Orioles manager Buck Showalter seemed prepared for a question today regarding his feelings toward New York Jets coach Rex Ryan’s belief that the Orioles should have played an extra game on the road to accommodate the Ravens’ proposed home opener on Sept. 5.
Because the Orioles already have a scheduled night game on Sept. 5, the Ravens aren’t opening at home, which is the tradition for Super Bowl champions. The Ravens will instead will kick off the NFL season that night in Denver.
Ryan, who previously coached the Ravens defense before becoming a head coach for the Jets, blasted the Orioles on Thursday for not accommodating the Ravens.
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“I understand the Orioles are playing a game at home. Well, who really cares? You’ve got 81 of them things at home and maybe you could’ve done the right thing and given one up and played 82 on the road and 80 at home,” Ryan said Thursday. “I really don’t think people are going to care about that game (versus the Chicago White Sox). You have a chance to have the defending world champs open the season at home where they rightfully should. I think that’s unfortunate.”
Ryan continued, “The defending champion, in my opinion, should always open at home. They’ve earned that right. To think that something couldn’t have been worked out, that’s disappointing. If baseball had a 16-game schedule, you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, I think you might just, out of common courtesy, say, ‘You know what, maybe I’ll play this one on the road or whatever.’”
Showalter, who attends a couple Ravens games each season and said he put the home dates into his day planner Thursday night when the schedule came out, noticed that the Ravens will be hosting Ryan’s Jets on Nov. 24. He also pointed out that Ryan did not understand the complexities of why the Orioles didn’t want to alter their already-set schedule.
“I think I’d be a little more concerned about Nov. 24 when the Jets come here and try to figure out a way to beat the Ravens, wouldn’t you?” Showalter said. “I’d think that would be a little bit more of a challenge.”
Showalter offered some advice to Ryan: “I try to stay out of things I don’t know about. Like I don’t know about the NFL schedule and the NFL challenges. So that would be my advice [to Ryan]. I would stay in what is my area of supposed expertise.”
The Orioles manager added, “I have a lot more if you want to talk about schedules and off weeks.” But he didn’t go any further on the record.
The Ravens and the NFL attempted to work out a deal with Major League Baseball and the Orioles to change the club’s 7:05 p.m. start time to the afternoon so that both games could be played. But with the Orioles and White Sox playing games elsewhere the night before, the potential revenue lost in gate, parking and concessions, and the logistics of changing times or moving dates in a set schedule – which would require approval from both baseball teams, the league and the union – an agreement could not be reached.
The NFL was unwilling to have the Ravens open one day earlier on Wednesday night because of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.