Readers Respond

Bigger playing field is not what Orioles need | READER COMMENTARY

Personally, I think the Orioles are making a huge mistake (”Like everything else in rebuild, Orioles’ changes to Camden Yards’ dimensions are about planning for future,” Jan. 15).

Camden Yards’ intimacy has always been part of its charm. There truly isn’t a bad seat in the place, which is why, despite growing up a Phillies fan, I still make the trek to Baltimore each summer. Few ballparks put you right on top of the players as well as Baltimore’s left field bleachers did.


The new design looks noticeably rushed. Back in 2012, Baltimore added a deck on top of the batter’s eye, and it is still a notable part of the ballpark today. Unlike that, there’s absolutely nothing special about this. No new group or party area, no seats behind a chain-linked fence like in Pittsburgh or Denver, nothing — just a taller new wall. The curve near the foul pole looks particularly strange and the sharp corner at the edge of the bullpen will cause problems, and probably an injury or two, for outfielders.

Did I mention that Cal Ripken’s special orange seat (where he homered during consecutive game 2,131) is likely also gone now? Bringing a park “up to standards” shouldn’t have to involve taking away its history.


Finally, the main reasoning behind the change was to bring in better pitchers. The team hasn’t had a true ace since Mike Mussina left for the Bronx 20 years ago. Since then, owner Peter Angelos has refused to spend the big bucks on starting pitchers. The Orioles had the idea to “grow the arms, buy the bats” during their last contending window. That sounds good on paper — they just did a terrible job doing it.

Outside of Zack Britton and Kevin Gausman, Baltimore’s minor leagues produced little in the line of pitching help. Sure, a more pitcher-friendly environment sounds enticing for free agents, but this change won’t mean anything unless ownership is willing to offer contracts appropriately and, more importantly, invest in ways to better develop cost-controlled arms.

Michael Ostrowski, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.