You are now free to give up.
Sure, it will be nice to own Camden Yards on those days when the likes of Kansas City come to town. But if you thought it was bad when the Red Sox fans infiltrated your backyard like a pack of insufferable, hardball Deadheads, you haven’t seen anything yet.
With Southwest Airlines’ announcement that it will offer service in Boston by this fall, it’s going to mean a whole new level of obnoxious dates on the Orioles home calendar. The thousands of Red Sox fans who make the treks to Baltimore – via Providence R.I. or Manchester, N.H. - now have one more major, inexpensive option to get them to Charm City. Good for Inner Harbor business. Bad for die-hard Orioles fans. If there are indeed any more Orioles fans to begin with.
At this point, the Orioles organization may just start selling Boston programs and souvenirs at the gate if they aim to cater to the crowd. There aren’t going to be any Orioles fans there for sure.
…and (God help us)…
Southwest might as well incorporate this fact into its forthcoming ad blitz. Imagine a single Baltimore fan sitting in the stands, surrounded by boisterous Boston backers, shouting and taunting the lonely man in orange. “Wanna get away?” It writes itself, though I will accept any residuals.
Chief executive Gary Kelly told the Globe’s Nicole Wong that the airline is planning "a conservative launch" with “eight to 12 daily departures from Logan.” Southwest probably does not plan to unveil its new routes until the spring, but I think it’s safe to assume that Baltimore will be a frequent guest on the itinerary. Otherwise, we'd have to question why come here in the first place.
Not that the drive to Providence or Manchester was all that inconvenient to begin with, but now Boston residents sitting on the couch Friday night will be able to spontaneously decide they want to be at the game on Saturday. Hit the T, save on parking. Twenty-four hours later, you’re sitting in Fenway South, all for a little more than what you paid for seats at that old park down the road.
The good news in all this for Orioles fans? They’re going to make a killing on re-selling their tickets.
There's a lot of culture there too, you know.