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Orioles ratings spiking in D.C.


(By Nick Wass - AP)

I can honestly say that I haven't intentionally watched more than a half-inning of any Orioles game at one sitting this season. Not out of hostility or anything, but the team has been bad, and I don't see their current iteration as a Washington sports topic.

Apparently I'm wrong. Wednesday's night's Orioles broadcast on MASN attracted more viewers than Wednesday night's Nats broadcast -- in the Washington market. We knew this sort of thing was happening a few years ago, but that was when the Nats were abysmal and MASN was still getting its legs. It's just bizarre that it's still happening in 2010, unless you accept that the Orioles are still a Washington sports topic. (Gulp.)

(Well, that, or that the Washington market is huge, and includes counties in Maryland that never made the switch to the Nats.)

So, the numbers. The Orioles won for the eighth time in nine games under Buck Showalter on Wednesday, earning a stout 5.6 household rating in Baltimore. (Remember, the Nats have only reached a rating like that in the Washington market once in their MASN history.)

Of course, the numbers were much smaller in the D.C. market, but the Orioles broadcast still earned a 1.4 household rating. The Nats -- who were on MASN2 on Wednesday -- scored a 0.86.

The latest Strasburg start, Tuesday night on MASN2, earned a 2.3 household rating in D.C., equal to about 54,000 households. For the season, he's averaging a 3.1 on MASN/MASN2 in D.C., equal to about 72,000 households. As a whole, the Nats are averaging about a 1.5 this season, just a tiny tick below the Caps last season. Those Caps had probably their most successful regular season ever. These Nats are in last place. I'm done trying to figure anything out about anything.

Anyhow, the Orioles ratings have been spiking since the Showalter-led resurgence, both in the Baltimore and the D.C. markets. Since Aug. 3, Orioles ratings on MASN/MASN2 are up 50% in Baltimore and 60% in D.C. Before Showalter's debut, the Orioles were averaging a 0.7 household rating in the Washington market. Since his hiring, they're averaging about a 1.1 rating, roughly the same as the Wizards averaged last season on Comcast SportsNet and CSN+.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 12, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats , Orioles  
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Comments

I think it shows a few things: One, Maryland viewers should skew more toward the O's. DC and Virginia should be more in line with the Nats.

Two, people watch winning teams. Not that a hot streak makes the O's a winning team, but it makes them a better, more entertaining team. The DC area is famously fair-weather. Remember how we were all Ravens fans when they won the Super Bowl?

Three, the Nats are playing like crap. When you tune in and their already down 7-1 after two innings, you're probably going to switch channels.

Posted by: rodeorob | August 12, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Have the Nats beed on MASN since Showalter was hired? I believe all of the telecast have been on MASN 2. Further the headline (the link) is misleading. The orioles as you said in the article have only recently spiked viewership. They don't average more viewers in DC as the link suggest

Posted by: JDB1 | August 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

Key fact not mentioned here: While it's not relevant to this week's games, the bulk of those ratings statistics were obviously from last week's games. And last week, the Nats were on the West Coast and their games didn't start until 9:30 or 10 p.m. every night (and 4 p.m. on Sunday), while the Orioles were playing at home with 7 p.m. game starts every night. So if you wanted to watch baseball at 8 p.m. last week, it was the Orioles or nothing, and the Nats ratings were obviously lower than usual because of the late starts.

Having said all that, there are still lots of Orioles fans in the Md. suburbs who say that because they grew up Orioles fans they will remain stubbornly devoted to the Orioles and refuse to follow the Nats. I find it unfortunate, but it's their choice, and apparently it's not changing.

Posted by: TheFingerman | August 12, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The Riggleman Titanics are more UNWATCHABLE right now (except when SS pitches his usual 5-6 innings and gets hooked) than at any time since the move from Canada.

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | August 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This is extremely misleading. You can't compare MASN2 numbers to MASN. Half the people in DC don't even know how to find their MASN.

Maybe Dan should put more effort into his actual sport stories, and less time trying to win his merit badge from the National Organization for Women.

Posted by: Natstural | August 12, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"think it shows a few things: One, Maryland viewers should skew more toward the O's. DC and Virginia should be more in line with the Nats."

________________________________________

You use the word "should". I live in Maryland, but am a Washingtonian. I root for DC. I shouldn't do anything. Yes I was born in DC at Gtown.

Posted by: JDB1 | August 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION DAN STEINBERG and the rest of “NATS NATION”: Another prime example of how all of you “Nats” fans are a bunch of phonies. The Nats cannot hold a candle to the O’s, and that goes for the team, the future, the fanbase, the stadium, etc. All of you are just a bunch of bandwagoners who know nothing about baseball or you beloved Nats.

Let’s get one thing straight, I was born and raised in the DC, never in or near Baltimore. BUT, I am an O’s fan for life. Why you ask? One word: LOYALTY. When I was growing up, there was no baseball team in DC. Thus, I rooted for the Skins, Bullets, Caps, and ORIOLES. Just because a baseball all of a sudden “pops up” in DC, am I supposed to cut my allegiances to the O’s? NEVER!

The O’s now have the man for the job, and let me tell you Steinberg, you aint seen nothing yet as far as ratings go. If the O’s field a competitive team next year, then the ratings will BLOW the Nats out of the water. And as much as I love the Wiz and Caps, the O’s will blow them out of the water too when they start winning.

Screw the Nats, seeing your boy Stras get rocked the other night was great. And good luck with Jim Riggleman taking you to the promised land LOL!!

Posted by: cj658 | August 12, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

probably just some anomaly that resulted from a bunch of spacey housewives putting on MASN in the background to keep them company while they made dinner

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | August 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Os have been looking great. Have watched all their games since Buck was hired. Shows what a good manager will do. Riggleman is awful. The Os will leave the Nats in their dust next season. Rizzo really squandered a great opportunity.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 12, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So funny watching all these Natinal fans make excuses as to why the O's are still the number 1 flavor in the MD-DC-VA area.

Face it National fans. More people in the area support the O's over the Natinals. It'll always be the case.

No matter how much Natinal fans whine and complain and say the Natinals are the best, there is a reason why DC is on it's THIRD baseball team. There are at least 2-3 generations of people in the MD-DC-VA area who grew up rooting exclusively for the O's and won't switch allegiances just because the Expos moved to town.

Natinals can't even sell out their own, new stadium. They need to put videogames in the ballpark in a sad attempt to get kids in the gates.

But you all keep making excuses Natinal fans. It, at least, makes for funny reading.

The O's (and their fans in the MD-DC-VA area who are watching over the pathetic Nats) are showing their feathery-fists-of-fury.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 12, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Dan's blog posting here is just further evidence that shows, much like the ratings last year, that there are definitely more Oriole fans in the MD-DC-VA area than National fans.

And that ain't changing folks.

Also, CJ658 summed things up perfectly. Kudos good sir.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 12, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"ATTENTION DAN STEINBERG and the rest of “NATS NATION”: Another prime example of how all of you “Nats” fans are a bunch of phonies. The Nats cannot hold a candle to the O’s, and that goes for the team, the future, the fanbase, the stadium, etc. All of you are just a bunch of bandwagoners who know nothing about baseball or you beloved Nats.

Let’s get one thing straight, I was born and raised in the DC, never in or near Baltimore. BUT, I am an O’s fan for life. Why you ask? One word: LOYALTY. When I was growing up, there was no baseball team in DC. Thus, I rooted for the Skins, Bullets, Caps, and ORIOLES. Just because a baseball all of a sudden “pops up” in DC, am I supposed to cut my allegiances to the O’s? NEVER!

The O’s now have the man for the job, and let me tell you Steinberg, you aint seen nothing yet as far as ratings go. If the O’s field a competitive team next year, then the ratings will BLOW the Nats out of the water. And as much as I love the Wiz and Caps, the O’s will blow them out of the water too when they start winning.

Screw the Nats, seeing your boy Stras get rocked the other night was great. And good luck with Jim Riggleman taking you to the promised land LOL!!"


Actually if you were loyal you would have realized or understood why your hometown didn't have a team and and stayed loyal to your city. I know first hand because I did. What a loser you are

Posted by: JDB1 | August 12, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"So funny watching all these Natinal fans make excuses as to why the O's are still the number 1 flavor in the MD-DC-VA area.

Face it National fans. More people in the area support the O's over the Natinals. It'll always be the case."
_________________________________________


One more thing. I guess you're reading comprhension is off. The Nats average more viewers then the O's in DC. This is for the last week you dope


Posted by: JDB1 | August 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@CJ658 -

I've been reading this blog, Capitals Insider, and Redskins Insider for their entire existence and never felt like signing up or commenting, but I had to create an account to give a hardy:

HEAR HEAR!

I've been in the Bay Area for the last 10 miserable O's seasons but they're still my team (along with the Skins and the Caps, who have of course been slightly less miserable). I'm happy that DC has a team of their own but as you say, just the fact that they exist now doesn't make them "mine."

So glad to see the O's having some fun out there now.

Posted by: MD_to_SF | August 12, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

O's rule

Expos, I mean Natials, I mean Nats drool.

Suck on that a one time.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 12, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny, reading these comments have made me realize that the Baltimore inferiority complex isn't limited to the Baltimore natives. Apparently any sort of connection to Baltimore causes one to try to puff his/her chest at the slightest opportunity. lol.

Posted by: thedude1974 | August 12, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Actually if you were loyal you would have realized or understood why your hometown didn't have a team and and stayed loyal to your city. I know first hand because I did. What a loser you are

JDB1: What point are you trying to make? You make no sense. My point on the other hand is cut and dry:

I grew up in DC,
There was NO baseball team in DC while I was growing up,
The O's were the closest team,
a quick drive up 95,
Thus,
I became an O's fan at young age.

I choose to remain loyal to the teams I grew up rooting for. Is that a real tough concept for you to understand?? I tried to make that as simple as possible for you to understand.

The only conclusion I can draw from your post is that I should have sat around and twittled my thumbs for my entire youth, and not have rooted for any baseball team, simply because my hometown did not have one. I hope that worked out well for you. I'm just sorry that after waiting all these years, your city has presented you with the Expos. Have fun, loser.

Posted by: cj658 | August 12, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what to make of this. Ordinarily, something like this can be attributed to the Orioles' opponent (e.g., all those obnoxious Ivy Leaguers in D.C. who still follow the Red Sox). That wasn't the case here, since Baltimore was facing the Angels and White Sox, which don't have strong Washington constituencies (apologies to a certain Chisox fan on Pennsylvania Avenue).

I think D.C. ratings for the Nats won't improve for good until the team contends for a division title. Save for the hanging-on-gamely wild card chase in 2005, Washington hasn't seen September pennant race baseball since 1945. That's six-and-a-half decades of dead baseball culture.

Also, many potential Nats fans have little fondness for the TV announcers. Bob Carpenter is okay, but a bit too midwestern and bland for some tastes, and Rob Dibble occasionally makes good points but his style can rub people the wrong way.

Posted by: VPaterno | August 12, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"It's just bizarre that it's still happening in 2010, unless you accept that the Orioles are still a Washington sports topic. (Gulp.)"

You'd have to be delusional not to realize that there are a lot of people in Washington who are Orioles fans. I know some of them myself, and even go to Nats-O's games home and home with them every year. But that doesn't make the Orioles a Washington sports topic. Unless you want to declare that the Cowboys, Steelers, Yankees or Red Sox are a Washington sports topic just because those teams have lots of fans here. (Put either the Yankees or Red Sox on basic cable here and I guarantee you that their ratings will trounce those of the Nats and O's combined.)

Perhaps we should declare the New York Times as a Washington paper of record because they offer home delivery and have lots of readers here. What say you to that, Cheese Boy?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 12, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

What traitors or just idiots some of the people who think O's were ever DC's team. Should Raven's fans all be called bandwagon because most of them should have followed the skins? Its the same logic.

I grew up watching the braves in the 80s when they were awful, because they were on TV the most. The orioles were on pay tv (HTS), so saying you watch the team that was on most, is actually a lie.

Posted by: Natstural | August 12, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

My hats off to anyone in the DC area who still puts the O's ahead of the Nats. I can't do it. I've lived, worked, and played in DC my whole life, and even though I pulled for the O's as a kid, I'm not a bandwagoner for rooting for the Nats now.

I admit I don't understand how folks can root for all DC's teams except the Nats. But so what, people obviously do. More power to them.

BTW, my "should" comment wasn't meant to say that anyone from anywhere "should" root for any particular team. It just seems logical that more Marylanders will be O's fans, because, well, the team plays in Maryland.

If either of these teams gets any good in the next two/three years, it'll be interesting to see how the battle lines fall out. The team who gets better first will have the most fans. That's just how it goes. We are Band Wagon Nation.

Posted by: rodeorob | August 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I root for the Nats and Orioles. As a native Northern Virginian, I root for the Nats when they play the Orioles during inter-league play. The Washington market didn't have a team for almost 35 years. The Orioles were the closest team and most of their games were broadcast on local TV stations here in D.C. Hence, I became an Orioles fan. But when the Nats came to town from Montreal, I purchased partial season tickets and became a devotee of the local team, just like everyone else who lives in the D.C. area should be. However, I'm one of those D.C. market fans who's been watching more Orioles games this past week because of their better hitting and pitching under Showalter and because the Nats are in a tailspin. I dislike Angelos for ruining the franchise the past 13 years and for trying to prevent Washington from getting its own franchise. But I still like both teams -- just don't like either team's ownership.

Posted by: HonestBroker1 | August 12, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I love how people bring the Ravens into this, and end up making the opposite point of the one they want to make.


--Ravens fans-- bitter losers that used to root for the Colts, but didn't fully support their team as it got crappier, and lost it. They got a new team eventually, and began annoying the next generation by trying to pretend like their home team didn't exist. Later, in their fifth season, the Ravens manage to go out and win the worst Superbowl ever.

--Nats fans-- bitter losers that used to root for the Sens, but didn't fully support their team as it got crappier, and lost it. TWICE. They get ANOTHER new team eventually, and promptly begin annoying the next generation by trying to pretend that their home team doesn't exist. The Nationals, in their 5th season, worked their way up to being a last-place team with over 100 failures on the year.

You're even lamer than Ravens fans. CONGRATULATIONS, EXCELLENT POINT

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | August 12, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? There are people on this board trying to talk trash about the last place, 40-74 Orioles? ROFLMAO

In the immortal words of John McEnroe:
You CANNOT be serious!

Posted by: sonny2 | August 12, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"--Nats fans-- bitter losers that used to root for the Sens, but didn't fully support their team as it got crappier, and lost it. TWICE."
___________________

You're ignorant. The reason Calvin Griffith moved the original AL Senators was because he would not receive parking or concessions revenue from the new ballpark (D.C. Stadium, later RFK), which at the time was a key source of revenue for him. Had the Senators stayed, with the nucleus of young talent they were accumulating (Killebrew, Allison, Kaat, Pascual, Versalles, Battey), they would have regularly contended, perhaps won a pennant or two during the 1960s (as they eventually did as the Minnesota Twins). They, not the Redskins (who then were at their nadir, largely for their refusal to sign black players), would have become the market's dominant team. (Since 2010 is the 50th anniversary of the last year of the first AL Senators, Dan should consider a Bog entry on the topic.)

People don't come out when the team is lousy, except when they're Cubs fans (and some folks would deem them stupid to begin with).

Posted by: VPaterno | August 12, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

If the Natinals played in the AL East right now they'd have a record around, oh let's say:

25-80

Other than Zimmerman, Dunn, and Strasburg the Natinals got nada. Minors are terrible too.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 12, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Team lost enough games >> Fans lost interest >> Owner lost enough money >> Fans lost team

You're delusional.

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | August 12, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, the Nats are outdrawing the Orioles at home by 2500 fans per game. Sure, that is pumped up by Strasburg, but he is a Nat after all. The O's numbers are ALWAYS pumped up the invading Red Sox and Yankee fans that take over Camden Yards whenever those teams play there.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 12, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Poopy, both teams have losing records against all three divisions and interleague. Only split where either team looks decent is the Nats having a positive home record.

Posted by: 202character | August 12, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@cj658.... Amen brother!

I live in Richmond now but I've been an O's fan since I was 9 years old ('79) and I wasn't about to abandon my team just because the Nationals are a few miles closer. Like you said, LOYALTY is the name of the game.

The Washington Post may have abandoned their coverage of the team, but that's their loss. I just spend more time perusing the Baltimore Sun's sports page.

Posted by: chombie13 | August 12, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Can't I be a fan of both?

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | August 12, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

cj658, it's just a simple case of you not being raised properly, but that is glaringly obvious to begin with...

Hey Dan, how would MASN2 HD being blacked out in Alexandria on Tuesday night (Strasburg pitching) effect the ratings?

Posted by: CapsNut | August 12, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Something magic happens, everytime you go
You make the magic happen, the magic of Orioles’ Baseball!

When the game is close, and the O’s are hot
There’s a thundering roar from 34 to give it all they’ve got

And you never know who’s gonna hear the call
Every game there’s a different star
That’s the magic of Orioles’ Baseball!

Orioles Magic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Magic! Feel it happen!

O - R - I - O - L - E - S !

Magic! Magic! Magic! Magic!

Something magic happens, everytime you go
You make the magic happen, the magic of Orioles’ Baseball!

When Weaver moves and we score the runs
Nothing could be more exciting
Nothing could be more fun!

There’s a love affair between you and the team
You’re the reason we win when we win
And you know what the magic means!

Orioles Magic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Magic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Magic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Magic! Feel it happen!

O - R - I - O - L - E - S !

Posted by: 1dixon | August 12, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, the Nats are outdrawing the Orioles at home by 2500 fans per game. Sure, that is pumped up by Strasburg, but he is a Nat after all. The O's numbers are ALWAYS pumped up the invading Red Sox and Yankee fans that take over Camden Yards whenever those teams play there.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 12, 2010 6:04 PM
------------

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

What a sad excuse. What poguesmahone doesn't mention is that the Natinals attendance is definitely propped up by the swarms of invading Mets and Philly fans.

We all know just how many Mets, and especially Philly fans love invading Natinal Park to watch their teams beat up on the Expos.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 12, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Who do the Orioles have equivalent to:

Strasburg (once-in-a-decade phenom pitcher)
Zimmerman (legit elite all-around player in the league)
Dunn (legit elite power hitter)
Harper (one-in-a-decade phenom hitting prospect)

Scott, Wieters, Jones, Markakis are not on that level.

Look at this Nats minor league report:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2010/08/nationals_minor_league_report_7.html#comments

Are the Orioles comparable?

I would like the Orioles to be good. It's exciting to have any team from the area do well even though I was born and raised in D.C., never lived in Maryland. But realistically the Nats have more reason for optimism.

Posted by: 202character | August 12, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"I would like the Orioles to be good. It's exciting to have any team from the area do well even though I was born and raised in D.C., never lived in Maryland. But realistically the Nats have more reason for optimism."
_____________________

Especially since they don't have to play 36 games against the two AL East evil empires, or 18 more against a Tampa Bay franchise that suddenly is well run. The Phillies and Braves are tough competition and well managed, but they don't have the near-limitless pockets of the Yanks or Bosox.

Posted by: VPaterno | August 12, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

202character. Those are some nice names.

However, the only one on that list who I'd really really give you is Zimmerman.

Dunn's a free-agent after this year and while there have been some extension talks nothing's a certainty.

Strasburg, while having started off nice, should probably put together a few solid seasons before he's anointed in Cooperstown.

Harper is still a few years or so away from playing in the big leagues and no one ever knows how "prospects" will develop. Just look at the O's and Wieters. He was the switch-hitting Jesus in the minors and has had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the pros. So yes, Harper has huge upside, he still hasn't shown anything in the majors yet. Shoot, he isn't even signed yet.

Oh, and if you ask most anyone in baseball, Markakis is one of the best overall right-fielders in the game. He just doesn't get the publicity because he's played on some terrible teams.

Oh, and Luke Scott has put up pretty respectable numbers compared to Dunn, and has done so in about 30 less games. And he's much cheaper and under team control for a few more years.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 12, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg's not an established ace, but he compares very favorably to other pitchers with his age and experience level.
Wieters was a good prospect, but not on the level of Harper.
Markakis is a very good player, but is a step or two down from the top tier. Had a phenomenal 2008, but Zimerman's been at a noticeably higher level the past two years.
Scott is good, but he is 10 homers behind Dunn (still not on his pace after factoring in missed games), and doesn't have a track record of consistently hitting 40 like Dunn does.

Good players, not taking that away from them.

Posted by: 202character | August 12, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

D.C. is Birdland! We keep down the Nat population.

Posted by: MajorFacemask | August 12, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny, reading these comments have made me realize that the Baltimore inferiority complex isn't limited to the Baltimore natives. Apparently any sort of connection to Baltimore causes one to try to puff his/her chest at the slightest opportunity. lol.


Man, I was trying to think of a response to all the Baltimoron comments on here, and this is it! Baltimore: just another rest stop on the way from New York to D.C.

Posted by: talby1027 | August 12, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

This isn't rocket science and can be seen in the local NFL scene as well. The Orioles and the Redskins have decades of tradition and multi-generational loyalty. It is unlikely the Ravens and the Nationals will ever have the fan base the Redskins and Orioles do or it will at least take quite a long time before they do (I'm not talking passion just sheer numbers). Despite the Ravens success and the Orioles failures this past decade, I guarantee you that there are more people in the Mid-Atlantic region that consider themselves Oriole fans than consider themselves Raven fans.

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Posted by: Echozhong1988hotmailcom | August 13, 2010 4:13 AM | Report abuse

I love how a couple commenters bring out DC's old "Baltimore has an inferiority complex argument." You guys think every city envies you. But we laugh at all the pretentious people who stand in line for an hour to buy a $3 cupcake in Georgetown. Or how everyone loves to sip wine in snooty bars. Baltimore, and every other city in the country, really couldnt care less about DC, let alone have an inferiority complex. Please get over yourself and go lobby for more of our taxes to support your broken down city.

Posted by: mikepcfl | August 13, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

As a 70s baby who was born in DC but has lived in the Montgomery County suburbs for 39 years, I have been a life long fan, die hard fan of all DC team. The one exception has always been the Orioles, as we didn't have a baseball team in DC.

So, I grew up a loyal Os fan in the 70s - lived through the Pirates World Series heart breaker, fell in love with Rick Dempsey during rain delays and the 83' World Series, and generally grew loyal to this team which had/has a great history, multiple hall of famers, and - in the old days - an awesome ball park experience (what person over 35 doesn't remember Wild Bill Hagy, the "Eddieeee" chants, the Ripkens, or the fun/fights in the the cheap gold bleachers at Memorial Stadium when the Yankees or the BoSox came to town and were outnumbered 47,000 to 1,000).

It is not just about loving the Orioles - I also love their rivalries. I know a ton about the Yankees and Red Sox history - our hated rivals - just like I know a ton about the Cowboys and the Giants in football. While I "hate'em", I know and respect Munson, Reggie, Rice, Nettles, Goose, Dewey, Fisk, Bucky, etc.

Conversely, I simply do not have hatred for or deep knowledge of the Phillies, Mets, Braves, or Marlins (or any other NL team) coursing through my veins. Sure, I know who their great players are, but I don't remember burning any of their players in effigy in the gold bleachers at Memorial Stadium. There was no interleague play or ESPN in my day growing up - we only learned about the NL teams through the newspaper and baseball cards.

Making matters worse, I do not LIKE the National League in general. I have spent my entire life defending the DH to my annoying NL friends. The AL vs NL debate is almost like religion...you cant just flip from being a guy that is pro-DH to a guy that all of a sudden thinks pitchers hitting is a good thing. I still hate it.

With all this said, I bought a full season ticket plan when the Nats came back to DC - after all, my loyalties are first to my home town. I tried all season to get into the Nats. I left every game at RFK thinking the same thing - (1) I wish the Skins still played here, (2) I can't connect to the rivalry as I feel and know nothing about our Nat rivals, and (3) I will be a big Nats fan, but there is too much Orioles/AL East history coursing through my blood to make a full switch.

If the Nats want to see a ratings increase, they need to create their own "Magic". Peter Angelos has opened the door wide for the Nats to capture the next generation of baseball fans in this area for life (as Snyder is finding out, loyalty is a currency that does have an expiration date).

The Nats need not look any further than the Os old blue print to figure out how to get "Red" blood coursing through the next generation’s veins - put a winning product on the field that creates real hometown heroes and true rivalries in the division and the league. The Nats can start by signing A.Dunn to a long term contract.

Posted by: ALFan | August 13, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

This just proves that the Post can't just stop covering the O's and assume that all the fans just disappeared. It was once one of the great franchises and there are a lot of people 30 and over who will never switch and still pull for the O's

The Post should cover both teams,like what would happen in any other 2 team market. It's almost irrational the way the Post is behaving with Orioles coverage. There is a need for it and they are missing out.

Posted by: lavar609 | August 13, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Other than Zimmerman, Dunn, and Strasburg the Natinals got nada. Minors are terrible too."

FALSE

Posted by: JDB1 | August 13, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Birdland is not dead in Washington. At game 1 of the "Beltway Series" in Washington, Orioles fans made up a fairly large portion of the fans. Rest assured, most of them (myself included) were Washintonians. The "Lets go Nats" cheer was frequently drowned out by "Lets go O's."

When the series moved to Baltimore, there weren't as many Nationals fans as there were Orioles fans in Washington.

My sentiments are reflected in prior postings. I wont abandon my team just because there is now own in my town, I don't like the NL...

Lets go O's

Posted by: Oriole87 | August 13, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Poopy's points above. One more thing to consider - the Orioles have a far superior and far more easily accessible stadium, built in part by my MD tax dollars.

to be fair, most Ravens fans I know (and I live in Howard County which is the 410 vs. the 301) NEVER rooted for the skins. This character flaw endured even though the Skins won three SBs - two AFTER the Colts bolted in the middle of the night. As a lifelong Redskins fan, who's father was a Colts fan, please do not rewrite history. The Colts out drew the Redskins with 65k+ fans on average to teams that were going 2-14. RFK only held 55k. The Irsay's wanted a better stadium and the city/state to pay for it. Indy built it for them and they bolted in the middle of the night. The team was very well-supported by the fans. I was a 6 yo kid when the Senators bolted and really did not cry - the Orioles were winning consistently at the time and were who we paid attention to. The Redskins on the other hand changed the game entirely when JKC BUILT his OWN stadium, on his own dime and the forced the NFL to adopt rules favoring teams (in terms of revenue sharing) that build their own stadiums instead of holding municipalities hostage. There really aren't a ton of johnny-come-lately Ravens fans out here - most had waited 10+ years to get a team of their own and had suffered several heartbreaks during expansion when they were used by the NFL to extract more concessions from the cities that were awarded franchises.

So I'm from the MD suburbs, and grew up loving the Os - Murray, Ripken, Powell, Robinson, Robinson, etc. Even though our owner is as bad as $nyder but without the deep pockets and our division has payrolls that no Baltimore team could ever hope to approach, I conciously made the decision to root for them over the Nats - no disrespect for the DC team. Both teams are crappy and arguing over which is crappier is fruitless.

Plenty of my friends grew up in MD and have always been Dallas Cowboys fans - mostly I think to irritate the skins fans surrounding them. That is a far weirder (although this is the USA and let em do what they want to do if their not hurting anyone) than maintaining allegiance to the team you loved.

Ahhh, the 1982-1984. Skins win and lose a SB. The O's pount the Phillies in the World Series. Gtown wins the NC. MD wins the ACC in FB and BB. The Bullets were still a competitive team only a few years removed from their title albeit losing to the team of the ages in the playoffs - Dr. J, Moses, Bobby J., Toney & Cheeks. O's and Skins do a McD's commercial together.

Now from what I understand, one does not have to be a Yankees fan to root for the Giants or a Mets fan to root for the Jets (or vice versa). Don't tell me who to root for, who to vote for or what music to listen to.

and I never root with blinders on - we are allowed to criticize our teams and make negative comments about them.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | August 13, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Grew up in DC. Follow the Nats more than the O's now.

Camden Yards will always be a fun place to watch a game even if Angelos is owner.

That said, fond memories of getting to RFK for Nats games and even more fond at the new park.

Go Nats!

Posted by: CF11555 | August 13, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

mikepcfl
love how a couple commenters bring out DC's old "Baltimore has an inferiority complex argument." You guys think every city envies you. But we laugh at all the pretentious people who stand in line for an hour to buy a $3 cupcake in Georgetown. Or how everyone loves to sip wine in snooty bars. Baltimore, and every other city in the country, really couldnt care less about DC, let alone have an inferiority complex. Please get over yourself and go lobby for more of our taxes to support your broken down city.
___________

I agree and I'm from MoCo but have lived in Bmore for about 8 years. As much as I love my DMV, let’s be real, the area has turned into the land of Out-of-Towner-Pre-Madonna’s. Bmore aint the best, I got a love hate relationship with her but I always know what I’m getting.

Back to sports it’s all about the O’s and Skins. There are so many Skins fans up here it’s not even funny. Back in the DMV, it’s Birdland – that’s just how it is.

Posted by: doesntmatter | August 13, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"I think it shows a few things"

Ehh, it's not that complicated.

There's just more Orioles fans around here then Nats fans. The Nats are still a young franchise, when they start winning then that will change. I am a Strasburg fan, I like watching him pitch(but still like the O's).

As far as the O's getting any attention, they are winning so the ratings go up.

Simple.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 13, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

It funny how a managerial change and increased intensity by the entire team has made the O's no longer painful to watch. Thanks Buck - its fun again.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | August 13, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, come back in about 40 years. Any O's fan talking trash here can stick it. How many times have YOU gone to Camden this year? Their attendance is abysmal.

As for the Nats current state, sure they're still 'new' and suck more than they should at this point but you can lay some serious blame at the Lerner's feet and their inability to even try to keep the team relevant in the off-season. They simply give up. So, every year is a new beginning for them . . groundhog day. Maybe they'll start treating the team and its market as a full time job sometime soon.

Posted by: tslats | August 13, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing...Up until the 1980s, Baltimore was a much bigger city with a lot more to offer than DC. In the 1960s and 70s, my family lived in DC and often went to Baltimore to do our shopping - Glen Burnie in particular. DC was a sleepy town, with no night life, but a ton of great residential neighborhoods - even before gentrification. Back then, living in DC meant by definition, owning a car to trek out to the suburbs; it still does for most (ZipCar users notwithstanding). It was the big town and DC was the backwater - and I am a DC guy through and through. Transients come and go in DC, but more came and stayed, especially with alt-lifestyles and metro tendencies.

Claiming to be from DC and dissing Baltimore probably means you are real young or not from DC to begin with. Was born in Holy Cross, raised in NW and moved to MoCo in my teens.

calling it a rest stop - what does that make Philly then? Boston? for that matter, its always the ones who compare DC to NY who are the snootiest. Have you ever lived in NYC (I did for 3 years, Philly for 2)? Why is it that so many folks feel this false sense of superiority in DC?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | August 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

stan kasten has to be the worst sports marketer since bob short. he is more concerned about montreal than in developing a fan base in dc. his ego is bigger than adam dunn's home runs. no frank howard in this new "ring of honor" thing? stand kasten does not understand fans, and under his wing, the o's will continue to do better. i guarantee it.

Posted by: erniek | August 13, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Just as an outsiders perspective from Richmond (who is still in the MASN market), growing up you either cheered for the Braves (and their triple A affiliate) or the O's. I chose the team that came on HSN as opposed to the team that came on TBS. I've been a birds fan through highs and 13 years of lows now. Even though O's have been laughably terrible, the owner is one of the worst in sports, and I should be incorporating the other regional team into my fandom as my NL team, it's hard to care for something else as much as a team I've cheered for all my life.

I would imagine it's a similar experience for the locals.

Posted by: jbanks979 | August 13, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually tslats, I'd say it's a safe bet I've been to more O's games this year than you have Natinal games.

And I live in California.


Suck on that a one time

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 13, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Loyalty is very important!

However..and I did not see THIS mentioned BELOW...
The O`s are American League!! I have never been a National League fan...and have a hard time watching that league on TV. It is a different style of BB. I tried following the
Nats a bit, especially because of Strasburg.
I grew up and live in NoVa, and have been an O`s fan for many years. Mis-management took this once storied franchise, and ran it into the ground...something like Snyder did with the Skins. What other team once had 4...20 game winners in a single season? Both owners Dan, and Peter, have now hired great coaches and GM`s..and stepped aside.
KEEP IN MIND CHANGING LEAGUES IS AS HARD IF NOT HARDER THAN JUST SWITCHING CITIES TO ROOT FOR A DIFFERENT TEAM!!

Posted by: blazerguy234 | August 14, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I meant mentioned above sorry.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | August 14, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I meant mentioned above sorry.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | August 14, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I meant mentioned above sorry.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | August 14, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been an Orioles fan since the 1960's. The Nationals are HORRIBLE! Manny Riggleman is the worst manager in baseball. The Lerner's are are the worst owners in baseball.

O-R-I-O-L-E-S!

FOR LIFE!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | August 14, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I can't speak too much about the nats players, because as a baltimore native I don't follow them. But, I have been to two nats games in my life, and in the first one Dunn made two pathetic errors, and in the second one me made another. You can hit all the homeruns you want, but if you can't catch the ball you can't be considered any kind of star player.

I will acknowledge that Zimmerman is a very solid player, but the idea that the nats are a better team than the orioles with one good position player (maybe two if you count willingham) is laughable.

So far as Weiters not being as big of a prospect as Harper, Weiters was ON THE COVER OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!! He was also the number one prospect in baseball for two years. I don't think any prospect can get more hype than that, so you can't count you chickens before they are hatched about any prospect.

Yes the orioles' record isn't as good as the nats this year, but back to the o's playing in the al east. yes they have a losing record against every division, but we are 11-35 against the al east and 30-40 against the rest of the league. 30-40 is right around the nats winning percentage. and of course, there is the orioles 4-2 head to head advantage against the nats this year.

And so far as the future, I don't think people in baltimore will ever become nats fans even if they start winning. follow them maybe, but i don't see anyone from baltimore walking around with a nats hat on like you see people from dc weaing orioles gear.

Posted by: tonydstyle | August 14, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It really is unfortunate that they stopped Orioles coverage at the Post. I'm a DC fan for everything else, especially the Redskins but I grew up with the Orioles as did many. It's ridiculous for people to all of a sudden act like they're a foreign team especially when the Baltimore and DC metro areas are increasingly overlapping. They were DC's team for decades. I have nothing against the Nats but give us all a break. Anyone who thinks the Orioles suddenly became irrelevant south of Howard County after 2005 hasn't been paying attention.

Posted by: nitrojunkie_20723 | August 14, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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