From Birdland to Natstown: Are Orioles fans jumping ship?
In my constant quest through the sports talk radio channels, I’ve heard an increasing amount of Orioles fans turning it in. Comparing the Baltimore Orioles 15-36 record and last 12 seasons to an abusive marriage, a long lost friend, or just anticipating Ravens training camp to begin. However, it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve started to hear Orioles fans rooting for the Washington Nationals.
It’s difficult to be excited about a team built around young talent when the performance of Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz has been just average or below that this season. Mix in the fact that the farm system hasn’t produced any big bats (Josh Bell is one streaky dude at AAA Norfolk) and you’ve got a fan base that is searching for a winner. While in D.C., the Nationals are sitting right at .500, they’ve gained a lot of respect from Orioles fans and some have even traded their lifelong loyalty to the club in our nation’s capital.
On the flip side, D.C. fans have a lot to be excited about. They’ve built a team around young talent like Ryan Zimmerman, sprinkled in a few guys like Nyjer Morgan, Adam Dunn and Ivan Rodriguez and have drafted particularly well with their last few first round picks. Stephen Strasburg is set to make his debut against the Pirates on June 8th, Drew Storen was just called up to join their bullpen and the thing that strikes me most about this team is their personality. Led by manager Jim Riggleman and general manager Mike Rizzo, this team holds their players accountable and has a strong desire to put together a winner.
It’s exactly what Baltimore fans want for the Orioles, it’s just easier to cheer for because they put together 14-4 wins over Roy Oswalt, take advantage of struggling teams and can hit the long ball. The D.C. prescription is exactly what Baltimore should be ordering, but some fans have decided not to wait and instead traded their loyalty to the Nats.
I can’t say that I am among those fans. I live and die with the Orioles on a day to day basis, but I respect that Nationals method to winning and wish them all the best. Have you traded your loyalty from Birdland to Natstown?