Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Different Ending


The View from Suite 72
20 minutes before first pitch
OPACY, Baltimore, MD
April 30, 2022
I attended the Red Sox vs Orioles baseball game last evening at Orioles Park at Camden Yards (OPACY). I was lucky to have been invited into a suite complete with food and beverage.

What did I discover? 

The Orioles have unfortunately become a second rate baseball/entertainment organization.

On the field the Orioles have the lowest payroll in MLB. I looked it up. Their 2022 total payroll is listed as $46.5 million. Last evening the Orioles played the Red Sox who have a total payroll listed as $202 million. The league average is somewhere about $147 million. Is it any wonder that the Orioles have a losing record?

It is now easy to see why the stadium which can hold about 46,000 only had just short of 20,000 in attendance last evening. In the past, Red Sox games were almost guaranteed sell outs, although the fortunes of that team are low right now and not many Red Sox fans are traveling from Boston. I did not see the usual squadron of busses parked along the stadium roads as I walked to the game.

But wait, there is more. I had been invited to a suite to enjoy the game. The Orioles somehow managed to fumble the reservation for the suite and the food and beverage was not provided until the person who made the reservation provided the confirmation email to the concessions manager and then it took 45 minutes to stock the area. Once stocked, there was only beer and soft drink for beverages and the entree consisted of hot dogs or pulled pork. Compared with my experience at Nationals Park last season, the Orioles are way behind in providing an exceptional fan experience. National Park provided London Broil, plus numerous other entrees, a salad bar, dessert bar and a full open bar. 

On to the game.

Amazingly, the Orioles won the game 2-1. It was a 10th inning, walk-off error by the Red Sox that allowed the Orioles to scrap out a victory. The Red Sox scored in the first inning and the Orioles did not manage the tying run until the 8th inning. 

The 10th inning is when the game became interesting. The Orioles managed not to surrender a run to the visitors during the top of the inning. The Red Sox, for their part tried an interesting approach by intentionally walking the lead-off batter which put runners on 1st and 2nd. Remember, in MLB extra innings now begin with a runner on 2nd. This set up a double play possibility. But, the Orioles bunted in an attempt to move the runners over, but the Red Sox committed an error trying to get the lead runner at 3rd. The pitcher, who fielded the bunt, overthrew the 3rd baseman and the baserunner who had started at 2nd base, scored! 

A walk-off error. Orioles Win! Orioles Win!

That was a different ending, for sure.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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