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The Orioles put up a billboard in D.C. Some people have a problem with this

Apr 15, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

orioles logo

When I lived in Washington D.C. there was a team in Montreal and no team in the District, so seeing and hearing about the Orioles around town wasn’t a big deal. Apparently that’s changed a bit in the past decade. To the point where the Orioles putting up a billboard in Washington has ruffled some feathers. JP Finlay of has a report on that and on fan reaction.

The last time we heard of this kind of kerfuffle it was in Los Angeles when the Angels were seen putting up billboards in L.A. proper, and it was seen by many as a symbol for the waning influence of the Dodgers under Frank McCourt and the ascendance of the boys from Anaheim. Personally, I think that reads too much into that or any similar situation.

The reality: billboards are cheap advertising.

  1. emdash01 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    It’s not anything to get outraged over, but probably the main reason it’s even noticed is the lingering resentment around the MASN situation. Without that, odds are good no one would care too much.

  2. stoutfiles - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Just have Harper run into it head first and knock it down.

    • El Bravo - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:52 PM


  3. sophiethegreatdane - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    As a Baltimore resident, living downtown, I can say that a Nats billboard wouldn’t affect me whatsoever. In fact, it would be kinda cool. I’ve seen lots of ads for that DC football team in and around Charm City all my life, and never felt the need to get all in a huff about it. Some people just want to complain, I suppose.

    Put up an ad for the Steelers or the Red Sox? Well, then I imagine you’d hear a load of complaining from my fellow Baltimorons.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      A couple years ago, I was driving north out of Miami and I saw an ad for Rutgers football on I-95.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        I’m not sure what earned this a thumbs-down. Should I have not been visiting Dade County?

    • frankkool57 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      GO STEELERS! 🏈

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      The Angels have plenty of billboards in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers have plenty of billboards in Orange County as well. The Kings and Ducks do the same thing as well. I don’t think anyone really cares. If there were Giants or Sharks billboards up I think people would be more upset, but when it’s that close as LA/Orange County or DC/Maryland, there are so many fans of both teams in close quarters that it’s no big deal.

    • DJ MC - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      I don’t think it would be more than an amusement to most Orioles fans. Especially since, as you say, the region has always been under some form of siege from the Washington football team and far more people hate them than care in any way about the Nats.

      The Steelers is an interesting one, though, because despite the strong rivalry dating back to the Colts a significant number of Baltimoreans turned west instead of south when the Colts left, as their despising of that team far outstretched that of Pittsburgh, and a number of them kept their allegiance when the Ravens moved in. I don’t know if that would get as universal a reaction.

  4. kopy - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Eh, whatever. You can’t stop people from advertising. This billboard used to be on Minnesota soil on the interstate heading into North Dakota.

    They were trying to attract businesses and employees with their sweet, delicious tax rates.

  5. 18thstreet - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    The article closes with “many fans consider that ad too close for comfort,” and yet the reporter didn’t quote one. And the article links to THIS article — — which also didn’t quote any actual human beings.


    A couple weeks ago, I drove from Farragut Square (17th and L) to Camden Yards for a Red Sox game. Left at 4:30. Arrived at the parking lot at 6:30. I only bring this up because traffic is so bad in this region that a sign at that spot is closer — by time — to Camden Yards than it is to Nats Park. A sign at that spot is designed to hit people driving home to places like Laurel and Columbia. Those people probably ought to be Orioles fans. If nothing else, Angelos ought to be fighting for them.

    • inserthandle - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Agree this billboard is targeting Maryland suburbanites, many of whom are already more likely to see a game in Baltimore than in DC. A billboard is not likely to convince many DC or Virginia residents to sit in rush hour traffic for two hours. If Angelos wanted to poach Nats fans he’d need to build a high-speed rail line or add two more lanes to the parkway.

      • tomtravis76 - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        It’s not high-speed but MARC now runs on weekends.

    • madhatternalice - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      “Finlay, any news today?”

      shuffle shuffle

      “Not really boss, no.”

      “Hmm. Can you manufacture a story?”

      “Sure can! And I won’t even need to walk away from my desk!”

      Finlay is now “debating” this on Twitter. So, a non-issue is being talked about heatedly on Twitter. Sounds like a Tuesday afternoon.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      The trip to Memorial Stadium was much worse. The traffic to downtown Baltimore, then the extra drive through town. Then, the challenge of finding parking in a mostly residential neighborhood.

      For 33 years, the Orioles was the area’s only team. Now, their fan base overlaps with the Nats’ fan base. The teams are marketed through the same regional sports network. I’m not seeing a problem with the O’s doing a little marketing in DC. Take advantage of residual loyalty, from the time before the Nats. The combined market is big enough for both teams.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:44 AM

        I moved to the area (Van Dorn metro, originally) in 1997, so I never got to see Memorial Stadium.

        These days, I live in Silver Spring, just north of the Beltway; it’s faster, on weekends, for me to attend Orioles home games than Nationals home games. (On weekdays, the Nats are more convenient.) The drive to Baltimore is probably shorter than the Metro ride, especially if WMATA us fixing the Red Line, which it always seems to be doing. Parking plus two gallons of gas cost about the same as two round-trip tickets on the metro. In short, I commute into the city every day and live WAY closer to National Park than Camden Yards, but there’s every reason in the world that the Orioles ought to be advertising to me and my neighbors.

  6. culturecesspool - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Frequently seeing more and more issues with washington and their agreement with MASN. This is not an issue. They agreed to let Peter Angelos hold the rights. I guess now that there is money to be had they are upset….. Move back to Montreal

    • emdash01 - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      If you want an actual description of what happened with MASN, Jonah Keri had an excellent article about that. MLB agreed to a deal before current ownership bought the team, and they aren’t even enforcing its meager terms.

  7. dowhatifeellike - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Considering that D.C. and northern Virginia were O’s territory for 15 years before the Montreal Expos even existed, Baltimore still has a large fan base down there. It’s not surprising at all that they’d want to keep those eyeballs looking their way.

    • DJ MC - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Two versions of the Washington Senators would disagree…

      • pbastille - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:41 AM

        I think that 15 years he’s talking about is after the second version of two Senators hit the proverbial highway

      • DJ MC - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        I think that may have been what he meant. However, that 15 years also matches up perfectly with the Orioles’ move in 1954, whereas going the other way only puts things at 1984 (or 1987, if you time it from the Senators leaving and not from the existence of the Expos).

        Either way, the post doesn’t make very much sense.

  8. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    If that AL team changes its name to the Washington Orioles of Baltimore, then it will be time to get cranky.

    • rbj1 - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      Nats counter with Baltimore Nationals of Washington

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:54 AM

        Uh oh, then we’ll see the San Francisco Athletics of Oakland and eventually, the New York Yankees of New York. Where will it all end? Next thing you know, (insert dire but unlikely prediction here)! Screams frantically.

  9. lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    The billboard is in Maryland. Baltimore is in Maryland. Even though it is technically only 7 miles from the Nats stadium, I would not be at all surprised if many people in neighborhoods near the sign are not still Oriole fans. The geography is a little fuzzy down there.

    Plus, the article appears to be a naked attempt to stir up controversy where there is none. It states that “many fans” object without quoting a single one, and the article so far has garnered one comment, which doesn’t make a very strong point either way.

  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Some people just need a reason to get their panties in a bunch.

  11. adventuresinfresno - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Same thing happens in NorCal, with Giants billboards in Alameda County, A’s “territory”

  12. tomtravis76 - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    It’s actually great to be able to have a national league team and American league team so close for fans. A Beltway WS would be great…then the black and orange would come creeping back out in the still developing nats fan base. It’s kinda hard to not cheer for the team you grew up rooting for when it matters.

  13. moogro - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    “L.A. proper”

    Uh, no. Don’t get sucked down the slope. You can just say Los Angeles with confidence. Thanks. There’s only one city of Los Angeles, one county of Los Angeles, regardless of the Angels’ marketing gimmick. Baltimore and DC stadiums are just as close together as Angels and Dodgers are, but don’t have to hedge on the language they use to describe themselves.

  14. drewsylvania - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    People will bitch about anything.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      NO WE WON’T!!!1!

  15. happytwinsfan - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    you won’t see any yankees billboards here in minneapolis by god.

    • dcarroll73 - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:45 AM

      The Force is strong in this one. Send in the Death Star.

  16. clipper222 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Since when did residents of DC care about local baseball teams outside of the Orioles? Better yet, when did residents of DC care about any of their hometown sports? The Washington Native-American Peoples, Nats, Wizards, Caps fans are all coming in from MD and VA.

    I don’t think it is a secret that Baltimore is a better “sports town” than DC. After all those years Baltimore went without a football team, and now the Ravens franchise is the only relevant NFL team in the region, and seems to be “converting” many Washington fans.

    The O’s will always have a firm grip on the Mid-Atlantic. From So.PA down to NC is #birdland.

  17. DJ MC - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Baltimore is famous for its inferiority complex when it comes to the other large cities it must compete with along the East Coast. That has been especially true for the, at least historically, smaller and less economically important city to the south.

    So it’s always amusing to see how so many of the fans in that area, having switched allegiances* when the Nats moved in a decade ago, express their own complex towards the team forty miles up the Parkway.

    Which I don’t hold against anyone in that area, because they did get a team of their own. I don’t care if they want to root for the Nats, I just find amusement in the forced animosity towards the Orioles.

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