Baltimore Orioles: Does the east coast media fail the fans?

Most of the Baltimore Orioles’ media tries to call things down the middle – I’m no exception. And unbiased reporting is really a trademark of the east coast in a sense. Now that’s not to say that there isn’t a slant in a sense, because there is. Speaking for myself, I do call things down the middle – but from the Orioles’ perspective.

As an example, I’ll always use the term ORIOLES when referring to the team. However when I refer to the opposing team, I usually use the city name. Now there are exceptions – sometimes using the city name too much at once sounds odd, so in that instance I might throw in the team name here and there. But in old school baseball that’s kind of how it was down. And it’s the same concept of having the team name plastered on the front of the white home jerseys, and the city name on the gray away jerseys.

But for the most part, most of us try to call things down the center. That isn’t necessarily the case in other places. Former ChiSox announcer Hawk Harrelson was well-noted for referring to the Chicago players as us, we, our team, etc. Big no-no in my book. I’ve heard the Palmers, Dempseys, and Bordicks of the world do that on occasion also – but they actually played for the Orioles. There’s a difference.

Over the weekend I was listening to the New Orleans radio call of that team’s NFC Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. I noticed that concept of referring to the team in the first person, and it was blatant. It wasn’t just once or twice – it was across the board. And I’ve noticed similar things on local radio or television calls in other cities.

So…as writers, announcers, etc, do we fail the fans in this region by sticking to what I would consider to be good journalistic ethics? There’s a certain joie de vivre that seems to come with following a team in certain areas of the country. Certainly one can point to the Chicago Cubs, the aforementioned Saints, and others. Here on the east coast there’s almost a misery that comes with it, as we take it so seriously we even critique how the people who cover the team operate.

One thing I say a lot and that we hear a lot here on the east coast is that sports is a business. And that’s part of this same narrative. Is it a wonder that attendance and ratings are down in many places for many teams? The loss the Saints suffered on Sunday was devastating. However odds are the fans went right back to partying on Bourbon Street. The Ravens were eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago in similar fashion…and people are still grousing about it.

I’m not sure what the answer is. However I know that a writer or announcer playing like he’s on the team isn’t it – perhaps contrary to what I said above.

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