’t the Orioles do the same? There’s even speculation that the team may be for sale in the next two years.
Going to school in the Baltimore area, I see the passion that the Baltimore faithful has when it comes to the Orioles, I really do. But let’s look at the big picture here. Have the Orioles ever done something that they should be proud of in the last decade? I mean come on. The last time you had something to play for was the 2014 ALCS when you got swept by the Kansas City Royals. I’m not even going to count the 2016 AL Wild Card play in game that you lost on a Jose Bautista walk off home run which was one of the most embarrassing losses of any baseball team, ever. You put Ubaldo Jimenez in a game that actually meant something. Buck Showalter is your manager, that should tell you something right there. Chris Davis is your highest paid player, hitting just .150. LOL!
Is Baltimore a Baseball Town?
Before 2012 you hadn’t made the playoffs in over 15 years. You had a 14 year string of losing seasons. The last time you were excited for an actual player before the infamous Manny Machado was Cal Ripken Jr. over 20 years ago. The best thing you have going for you is your very nice, but outdated stadium which has the best fan experience in the MLB which is just baffling to me. Who votes on that? Must not be hard to win the best fan experience when you only have 6,000 people show up to each game.
Be honest with yourselves, O’s fans… if the Orioles actually left Baltimore you wouldn’t miss much. The only reason people come to Orioles games is because of the opponent that they’re playing or because it’s an excuse to get obliterated and watch a minor league team. Just sit back, don’t fight for the Orioles to stay and be happy with the triple-A team that will come and take their place. At least you have the Ravens, for now. Until the Ravens suck and the city gives up on them as well. Sorry, O’s fans but Baltimore is just not the place for your beloved Orioles.