Baltimore Orioles: Does perception truly matter?
Are the Baltimore Orioles automatically seen as the bad guys on the block?
Many fans perceive the 2015 season as somewhat lackluster; however the reality is that the Baltimore Orioles were in playoff contention into the final week of the season. A lot of naysayers might argue things such as oh but they weren’t in serious contention, or how good of a shot did they really have at the end? However regardless of how you want to break it down, the O’s were in contention into the final week.
When you look down Russell St, you see a team in the Baltimore Ravens who by anyone’s standards have had a somewhat disasterous season. Now I’m the first one to tell you that injuries played a huge role in that – when you lose players the likes of Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith, and Joe Flacco (among others), injuries cease to be an excuse. They become a reality. And while I’m not an NFL writer, I am an NFL fan. Injuries flat out did the 2015 Ravens in.
Yet while at various points there seems to be an armed mob outside the warehouse with pitchforks and torches, the same doesn’t appear true with the Ravens. In fact, there are fans out there with whom I’ve spoke who would call the 2015 Orioles season not so good. It was a .500 year, which I would call average. The O’s finished strong, which should give fans some hope. However I digress; is there a lack of equity in terms of how both franchises are viewed (in many cases by the same people)?
There are people who would have Dan Duquette’s door broken down and him carried out of the warehouse and dumped outside, yet that same mentality doesn’t appear to be carrying over to Ozzie Newsome. And let me be frank; it shouldn’t. Ozzie Newsome is potentially the best executive in football. If I were a Ravens fan I wouldn’t blame him or John Harbaugh for this season – I’d chalk it up to being a victim of circumstance.
Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
My point here isn’t to call out or defend the Ravens. However if the Orioles had posted a similar season, would the fans be giving them a pass? In saying that, I mean truly a similar season; where the likes of Jones, Davis, and Machado (among others) were out for the year. There are fans and even media members in this town who would probably be saying that Dan Duquette didn’t do enough to add depth to the team.
So here’s the point; the Ravens are almost justly getting a bit of a pass for their season, due in large part to the equity they’ve built up among the fans. However if the Orioles had a similar situation, they probably wouldn’t get a pass. Heck, there are fans who are saying that a season in which the team was in contention until the bitter end was a bad one. This is not to say that the Orioles have always done the “right thing” all of the time. And that’s partially why a lot of people don’t give them a pass on anything.
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And that might be somewhat fair in certain cases. Peter Angelos made lots of mistakes as an owner – however I would submit that most of them came pre-2007. As an example, my personal opinion is that the Orioles acted about as well as any franchise could during the riots of 2015. Unfortunately some games were postphoned and/or moved. However the team was vocal in it’s support for the community, AND Mr. Angelos took the additional step of paying his employees for the games that were canceled.
That last bit prompted a couple of media members to say that Angelos shouldn’t be praised for doing the right thing. At least they admitted that it was the right thing to do. Nevertheless, the Orioles probably don’t have the equity in the community that the Ravens do, although I would also question how long it takes to build that up. Two Super Bowls (insert: World Series’) certainly helps, but basically the impression is that whatever one side does is right and whatever the other side does is wrong.
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The point here isn’t to play the two teams off of one another. They actually work very well together. And the purpose here isn’t to call out the Ravens for their season – because as I said, injuries killed them. But I suppose the point is that not everything on the orange and black side of the block is always as disgraceful as it’s made out to be.