Cheer the Oriole Way
The stage was set. This was the single most important game at Camden Yards in 15 years. The crowd was electric. When the Orioles jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, it felt as if we were on top of the world.
But then, things in the stadium began to change. No, it didn’t get any louder. No, the Orioles weren’t giving up the lead (yet). But the fans sure were changing.
Chants of “Yankees Suck” began to ring throughout the stadium, replacing those of “Let’s Go Orioles.” Suddenly, Orioles fans were failing to support their Orioles.
When the scoreboard flashed “Let’s Go O’s,” fans were reluctant to join in. It just never caught on. But, when someone started a “Yankees Suck” chant, the crowd joined in without any hesitation. I could hear Wild Bill Hagy weeping from his grave.
How could you possibly think that you are doing the right thing by not supporting your team?
We, as Oriole fans must remember to be pro-Orioles, instead of anti-everything else. Do I dislike the Yankees? Of course. Could the Orioles have gone to the World Series if it weren’t for Derek Jeter and Jeffrey Maier? Possibly. Was this series about getting revenge on the Yankees for our 14 years of trouble? Absolutely, positively not. This series was about helping our team get back to post-season play.
Chanting “Yankees Suck” did not motivate our Orioles to play any better. They would have been motivated instead if they had heard “Let’s Go Orioles.”
Did Orioles fans chanting against them motivate the Yankees? You bet it did.
My evidence? In the top of the 8th inning, trailing 6-1, the Yankees scored five runs, all with two outs, to tie up the game. I’m not saying that it was directly the fault of the Orioles fans that the Yankees mounted their comeback. That would be ridiculous. Much of that blame, however, could be put on Pedro Strop.
When Strop entered the game with two outs in the 8th, the score had already been cut to 6-2. Strop then proceeded to facilitate the rest of the Yankee comeback by giving up two walks (one with the bases loaded), a passed ball, and two singles (one of which tied the game). Without a doubt, Strop could have single-handedly blown the game for the Orioles.
But as Strop was being taken out of the game by manager Buck Showalter, he encountered an extreme display of bad sportsmanship was shown by a usually welcoming Orioles crowd.