As most any season ticket holder to the Baltimore Orioles knows -- the Evil Empire will be coming to Charm City for Opening Day at Camden Yards on April 6th. There will be hardcore Oriole fans who will be there, but of course there will also be a throng of Yankee fans -- local and not -- coming to see their team embark on their manifest destiny to the World Series (or not).
The big question now on many minds will be how many Oriole fans will actually dare show up on that day?
I just checked out Jay Trucker's blog on the Examiner website and apparently ESPN will be here chronicling the Yankees on the Opening Day telecast -- more specifically C.C. Sabathia's first start; thus, more or less, the Orioles will just be part of the supporting cast (or just maybe the extras).
One could think that there will be incessant talk on how Tex was signed by the Yankees and how the Red Sox lost him, the Steinbrenners, will Burnett become Carl Pavano II and a litany of other topics all related to New York.
How much mention of the Orioles will there be on their telecast? Little. Then again, there might be a mention of how Baltimore was a powerhouse from the late 60's to early 80's, has a nice little run in the mid-90's, how great Cal was, Peter Angelos, and how they can and should improve.
To add insult to injury, they'll mention how the Orioles have been in sports purgatory ever since.
I can understand why ESPN will want to grace Baltimore that day -- I mean, as much they purport themselves to be a news network, they are an entertainment network as well. Unless you're the Red Sox, Yankees, or maybe the Cubs -- you're part of the other 27 teams who they could care less about unless you make the playoffs.
Ratings drive this whole thing -- and ding, ding -- it seems that all of baseball only cares about the Yankess and Red Sox; of course, they want you to believe it. I can also imagine if the Yankess lose and C.C. Sabathia gets tagged up for seven runs.
If we as fans could do anything, find a way to be at the Yard on April 6th, even if it's your one game of the 2009 season.