xml:space="preserve">

If any of you still have any lingering doubts about the depth of feeling local fans have for the Orioles -- even during these difficult times for the organization -- you should get over to the Baltimore Convention Center. FanFest has drawn a very large crowd, validating the club's decision to move the event back into January.

The club announced that attendance exceeded 10,000 by early afternoon and fans were still coming in. And that was without anyone knowing that the team had come to terms on a one-year deal to bring back Miguel Tejada.

Advertisement

That may not translate into an increase in attendance this year, but it's a sign that the fans will come back in droves if the club succeeds in staging a major turnaround over the next two years. I know that's a giant if -- and I'm not holding my breath -- but a turnaround season and a big uptick in attendance could produce a reverse snowball effect by boosting revenues and encouraging ownership to do what ever else it takes to be a contender again.

We can dream, can't we?

Four o'clock update: With two hours to go and fans still coming across from the parking lots, the Orioles have reported that attendance at FanFest has surpassed 12,000.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement