Baltimore Orioles: Outrage in Team Nears Fever Pitch Before FanFest

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 29: Manny Machado
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 29: Manny Machado /

The Baltimore Orioles are hosting their annual FanFest on Saturday, and things are pretty rocky for the team right now.

The Baltimore Orioles are hosting their annual FanFest on Saturday, and let’s be honest, things could not be any worse for the team right now.

Earlier this week, I wrote how the Orioles should make a move in advance on FanFest, to help give fans who have suffered through an arduous offseason something to be excited about. That didn’t happen. But, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been news.

First is that Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich are both off the market. Either of them coming to Baltimore was always a long shot, but for a team that looks destined to move on from Adam Jones after 2018, it would have represented a key piece in the outfield.

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Both will spend the next several years for the Milwaukee Brewers. If you expected that before the offseason started, go collect your winnings.

Now, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop are not attending Orioles’ FanFest. Chris Davis already isn’t attending after the birth of his twin daughters this week. Zach Britton isn’t attending due to his injury.

For Schoop and Machado, the organization is citing personal reasons. I’m guessing a lot of Oriole fans might cite personal reasons for their absence on Saturday.

Sure, someone in their family could have the flu, or Schoop may still be in Curacao teaching baseball clinics. Machado may have something else going on. But, this isn’t a good look all around.

Fans are being refunded for the autograph stations that the two stars were supposed to sign at. That’s money that is not going to be going to the Orioles’ charities.

Fans are being robbed the chance to meet the team’s stars, and for kids, being robbed of the chance to meet the players they idolize. That’s on the players for not seeing the importance of the event.

The organization is at fault here too. No matter what the reasoning for the absence, the Baltimore Orioles have shown absolutely no loyalty to these two players. Manny Machado is one of the top ten players in baseball. And yes, he will get paid that way at the end of the season.

But, the Orioles never tried to sign him a few years ago. They aren’t going to try to sign him now. They don’t appear willing to trade him. They also may not accept his push to play shortstop.

As for Schoop, he currently doesn’t have a contract. He might be headed to arbitration. And, Roch Kubatko wrote Friday morning that both sides are growing frustrated. Pay the man what he wants. Pay him the $9 million. He is worth it.

When you think of the Baltimore Orioles, you might think of Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Schoop, Zach Britton, or Brad Brach.

Guess what? Only one of them will still be under a contract with the Orioles next year at this time. And, he is one of the guys skipping FanFest.

Jones, meanwhile, is posting cryptic comments on social media regarding the organization. It seems pretty clear that he isn’t happy with the way things are going. It also seems pretty clear that he won’t be back. It is all very sad, and, eventually, it will hit the team’s bottom line.

If the fans can’t identify with the players, if there are no superstars, if the team is terrible, fans won’t go to Camden Yards, even if it is one of the best ballparks in America. If the players can’t show up to an event for the fans, how will the fans root for these players?

And if the organization can’t show commitment to the best players on the team, and great community guys as well, then the entire structure crumbles.

The Baltimore Orioles’ franchise right now looks like a joke. Not on Miami Marlins level, but at least they are getting prospects and fans knew a rebuild was coming. In Baltimore, what started as hope for the offseason has turned bleaker and darker with each passing week.

Next: Is Dan Duquette Still Bitter at the Orioles?

Things are not good right now. Not good at all.