An open letter to Adam Jones (and anyone else who doesn’t like Orioles attendance)


It was only a matter of time before Adam Jones started popping off on Twitter regarding his feelings about the lack of people standing behind him in centerfield at Camden Yards. It wasn’t as juicy as last year’s advice to “knock the s**t outta the Yankees fans” but he made his feelings well known yesterday about the worst crowd of the season to see the season’s most significant game to date.

It’s very apparent that Adam Jones cares more about whether the good people of Baltimore come to Orioles games than his bosses and owner do but still not enough to vest himself in our community enough to recruit people to come and pay to see the team play.


It must be a bummer for any Orioles player to endure the emptiness of the home ballpark while finally playing meaningful games and quality baseball.

In 2012, the price to pay for 15 years of losing and the worst owner in the history of professional sports is what Adam Jones now sees with a fantastic view from centerfield every night: an empty stadium in downtown Baltimore and plenty of green seats to backdrop every fly ball.

It’s been very clear that the prescient message I sent with “Free The Birds” in 2006 – “if you’re not careful, Mr. Angelos, we might leave and never come back” – has now become a prophecy. The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are everything you’d want in a local sports team to follow – interesting, fun, lively and relevant – and a grand total of 48K came to Camden Yards over four days to watch the best baseball this city has seen in 15 years.

The empty seats are a glaring reminder of what’s gone wrong with the franchise and the city’s passion for the Baltimore Orioles since Peter Angelos bought — and then wrecked — the franchise.

Once Adam Jones stops talking out of the side of his mouth and at the end of this run of success in 2012 – and I’m not betting it won’t end in a parade just yet because I’ve seen stranger things happen — it’ll then be time to invest himself in our community the way he likes to on his Twitter account.

He got the $85.5 million deal back in May and it’ll be his turn to become a Baltimore resident or not. If he’s really interested in people coming to the ballpark then I hope he’ll spend the offseason with the fans here and be Mr. Oriole all winter.

Where will he be in November…and December…or January?

Will he be shaking hands, kissing babies and attempting to become a guy who eventually gets one of those shiny statues out on the patio that no one is visiting these days?

Will Adam Jones be in the community trying to win back the fans of Baltimore?

I’m not talking sitting at a table in a card shop or swag store charging $50 for an autograph. I’m talking about being a true ambassador for the community.

This isn’t about the marketing department. This isn’t about buying more billboards or state-run MASN ads. This isn’t about popping off on Twitter or mandating “sitdowns” with people like me who are still pissed about the entire tenor and arrogance of the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos over two decades.

If the players on the field are embarrassed by an empty stadium, it’s my belief is that THEY – directly – are the only ones who can do something about it. We have to care about them and want to invest our money


  1. I hear attendance is up 20% this year? Couple of comments about your history the Colts.Fans did show up to the games after Bert Jones reinvigorated the team in 74.75,76.and 77. It was only after the owner refused to pay the key players what they were worth, then traded them all away in 78 and 79 that the fans stayed home on Sundays. As for Adam Jones comment on Twitter. Hey Adam just hit more home runs and play the game don’t fret over empty seats.Its going to take a long time to get the older fans back in the seats and right now we have not won anything yet. It’s just Buck Ball until the fat lady sings.

  2. 10 cents a day to watch EVERY Oriole game in Hi-Def??? Hardly seems like stealing $3 a month to me. But hyperbole is hyperbole. In fact, the argument that MASN “sucking” 3/month out of our pockets is one of the reasons WHY people DON”T attend the games is counter intuitive and illogical. WATCHING the games on TV is closer to why people don’t attend.

    With Season Ticket sales so low that is the reason we have not seen the spike in attendance. It is always the following season after a successful campaign that we see the big increases. If we don’t see a huge gain NEXT YEAR than I would agree that the O’s will struggle to get to 2 million on a yearly basis.

    As a critique of the Orioles I would tend to think that the marketing staff is “out of ideas”, disillusioned and out of touch. This we can put a the feet of management. And to go even further I also they have bought into the idea that the fans are to blame for not showing up to support this very LIKEABLE team. That is a horrible stance.

  3. A lot of people blame good TV coverage for lack of attendance, but it’s not fully true. The NFL really took off as a league and became our national pastime because of how accessible it is, and how easy it is to watch on TV. This created fans and now they show up.

    It could be argued that hockey has the opposite problem. It’s dreadful to watch on TV but so enjoyable in person, so that’s why attendance is near 100% for almost all the teams, including the Capitals getting tons of fans from Baltimore on school nights, with a longer drive, and more tolls to get to the stadium than we have to get to the Orioles.

    Which of those two categories does baseball fit under?

  4. Well written article Nestor. I give you credit for sticking up for the fans when a multi-million dollar athlete calls them out for not showing up. The part about showing face in the community and not counting taking $50 for an autograph session was hilarious, yet sadly true. I don’t feel one ounce of sorrow for someone getting paid that much money to play a game that in all honestly could care less about Baltimore.

  5. I think that Adam Jones should personally sponsor dollar dog days every sunday In the stadium. Its one of the main reasons why fans are not at the games. The food is to expensive.

  6. Who cares about all the other stuff!!!! The Orioles are in the playoff hunt. And this team has busted their tail. Let’s get out there and support them.

    LET”S GO O’S!!!!!!!!

  7. Dear Nestor:
    It remonds me of the 1970’s when I was promoting national act concerts and Sly and The Family Stone were one of the biggest acts in the country. However Sly was unreliable and his sold-out concerts often turned ugly with audiences waiting 2 – 3 hours for Sly to finally get there and perform. Finally he got “straight” but by then the audience had enough! The big line with concert promoters was “SLY IS ON TIME AND THE AUDIENCE IS LATE!”

  8. I couldn’t have written it better. Where are all the media types/fans who ripped WNST for years for saying winning alone won’t bring fans back? I went Wed for the first time since 2005. I’ve probably watched 90% of the games during these 14 years of misery but going to the park just is not a fun time anymore. Charging the same price for beer as the Ravens even though you have 73 more home games? Game day surcharges,parking prices, its just not worth it. But the guy above hit it on the head: selling 10 k season tickets is killing this season. No bandwagon fan wakes up and says “Hey let’s buy tickets for that Mon night game a month from now” They buy seats for a weekend game. The only people out there on Mon-Thu are the season ticket holders. Hopefully a season of winning bumps that to 15 K in 2013.

  9. Don’t get upset Adam , this is it. 16,000 fans have their own team in Wash. 16,000 are home or at a Bar watching on HD TV ( in great numbers I might add) , which leaves 16,000 , about 2 mil a year at the ballyard. That’s twice as many as the great teams of the past ’69-’70 -’71 would draw . And 2 million fans a season is not to shabby . Dont believe all that bull about Angelos or prices , or game day premium , or losing . It’s just the reality of Balt. baseball. We are not New York , Boston, Chicago , or Philly . We is Baltimore . A football town.

  10. An open comment for Adam Jones:

    Hey Adam, if you like to donate some of your millions of dollars for me to drive 7 hours to an Orioles game, weekend accommodations at the Hilton, pay nearly 3.80 @ 15 gallons for gas (pennies for you, I know!) and then return me home, I will be more than happy to attend more games. But you know I’m just a blue-collar worker who barely clears $1,000 every two weeks after taxes.

    When you get to the divisional playoffs and World Series more than Earl Weaver did, you can then run your mouth off. When we fans hire you to be our PR agent, then you can run your mouth about us not filling your owner’s seats. Otherwise, SHUT-UP AND PLAY BALL.

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