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Thundering Roar from 34

Baltimore Building Better Ballhawking

Cliff Lee falling back to the Phillies or Jayson Werth signing a monster contract with the Nationals means nothing but a few less or a few more baseballs for ballhawks when at a Phillies or Nationals game.

As teams were adding huge talent to their rosters, the Baltimore Orioles (as always) weren't. However, they were inadvertently making Camden Yards better for ball hawks.

Renovations

Three years and $46 million dollars later, the Orioles have renovated their Spring Training facilities, installed new scoreboards, and plan to wash the bricks of the B&O Warehouse as well as install a new roof. In the offseason before the 2011 season, the team decided to remove 2,300 seats from the outfield, installing wider seats and creating wider rows.

As ballhawks, we all hate those small rows; whether it be slamming our knees into seats, tripping over the one seat that was left down, or just flat out missing the row. Ballhawking would be so much easier if there weren't any seats.

The real reason the Orioles decided to widen the rows was for maximum fan comfort (and maybe to make the stadium look a little less empty), but the less available seats and wider rows make ballhawking easier in Baltimore.

Players

The Orioles didn't add an Adrian Gonzalez, or a Cliff Lee, or even a Jayson Werth, but they did make some changes to their team - two right hand power bats.

Taking a risk on Derrek Lee wasn't a bad idea from a baseball standpoint, nor was it bad from a ballhawking point. There are 15 baseballs on mygameballs.com from Derrek Lee; eight hit to left field, three hit to right field, one foul ball, and three thrown. Lee also averages 28 homeruns per 162 games and has 312 in his career. He has a combined 204 game homeruns hit to left or left center field.

The trade for Mark Reynolds was magical for the Baltimore Hawks. Reynolds is known solely for his power bat - hitting 121 homeruns in four seasons. The righty is a big pull hitter, hitting 80 of his game homeruns to left or left center. Reynolds is responsible for nine balls on mygameballs in the last two seasons - six hit to left field during batting practice, one thrown, and another homer to left field during a game. Let's also remember, he played in Arizona where not many ballhawks frequent.

Other players have been brought in to improve the team that also will improve the baseball totals. J.J. Hardy has ten balls on mygameballs (six hit to left), and closer Kevin Gregg and reliever Jeremy Accardo have combined for twelve toss-ups in the last three seasons.

Ticket Prices

Despite making the playoffs the season before, the Baltimore Ravens did not raise ticket prices for the 2010-2011 football season. Despite not making the playoffs since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles raised tickets prices for the 2011 baseball season. Something is wrong there, right?

As Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday, prices will increase anywhere from $1 to $7 depending on the ticket.

In the left field bleachers, the prices were raised significantly. Single game tickets in left field during the 2010 season were $27. Now, the prices look like this:

Single Game Advanced Sale: $30
Single Prime Game Advanced Sale: $50
Single Game Game-Day Sale: $32
Single Prime Game Game-Day Sale: $52

In case you weren't sure, Advanced Sales are when you buy your tickets anytime before 12AM on game day. Prime Games are any game against the Red Sox or Yankees.

There were four games last season at Camden Yards that failed to reach an attendance of ten-thousand. The price jump of the tickets in left field will eliminate the amount of people that don't want to really catch a baseball or have no real interest in it. Us ballhawks will still find our way to sit down there.

If there were barely 10K when tickets were cheaper, imagine the stadium after the price hikes.

Possible Changes

For season ticket holders, Camden Yards is fully open two hours before the scheduled first pitch; for non-season ticket holders - an hour-and-a-half.

But now, because of an email full of logic and reason sent to the Orioles by ballhawk Avi Miller (Jonesy67), that may be changing.

Miller suggested that the gates open 2 1/2 hours early for season ticket holders so fans get a chance to watch the Orioles take batting practice.

He was told his email will be sent to the proper people where it still waits reply. Meanwhile he created a petition that can be found HERE to rally the public.

Tim Anderson is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.

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