Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Posted by Mike Salerno
There was a storyline at play in the Yankees' season-opening loss in Baltimore Monday afternoon that was greatly overshadowed by the immediate failures of big-ticket free agents CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. Orioles fans came out in full force for the 2009 season opener, but for the wrong reasons.
Though there were a fair amount of pinstriped supporters that made up the 48,607 on hand, it was impossible to ignore the droves of O's fans booing, hissing and yelling obscenities at Teixeira, which started in warm-ups.
According to the Lower Hudson Journal News, a fan from Teixeira's Maryland hometown held a sign behind the visitors' dugout that read "Severna Park hates you Tex," during an on-field interview with YES Network's Kim Jones.
I mean, realistically speaking, I doubt his family that still lives there hates him. I actually am positive that they're enjoying his new contract quite a bit.
These fans showed up to the first game of the year rooting more against the away team than for their hometown heroes, the true mark of a fan that has hit rock bottom.
How do I know this? Well, it's a pretty good indicator when the boos Teixeira received were twice as loud as the cheers star outfielder Nick Markakis got when he was introduced.
These people don't care about this Orioles' team. Granted, there's not a whole lot to root for, especially in the A.L. East. But to come out and put on a display like that—jeering Teixeira like it's a pivotal game between two bitter rivals on Opening Day—only made a mockery of themselves.
It seems as though Teixeira's "betrayal" of the team that grew up playing in his own backyard for the hated Yankees has rejuvenated a fan base that has been left-for-dead since the team last played a meaningful game, way back in 1997.
See, I didn't even have to bring up that Jeffrey kid to get your blood boiling, eh Baltimore?
The thing that is most hysterical about the whole situation, though, is that these poor little Orioles fans actually think their team had a shot at the gold glove first baseman. Oh boy, that is rich.
Teixeira's free agency, coupled with his union with agent Scott Boras meant he was about to take the next step into baseball's elite by signing a contract with a team from a large market. Teams in bigger markets don't just have bigger payrolls. They have a relentless demand, and the highest of expectations. Failure is not an option in places like the Bronx, Queens and Boston, but it's become second nature at Camden Yards.
That's why Teixeira was never going to end up in Baltimore, or Washington for that matter. He's done his fair share of losing in his career.
And as if starting in miserable Texas wasn't bad enough, he was given a small taste of what a pennant race feels like after being dealt first to Atlanta and then to Los Angeles. He wants to win, now.
Yeah sure, he was raised in Maryland. Big deal. He grew up a Yankees fan. Do you think he wore 23 in college and the beginning of his pro career as an homage to Tippy Martinez? What could've possibly sold Teixeira on Baltimore? A solid NFL franchise to watch? The crab cakes? Don't forget the astronomical crime rate!
"Oriole fans are a symbol of what's wrong with America," said ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd on his show yesterday. "Jealously, anger and resentment toward the successful people."
"Oriole fans, you think you won last night," he said. "But you came across as small, petty, clueless and phony. Because you would've taken that contract, too."
The plain truth is that Orioles fans are downright jealous of the Yankees for landing Teixeira. After this week's series, the Yankees will leave the city for a few months and there will be no more crying over spilled millions. Sadly, so will the majority of these so-called "fans."
at 2:26 AM