Orioles fans have reason to hate the Yankees and their fans. While the Yankees have spent most of the recent past beating up on the Orioles on the field, their fans have made themselves at home in our park to such an extent that many O's fans stopped attending games when they were in town.
You hear the term rivalry used by a lot of people around Baltimore in reference to the Orioles and Yankees, but for the most part that hasn't really been true. They are rivals in that they play in the same division, but any real rivalry has mostly been one sided. That tends to be the case when one team spends a long stretch being terrible while the other is successful. While the Orioles fans hate the Yankees, can't stand their fans, and want nothing more than to see them all miserable, the Orioles have spent the majority of the past 15 years not even being noticed by the Yankees or their fans.
A good example of the stark difference in the attitudes is my good friend Julia, who spent several years in the early-mid 2000s living in the Fairfax area after spending most of her life in Northern New Jersey. Far from her Yankees, Julia went to a number of Orioles games and happily cheered them on alongside me. She even got herself an Orioles t-shirt (I think it was Melvin Mora). It was easy for her to do, because she likes baseball and the Orioles had absolutely no impact on the Yankees' chances to get to the postseason. Can you even imagine such a thing happening if I had been the one displaced to her part of the country instead? Of course not.
In the last two-and-a-half seasons the Orioles have exorcised a lot of old demons. They ended both their losing streak and playoff drought at 14 seasons. They have seen a resurgence of fans at the ballpark, and are working on their third straight winning year and likely their second playoff appearance in the last three. But one thing that remains to be conquered is the New York Yankees.
After going 9-4 against the Yankees in 1997 (back before the implementation of the unbalanced schedule), the Orioles have posted a non-winning season against them for 16 straight years. From 1998-2013, the Orioles went 97-179 against New York. That doesn't include the 2012 ALDS, in which the Orioles fell to the Yankees 2-3. That would have been the biggest and best time to finally beat them, but it wasn't to be. So far in 2014 the Orioles have gone 6-3 against the Yankees with ten games left to play. Those ten games start tonight as the teams kick off a three-game series at Camden Yards.
Of course the Orioles don't need to post a winning season against the Yankees for both the team and its fans to take them seriously. Thanks to how well they've been playing the last three years, that is already the case. And the Orioles don't have to have a winning season against the Yankees to win the A.L. East or go to the playoffs. But I think you'd all agree that it would certainly be nice. Trouncing the Yankees over 19 games would be just another way for the Orioles to declare themselves as back from the dead. And making the Yankees fans hate the Orioles as much as Orioles fans hate the Yankees would be a beautiful thing.
To post a winning season against the Yankees in 2014 would finally put another demon to rest, not to mention give the Orioles a better chance to win the A.L. East and the Yankees a better chance to sit home once the regular season is over. The Orioles are well on their way to doing that this year, thanks largely in part to the fact that the Orioles are a better team. And who knows, winning the season series could kick off a time period when it's the Orioles fans who can't be bothered to concern themselves with the Yankees, instead of the other way around. Wouldn't that be grand?