SBD/March 31, 2014/MLB Season Preview

Orioles Season-Ticket Sales See Slight Uptick With Signings Of Cruz, Jimenez

Cruz' signing helped spark a late February sales bump for the Orioles
Tickets for today's Red Sox-Orioles Opening Day game are "sold out, even though their face value" is at least 5% "higher than last season," according to Childs Walker of the Baltimore SUN. TiqIQ data showed that on the secondary market, the "cheapest seats are selling for more than $100 and the most expensive for more than $1,000, with an average of about $222." Orioles VP/Communications & Marketing Greg Bader said that the signings of RF Nelson Cruz and P Ubaldo Jimenez "prompted a rare late-February bump to season-ticket sales." Walker noted for many fans, the "wounds from 14 straight years of losing lurked just below the surface." Which was "perhaps why the club's spending spree at the beginning of spring training produced such euphoria, both within the organization and among its most ardent supporters." The "big money spent on the two players felt like a promise kept," a sign that Owner Peter Angelos and his front office "shared the fans' passion." The Orioles "hadn't simply taken a cheapskate pass on the offseason," but instead they "lay in the weeds until a late-developing player market yielded a few reasonably priced opportunities" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 3/30). 

IN MEMORY: In Baltimore, Eduardo Encina noted even though the Orioles have made plans to honor late Dir of PR Monica Barlow as "part of a pregame ceremony on Opening Day, players would like to have another way to remember Barlow on the field throughout the season." But that is "not the easiest thing to do," because MLB has "strict uniform regulations that prevent players from making alterations to uniforms on their own." The Orioles will "honor Barlow -- as well as team investor and Baltimore-born novelist Tom Clancy, former Gold Glove outfielder Paul Blair and 10 other members of the Orioles family who passed away since last Opening Day -- during a pregame video tribute" today. But Orioles 1B Chris Davis last week said that Barlow "meant so much to them as players that they have discussed ways to carry her memory onto the field with them during every game." One idea "being considered is making a jersey with Barlow’s name on it to hang in the dugout during games, much like the Red Sox did last year with a 'Boston Strong 617' jersey following the Boston Marathon bombings." MLB Senior VP/PR Pat Courtney said that that idea "could work." The team "wouldn’t need MLB permission to make a jersey" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 3/30). Orioles SS J.J. Hardy said of Barlow, "She was one of us. She was around us for the 162 games. She was around us as much as our teammates" (Baltimore SUN, 3/31). Also in Baltimore, Dan Connolly writes under the header, "Remembering Monica Barlow At The First Opening Day After Her Death" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 3/31).
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