If you buy into the concept that the Orioles are playing with a new attitude -- and how can you argue that, given their 6-3 start versus the 2-16 disaster of last season? -- there also seemed to be a new attitude among the fans at Camden Yards during the team's just-concluded opening home-stand.

In fact, the cheering from the stands seemed more intense and spirited than it has in years -- even when the crowds were small. (More on that in a moment.)


During the Orioles 3-0 loss to the Texas Rangers Sunday, the fans even seemed to have a collective chip on their shoulders, which was nice to see.

After both Adrian Beltre's solo homer in the fourth inning and Ian Kinsler's two-run shot in the seventh landed in the left-field stands, chants of "Throw it back! Throw it back!" were heard. And both balls were soon disdainfully thrown back on the field. (One fan must have had a cannon for an arm -- his throw rolled almost to second base.)

Except for a brief outbreak of the Wave -- and when will this stupid thing go away once and for all? -- the cheering from the crowd of 36,243 was high-energy for all nine innings.

As for the attendance figures at Camden Yards so far, it's best not to read too much into them this early in the season.

Opening Day was a sell-out, naturally, with an announced crowd of 46,593 that included standing-room-only tickets on hand for the Orioles 5-1 win over the Detroit Tigers Monday.

Attendance the next two nights dipped to 12,451 for the Orioles' 7-3 loss to the Tigers Wednesday night and 11,648 for their 9-5 win over Detroit Thursday night.

And while some observers were alarmed at those two figures, it's important to remember two things.

No. 1, the Tigers aren't a big draw, even if they're expected to be a contender for the American League Central title.

And no. 2, the Orioles traditionally don't draw big weekday crowds until school is out in June and parents start bringing their kids to the ballpark again.

All in all, there was a great atmosphere at the ballpark for all six games.

If you're an Orioles fan -- or even just a fan of baseball -- you just hope it continues.