Tag Archives: Camden Yards

It Could Be Worse: Out of Town Fans Invade Camden Yards Part III

On the occasion of back-to-back homestands with the Yankees and Red Sox last month, we imagined what it would be like if the unbalanced schedule were set up differently. With a few rule changes and a little business savvy, it’s possible that any team in the majors could bombard us with bandwagon fans in the future.

The first part of this series focused on the Tigers, Diamondbacks, and Giants. the second post was devoted entirely to the Phillies and their terrible, terrible fans. Tonight the Yankees are back in town, and here at the Chophouse we’re counting our blessings. It could be so much worse…

When the Blue Jays fans arrive en masse, it'll be death by snu-snu for all of us. (Click for larger.)

The Toronto Blue Jays. It’s true, we’ve already got an unbalanced schedule against the division-rival Blue Jays, but as it it now they don’t bring very many fans with them. Sure, it’s annoying as hell having to stand through O Canada right here in the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner, but that’s a mere two minute trifle. The Jays aren’t currently good enough to attract any fans to Rogers Center, let alone Baltimore.

A few Ontarians did come through Baltimore recently, and they weren’t afraid to admit that they were having a damned hard time holding their liquor. This was funny to us, as the reason was that Canadian bartenders pour on the metric system. Unfortunately, it also seems to be a trend among Jays fans. The last thing we need in this city is a bunch of hapless lush Canadians blundering up and down the streets drunk on that godawful Canadian Club, looking in vain for the nearest Tim Horton’s and muttering ‘sorry aboooot that’ in their stupor.

They’d make great targets of opportunity for us Baltimoreans, who are always on the lookout for nonplussed crime victims, except that they don’t carry real money, just coins with loons on them. The Chop was already stuck with too much English money, and the last thing we need is a night in Central Booking with nothing more than a few more pictures of the Queen to show for it.

Ultimately though, it wouldn’t be the threat of robbery or assault that would quell any Torontonian invasion, but pure, old fashioned butt-hurt. If you should find yourself down at Cross Street Market or Pratt Street Ale House listening to someone from TO boast in that familiar New York way about High Finance, Multiculturalism, Free Healthcare, or the Maple Leafs, all you’ve really got to do to shut them up is look them dead in the eye and say “What’s that? I wasn’t listening because I’m an American and I could care less about your dumb city.”

A wave of Hogtowners wouldn’t be all bad though. After all, we wouldn’t mind seeing a parade of several thousand sluts marching up Eutaw Street in Stilettos and red lipstick slutting it up and defending their right to be slutty. If the internet is anything to go by, Toronto is full of beautiful women whose priorities include sex toys and bikini waxing. The old rule still stands, right? Any slutting you do while you’re out of the country doesn’t really count, eh? We don’t mind if they’re rooting for the BJ’s, as long as they’re giving them out after the game as well.

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All kidding aside, Slutwalk Toronto is a great event and a cause that we’re fully on board with. Please take a second to check out their website, http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/

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It Could Be Worse: Out of Town Fans Invade Camden Yards Part II

The last time the Red Sox were in town, we pointed out in a post that while having our city and our stadium flooded with Massholes and Jersey Mooks is certainly unpleasant, it could indeed be very much worse. This week, although their fans are safely back at home, the O’s are in Boston for a two game set, and that means it’s time for another edition of It Could Be Worse!

If, hypothetically, there were to be a shakeup in the league, we could be seeing the O’s play an unbalanced schedule against any team in the MLB, and between Southwest’s cheap flights, chartered trips for groups, and bandwagon fans, we could be facing invasions of a much different character.

You can feel free to tase a Philly fan. They're all too drunk to really feel it anyway.

The Philadelphia Phillies. Thank the little Baby Jesus that it’s DC who has to deal with these douchebags and not us. Phillies fans were recently named the worst in all of sports by GQ, and with good reason. In Baltimore, we don’t tailgate baseball. We have our drinks in a nearby bar, like gentlemen should. If we played the Phillies we’d be overrun by an epidemic of public drunkenness. There’d not be a single lot or garage downtown that didn’t reek of piss and skunked Yuengling, strewn with empty cases and crushed green glass. You see, you’ve got to drink a lot if you’re going to intentionally use vomit as a weapon against an 11 year old girl.

As you can see from the picture in that link, Philly fans are wont to soak up all that booze with some of the worst food on the planet. To them, the four food groups are chopped steak, fried onions, greasy rolls, and Cheese Whiz. The cheesesteaks are just the appetizers though. Over the course of a 9 inning game, these slobs will pile in Italian cold cuts, soft pretzels, a ton of Tastykakes, macaroni, stromboli, and whatever else they can get their greasy hands on. Whole sections of Camden Yards would need to close for repairs after each series, as the seats just aren’t designed to hold that much weight.

Perhaps the worst part of playing the Phillies though would be having to put up with the ESPN broadcasts. Philly is right up there with Boston and New York in being ESPN darlings, and they’ve hosted two Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts in the last three weeks, as well as Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball this week. Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine are all annoying blowhards who are more interested in hearing themselves chatter than actually calling plays in the game. Last Sunday’s broadcast was unwatchable, with cutaway shots after every pitch, heaps of praise on superstar players whether they perform or not, and footage of the fucking mascot while there’s a hitter in the box. They even missed showing a home run on the first pitch of an inning, because they were too busy talking about John Kruk stuffing his fat face with a cheesesteak or something equally dumb and unimportant. If they ever try to bring that shit to Baltimore, we say let’s turn them away at the city line.

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Orioles vs. Twins @ Camden Yards Tonight

Tonight is the first Tuesday bargain night of the season, so we’re going to be watching tonight’s game as God intended- in the stands with the die hards. Now that the ball club sucks again, we happily predict that the fairweather types and the school aged kids will be staying home.

A trip to the Yard is always a good time, but honestly, we’ve had more fun watching this last road trip from the upper deck. That is to say… the upper deck of our house. The Chophouse features two decks off the back of it, with an exterior door and a window in the rear bedroom. We couldn’t say what’s taken us so long, but we’ve recently discovered that we can easily move our little office flatscreen to the desk and face it out the window, enabling us to sit on the deck and watch the game in the warm weather with our feet up on the windowsill. Land of Pleasant Living indeed!

And while we’re out there, we’ve been indulging in our favorite summertime old-man drinking snack: pickled eggs.

Pickled eggs... the Chop's favorite baseball snack.

Time was, pickled eggs were as popular a drinking snack as wings and fries are today. No tavern was complete without an egg jar, and pickled eggs were thought to complement beer as well as pretzels or peanuts. Times have changed, and beer has changed (much for the better), but when the weather gets hot and we’re looking toward a light, simple lager or pilsner, we’re also looking toward the egg jar.

When most people think of pickled eggs, they immediately imagine purple ones with a ton of beets thrown in. In fact, there are dozens upon dozens of different recipes to use for pickling eggs. Here’s the one that we favor at home:

The Chop’s Pickled Egg Recipe

  • 12 boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbls minced garlic
  • 1 tbls salt
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp dried onion or onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Combine everything except the eggs and stir well. Heat brine if desired. Place the eggs in a jar with a tight sealing lid and pour the brine over them. Wait 4-5 days.

    You may be scratching your head or turning up your nose now, but bookmark this post anyway. A week from now when you’ve got a few dozen leftover Easter eggs cluttering up your fridge, it just might come in handy.

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    Vuvuzela Giveaway Night @ Camden Yards: Make it Happen, Baltimore!

    Tonight the Chop and all of Baltimore welcome back the Orioles to our fair city after a long and disgraceful road trip. Well, it wasn’t that long, but it was plenty disgraceful. The Birds played horribly and continued to look like a collection of amateurs who not only are not a team in any proper sense of the word, but who look as though they’ve never actually met each other before.

    Leadership is entirely non-existent. Most of the pitching staff is being abused to ruination, with guys like Brad Bergesen basically living out of their suitcases between here and Norfolk and no one seems to actually have or know how to play a position on the field, let alone a place in the batting order. One has the feeling that if they could possibly just stop showing up at the ballpark, they would.

    The vuvuzela: now available in Oriole orange!

    But they can’t. When they show up at the park tonight, the Florida Marlins will be there to greet them. In case you missed it, the Marlins were involved in one of the GREATEST MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAMES OF ALL TIME on Saturday when they GAVE AWAY 15,000 VUVUZELAS to the Fish Faithful.

    According to reports throughout the baseball world it was one of the most wonderfully absurd, annoyingly horrible, and drunkenly awesome baseball promotions ever undertaken, ranking right up there with Disco Demolition Night or Ten Cent Beer Night. The Marlins, who are last in the majors in attendance numbers drew 7,000 fans over their season average on Saturday on the strength of the Vuvuzela horn, and those fans made a glorious noise.

    “I really believe the horns should be banned from Major League Baseball. They’re annoying. There’s cool things and there’s very non-cool things. That’s a non-cool thing.”

    That’s what Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon had to say about the vuvuzelas, but you know what? Fuck him. Seriously… fuck that guy! He doesn’t seem to have a problem when all 4000 of the Rays fans who bother to show up at the Trop keep ringing fucking cowbells constantly at every game for the last 10 goddamn years. They even bring those things to Camden Yards sometimes and you can hear them in field boxes all the way from the centerfield bleachers. So Joe Maddon can shove a vuvuzela up his ass as far as we’re concerned.

    The Orioles should start giving away vuvuzelas immediately! At every game! It works! It boosts attendance! The Fans love it! It annoys players! And you know what? Those guys deserve some annoyance right about now. We would love to be able to personally contribute to giving Luke Scott, Julio Lugo and Juan Samuel splitting headaches.

    If the Orioles are going to play as badly as the 1962 Mets, we feel that their fans should be just as rowdy as those early Mets fans, who would often bring air horns, giant banners and bullhorns to games, get as absolutely shitfaced drunk as it is possible to get, and yell their heads off well into the late innings, even when the Mets were on the down side of a laugher, which was often.

    As it is though, we’ve got to settle for Ollie’s Tuesday bargain nights- which is tonight. See you at the Yard.

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    The Orioles play the Florida Marlins tonight at Camden Yards. 7:05 first pitch. Jeremy Guthrie and Anibal Sanchez are probable Starters. Good seats still available.

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    The Best Bars to Visit After an Orioles Game at Camden Yards

    No trip to Oriole Park is complete without a pre-game beer for happy hour, and between the Inner Harbor, Pickles and Sliders’, Pratt Street Ale House and the Chop’s favorite, California Tortilla there’s no shortage of options near the park.

    Unfortunately, this is not the case for post game cocktails. It’s a problem of urban planning that there are no decent late-night bars in the immediate vicinity for baseball fans to patronize. We really liked going to Lucy’s on Eutaw last season, but with their demise, most people we know beat a retreat back to their own neighborhood (or suburb, as the case may be) for their post game drinks.

    Drinking close to home is always a good idea, but what about those times when you’re meeting friends, entertaining clients, visiting from out-of-town or otherwise want to extend your evening downtown?

    It’s for times like these that we’re proud to present our meticulously researched and true-life tested list of:

    The Best Bars to Visit After an Orioles Game

    # 5… Mt. Royal Tavern

    Mt. Royal Tavern. 1204 W. Mount Royal Ave.

    This is about as far as you can get from a sports bar. If you’re coming here to drink with other people in orange jerseys, you’re definitely in the wrong place. If you’re looking for super cheap drinks and easy access to the light rail and JFX, then you’ve arrived. This is also one of the best bars in Baltimore for getting completely, utterly shitfaced. Not for the faint of heart.

    # 4… Dougherty’s Pub

    Dougherty's Pub. 223 W. Chase Street.

    Also near light rail but a bit more hospitable is Dougherty’s. Never too busy, they’ve got plenty of tables, decent bar food, and a good selection of reasonably priced pitchers. They’re also easy walking distance to the rest of Mount Vernon. It definitely beats the cloistered, cacophonous atmosphere of certain upper Mount Vernon watering holes, even if the beer is not hand-made.

    # 3… Max’s

    Max's. 737 S. Broadway

    Also referred to as Max’s Taphouse or Max’s on Broadway, The bar on the square in Fell’s Point is beloved by locals and visitors alike. With 1000+ bottled beers and over 100 taps, there’s a lot to like here. Easily accessible after the game by cab, water taxi, or circulator, you can camp here for the night or use it as a home base for exploring the rest of the neighborhood.

    # 2… Mick O’Shea’s

    Mick O'Shea's. 328 N. Charles Street.

    This is likely your best option if you’re staying in a downtown hotel. Mick’s bartender Tricia Murphy recently won the title of Baltimore’s Best Bartender in a very extensive poll by a local paper. O’Shea’s is a little bit of local nestled right next to the touristy harbor, and the place to go if you want to see live Irish music on the weekend or maybe have a post-game drink with some of the opposing players during the week. Beats your hotel bar by a mile.

    # 1… Little Havana

    Little Havana. 1325 Key Highway.

    Our number one choice for a post-game drink is a little out of the way if you don’t live in South Baltimore, but it’s worth the effort to get there. It’s far enough away from the typical South Baltimore bar circuit that it’s mostly free of riff-raff, and as an added bonus you can get free parking nearby at the high school, and walk from there to the park and then to the bar. A mojito or mint julep on their waterfront balcony is the perfect summer nightcap after an evening at the Yard.

    Every true Oriole needs a post-game drink.

    What are some of your favorite spots to drink after the game? Which ones do you avoid? Honorable mentions here go out to James Joyce, B & O Brasserie, and almost any place in Little Italy.

    The Chop is heading back out there for Tuesday bargain night again tonight, and you can bet your baseballs we’ll end up at one of these spots after the game. See you there.

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    The Orioles play the Kansas City Royals at Camden Yards tonight. 7:05 on MASN 2.

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    Chop Style: Rick Dempsey is the Worst-Dressed Man in Baltimore

    Let’s get one thing straight… the Chop loves Rick Dempsey. Not like we love our Dad or Roommate, but more like we love our favorite uncle. You know that favorite uncle… he’s quick with a joke, kind as a saint, a little self-effacing, never wears out his welcome, and has some great stories to tell. These are the reasons we love the Dipper, but much like that favorite uncle, Uncle Rick has no fashion sense whatsoever.

    It’s been a long standing ‘elephant in the room’ in this town that Rick Dempsey is one of the worst dressed men in Baltimore. Okay, maybe not the worst in the entire city but certainly the worst dressed on television. We watch a lot of O’s games here in our Stately North Baltimore Pleasure Dome, and we can hardly stand the post-game shows anymore… not because of the O’s horrendous record, but because Uncle Rick’s suits are a terrible eyesore.

    When we call out the Dipper, we do it from a place of love. We sincerely hope he’ll take himself down to one of those awesome Jos. A Bank sales that seem to happen every other week and get himself outfitted properly.

    Let’s start with the basics. This is a very serviceable suit, but it’s ruined by a tie that even George Bush wouldn’t wear, and a haircut that isn’t a haircut at all. It’s a piss-poor dye job that went to the dogs and a brushy mustache that’s downright unkempt. Hey Dipper, check out the Chop Shop or QG. They’ll do you right.

    A three button thick-pinstripe suit with a broadstripe tie and matching silk pocket square??? You’re either a 1980’s investment banker or Biggie Smalls. Someone should tell uncle Rick that pinstripes are for Yankees.

    We see that Ollie’s Bargain Outlet sign behind your right ear, and we know they sponsor bargain night, which we love, but you shouldn’t buy your shirt-tie-and pocket square sets there for $12.99. In fact, you shouldn’t buy those in sets at all. We wouldn’t bury a pauper in one of those. That earpiece-microphone isn’t helping matters either. Clip it to your tie for Christ’s sake!

    Here’s the same pinstripe suit with an equally ugly tie. Notice the way the pinstripes run in three different directions- a hallmark of sweatshop tailoring. Dempsey and Jim Hunter both dress like a couple of guys who saved up a week’s pay and found the nearest salesman and said ‘Dress me up fancy schmancy!’ It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the suit is also two sizes too large and the sleeves are two inches too long.

    Unfortunately, the Dipper’s not much better off the clock. Here he looks like a professional stamp collector and quasi-pervert. Much as we honor the 1983 World Series Ring, you don’t need to wear it every day of your life every place you go with every outfit you own.

    How do you make yourself look good? Stand next to some shart with a worse haircut, a goofier mustache, and an equally bad wardrobe. Still and all, is that Tommy Bahama? For shame, Uncle Rick… For shame. Leave that in the closet until Buffett plays Pier 6.

    Here’s a rare instance of the Dipper looking good. The ‘stache is trimmed down cleaner than usual and the hair is growing grey gracefully while being artfully disheveled. the coat is quality cut and well worn.

    Unfortunately, he manages to blow it by letting his shirt collar sit on top of his coat collar. Saturday Night Fever much?

    An Orange Turtleneck? And we caught you wearing a black turtleneck on Coffee With recently. A black turtleneck at 7 am in Spring??? Who the hell does that?!?! Maybe turtlenecks will be back in style the next time the O’s win a pennant, but they’re pretty ugly in this decade.

    And this?!?! What the fuck is this?! Uncle Rick sings showtunes in the inner harbor amphitheater before a night out at the Baltimore Eagle and the Hippo? I guess if we’ve all got a favorite uncle, and we’ve all got a gay uncle, there’s bound to be some overlap.

    Seriously though. It’s all in good fun. We’re going out to the game tonight, and when we head out to the bullpen area to nod to Uncle Rick, we hope against hope he’ll have caught on to Tom Ford, and finally be able to out-dress the rest of the broadcasting staff.

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    The O’s play the Yankees at home tonight on MASN. The Chop will be sneaking into section 8, drinking heavily, and yelling “Go back to Jersey, Hon!” every chance we get.

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    Orioles Opening Day @ Camden Yards Today

    Like we said way back in December, Opening Day is the real New Years’. The Baltimore Chop could scarcely be more excited for the season. Not because we expect great things on the field, or because we have great seats, or even because the weather is gorgeous. No. We’re excited merely because when the lights are up and the boys are on the grass, time will stand still. As long as the game goes on watches stop, tomorrow never comes, and everything outside the gates exists in a different world entirely. This year becomes connected to all the years of our lives.

    This is the magic of baseball.

    1954 Opening Day parade courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

    And judging by the availability of tickets, a lot of you are excited too. The ol’ Chop was thrown for a loop, since we’ve been out of town for the last several openers, and we remember hearing that about ten thousand loyal souls showed up last year. We kind of figured most of you are working for a living, and that we had the market cornered on weekday day games (our favorite games of all). So we were shocked, shocked! when all we could get more than a week in advance was 4 in the upper deck, none of them together and all 4x the bargain night price we’re used to.

    So be it. We’re gathering Roommate and two other loyal Choppers here at our stately North Baltimore pleasure dome for a mid-morning brunch. And by brunch we mean los huevos rancheros, French Toast, per-taters, bloody mary’s with the old bay rim, madras’, and yeah… champagne. Cause that’s how we roll.

    The national anthem plays on opening day 1954. Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

    After that we cab it down to the MRT and do Boh’s for lunch, before hopping onto the light rail for a little Camden Street festivities before we cop a spot on Eutaw and begin texting everyone else we know who has tickets with the obligatory “What section are you in, come drink with us!” message til we figure out where to sit for the rest of the game, cause let’s face it… there’s got to be some place.

    This is just the first of many trips to the yard over the coming months. hell, we might even hit up Matt Wieters t-shirt Tuesday this week cause you know… 14 orange t-shirts in the drawer is never enough.

    Cal Jr. rounds 3rd on opening day of his rookie season, 1982 Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

    We’re also signed up for our slot on The Daily Camden over at Welcome to Baltimore, Hon, which is one of the most ambitious and ingenious ideas a Baltimore blog has had in quite some time. Check it out.

    The International League Orioles opening day at Oriole Park (29th and Greenmount), 1937. Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

    Or if you’re the impatient type, and want to see a bunch of great photos right now, you can check out the Baltimore Sun’s archive of past opening day photos, from which we borrowed the pictures for this post.

    Happy New Years’ Baltimore!

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