Inside the park now. Section 384. Cheapest ticket I could find. I guess the cheapest ticket all the FreeBirds could find, too, since there are thousands of them up here. And nearly as many cameramen. And the FreeBirds are loud. "Pete Must Go!" they're now chanting. "Edi-die, Ed-die," they're chanting. A lot of this is slathered with nostalgia. The people behind me are talking about how much better baseball was when there were no silly PA songs and fans actually stood and cheered. Everything, it would seem, was pure when we were kids, including the Orioles.
"Markakis is looking up here!" a fan is shouting. "They're looking up here! They feel it."
And now a Tigers fan wanders by. "I'm just a Detroit guy," he said, apologetically. "I didn't know I'd walk into this."
All this marching has me parched, but we've been instructed not to buy any concessions, so as not to support the owner, who we've already supported by buying tickets. Some people in the black "Free the Birds" shirts are not following instructions, although most are. What happens, I'm wondering, if there's a perfect game going at walk-out time? Philosophical quandary, there. Plus the weather is ideal, and the crowd is extremenly unique in its rowdiness, bellowing at every pitch and frequently booing. Through a half inning there have been probably 27 group chants. Principles aside, I'd think they might want to stay here and enjoy the atmosphere. Although I guess they'll probably go be rowdy somewhere else.
Sample t-shirt: Peter Blows, Sell the O's."
Sample t-shirt: The Good (Ravens logo), the bad (Orioles logo), the ugly (Angelos face).
Sample t-shirt: Will the real Peter Schmuck Please Stand Up (with giant Angelos face).
Sample sign: Asbestos Has Poisoned My Team.
Sample sign: Baltimore Hates Angelos.
There's a big sign over the press box, incidentally: "THANK YOU ORIOLES FANS!"