When Lorri said it was okay I jumped at the chance to catch a ball game at Camden Yards. I'd heard so much about it. Amazingly, it lives up to its billing. About a thirty minute walk from our hotel, there seemed to be a nice walk up crowd.
A bad sign however, was that I got to the park about 30 minutes before game time. They were still passing out loads of t-shirts to the first 10,000 adults. Looked like they had plenty left.
You can see from the photo, taken at the first pitch that there's nobody here.
Why? Camden Yards is a beautiful park. Once inside there is the feeling of carnival inside. Boog Powell's smoke house (and I'd swear it was the Boog himself taking money) the statue of Frank Robinson made it all so legit. It's the only ballpark I've been to that rivals Safeco Field.
Second inning, no score. There are five ex-Mariners on the field tonight. The Indians must have alumni meetings with Shin Soo-Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jack Hannahan, and Jose Lopez starting. For the O's it's just Adam Jones (who just pursued a ball to the center field wall. Unfortunately he wasn't tall enough, 3-0 Indians)
So, why doesn't this team draw flies? They are having a winning season after years of stinky. You'd think that counts for something. But clearly casual fans are looking for more.
The M's seem to be in a similar spiral. Three years since the last winning season, eleven years since their last playoff appearance. Read the blogs. Casual M's fan support is at early 90's levels. This was supposed to be a year of incremental progress, with a big step forward in 2013. I don't see it on the field, though I am more hopeful with the young guys in Tacoma and Jackson. But only winning makes believers. Just ask my 14,000 friends at Camden Yards tonight.