Despite major hassles getting parked, we got to Camden Yards today in plenty of time to get one of the free hats. So I have my first piece of Orioles gear. It's a nice cap, pretty sturdy. It's nowhere near as good as the hat the Nats gave out for Opening Day but much better than the blue one they gave out later.
So, if I want to switch allegiances I'm ready. Now comes the hard part, making that decision. Some talking points:
*Camden Yards is a better place to hang out. Sorry. I have no issues with Nationals Park. I enjoy watching games there. But Camden Yards is a gem. There's more to do there and a hell of a lot more to do in the area. Point Orioles.
*Nationals Park is 50 miles closer to my house. Point Nationals.
*The Orioles aren't going to win any pennants any time soon, especially playing in that division. One year, they may be better than the Nats and watch the Nats in the postseason. Not when I'm alive, of course. Years from now. But I think the O's have put together a better team. I like a lot of their players. Point Orioles.
*Despite that, Ryan Zimmerman doesn't play for the O's. Jordan Zimmermann doesn't play for the O's. Jesus Flores doesn't play for the O's (he doesn't play for the Nats right now either but you get my point). Stephen Strasburg was not drafted by the Os. I could go on. Multiple points Nationals.
*Parking at Nats game, 20 bucks. Parking at Orioles game, eight bucks. Point Orioles.
*Parking guy at Nats games knows my name and calls me, "Big guy." Says "Good to see you again Big Guy." Makes me feel like my car is secure. Parking people at Camden Yards are rude pricks. In fact, a lot of the help at Camden Yards fits that description. Not all, mind you. The ushers we encountered in the seating areas were great. But overall, the Nats are way ahead in the friendly help department. Point Nationals.
*While we're on stadium issues, how come all the food is so much cheaper in Baltimore? Pizza is eight bones at Nats Park and it is small and tastes like cardboard. I got two big and tasty pieces in Baltimore for 6.75. Beer is also 6.75 - but I don't drink ballpark beer. Point Orioles.
*The Nats are 4-17 with me in the house. The Os are 3-1 but I don't suppose if I became a fan I could count on them playing the Nats every night. So this one is a wash. I kill teams. I'd probably make the Dodgers lose.
*In one of those ask the players video things, the Nats do Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Seriously? Half the players roll their eyes. The Orioles do Dave Chappelle vs. Charlie Murphy and it is HIlarious. Most of the between-innings stuff is better there. The Old Bay crab with the ball beats the snot out of the Hats. Their KissCam is better, too (I was puckered up but they never came near me). HOWEVER, the Presidents Race simply owns that cartoon hot dog thing. And "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" as seventh-inning stretch song? That pretty much negates every advantage the Orioles have anywhere else. That song ought to be outlawed.
*We've already been over the didn't get a shirt thing (or did we)? I didn't get a shirt yesterday despite being in the park almost two hours before first pitch. So I figure to get a shirt on T-Shirt Tuesday there, I'd have to arrive Sunday night or Monday morning. With the Nats, you at least stand a decent chance of getting all the promised items and not having to deal with rude help (one young guy with glasses was exceptionally nice, though still unable to help). Point Nationals.
*Matt Wieters is becoming a legend (though I can't quite figure out why). I saw some very funny t-shirts this weekend. Sliced Bread is the greatest invention since Matt Wieters. That kind of thing. He also dropped a ball at home and threw one into the outfield. Plus, he's NOT Flo, though he is playing now and Flo isn't. Point Nationals.
*Because I'm nothing but a fair weather fool, let's look at recent standings. Since June 27: Nationals 1-0, Orioles 0-1.
So I guess I'll stick with what I know. Let's go Nats.