Out of Left Field: 5 Reasons to Hate the Orioles

Sometimes, in order to live up to the hype of a regional rivalry, you have to create reasons to hate your adversaries. In the case of the normally milquetoast Orioles of Baltimore, you don't have to go very far. So, before we start the Independence Day weekend series against Baltimore, let us reflect on some reasons to hate the Orioles.

Reason #1: They're un-American. How self-centered do you have to be exactly, to think that the National Anthem is specifically about you? If you've never been to an Orioles game in Baltimore, the tradition goes this way: When the rendition of the Star Spangled Banner gets to the beginning of the line that goes "Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave..." every Orioles fan in attendance shouts at once "O". As in O's, short for Orioles. The entire stadium does it. Cool tradition? I think not. Self-aggrandizing act of unpatriotic behavior? Now, you're feeling me. Phillies fans may be rude, and we may have booed Mike Schmidt and Santa Claus, but no one would ever accuse us of being anything but patriots.

Reason #2: They have a foo-foo name for their baseball stadium. You know those people who have dogs with really long names? You know, like, Sir William of Puddingshire, or some other such nonsense? They dress these dogs up and give them these fancy names, and you just know that the dog wants to be known as "Buddy" or "Shemp" or something like that. That's what the O's have done with their stadium: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Please. That sounds like some place a little old lady goes to feed the birds and squirrels, not a place to win the World Series. Which may explain why they haven't won anything in over twenty years.

Reason #3: Nineteen Eighty-Three. The beloved Fightin's put all their eggs in one final basket. The Wheeze Kids; the Cardiac Kids (literally). They sold out the future of the franchise for a bunch of aging veterans and one more shot at a World Series trophy. Those upstart Orioles snatched it away from us. The Phils opened the 1983 World Series by winning on the road in Baltimore, then proceeded to lose the next four games, including three straight at home. My buddy took me to an Orioles game in Baltimore last summer. The giveaway at the gate was a T-shirt commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Orioles victory over the Phils in the World Series. My buddy thought it was funny. I kept the shirt, but I can't tell you all the things I have done to it.

Reason #4: Ray Miller has returned. Ray Miller, the architect of those great Orioles pitching staffs of the 70s and 80s was rehired by Baltimore last week to help their young pitching staff. It was Miller's staff that held the Phillies to a .195 batting average and just nine runs in the entire 1983 Series. Ray Miller made household names of career 150-game winners Scott McGregor and Mike Flanagan, the latter of which is now the Orioles GM and made the move to rehire his old pitching coach who had been out of baseball since 1999.

Reason #5: They let us disrespect them in their own house. Last years interleague games between the Phils and the O's were played in Baltimore. So many Phillies fans made the trek down I-95 that the stands held more red shirts than orange shirts (who makes their colors Orange and Black anyway?) By the end of the Series (which the Phillies swept 3-0) Camden Yards looked like it was smack in the middle of Center City. O's fans left in droves, allowing us to have our way with their team and their park. What self-respecting city lets that happen? Baltimore has now become Philadelphia's... well, you know.

Let the games begin!

DN Curry comes to you Out of Left Field every Thursday at PhillyBaseballNews.com. You can email him at dncurry@comcast.net.

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