• Sep

    Is anyone out there? Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?

    It’s hard to fault Orioles fans for a lack of caring right now with the team finishing up its 14th straight losing season. Hell, it’s gotten so bad that I was offering up ten free tickets to last Saturday’s Hangout night and didn’t get a bite. Not one.

    Saying that, a good friend of mine did take two tickets but couldn’t find anyone to go with. For his part he went to the game anyways and had a good time as the Orioles beat the Angels behind Zach Britton, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disastrous season for the Orioles.

    Of course he had to tell me about how bad the concession stand was right outside of section 352. He went in the middle of the third inning and there was seven disgusted people in line ahead of him as the people behind the counter moved at what appeared to him as slower than a snail’s pace.  He left and went down to the next and found it much better, but it’s unfortunate that the one guy who took one of the 12 free tickets I was giving away went away with a bad taste in his mouth because of a poor concession stand.

    Sometimes I’m not sure if the people who work at the stadium understand the importance that they have on the customers. Whether it’s a bad usher, or concession worker or the person handing out the free stuff on giveaway days (boy did we have a bad experience one day this season with an Orioles Advocate who was giving away floppy hats), sometimes I think the Orioles don’t quite get across to them the importance of a positive attitude. I know losing effects everyone, but this is entertainment and when the team is doing so poorly for so long, they might want to emphasize a good positive attiude and quick service with their game day employees.

    Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great ushers and ticket takers and even some great concession stands, but it only takes a bad apple or two to ruin a good time and with the dwindling amount of people who are coming to games, that’s becoming more and more important.

    When alerted to problems the Orioles are quick to look into them and I’ve been assured a few times that they have taken corrective action. In fact, one time a floppy hat was brought down to our seats after a bad experience so the Orioles front office certainly cares, but for the many Orioles fans out there who don’t have the ability to get quick action, there needs to be an easier way to report poor service. Perhaps a number posted around the stadium where people can text complaints would be a good start. This would serve notice not only to the paying customer that the Orioles care about their experience, but it also serves notice to the below average game day employee that their attitude and actions have consequences if they are not up to snuff.

    The Orioles in-game and between inning video work is outstanding and certainly adds to the game day experience, but if the Orioles continue to put out a sub-par product on the field, the organization is going to have to get very creative in order to make the game day experience even better.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.