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Showalter respects fans' choices when conflicts arise

Showalter respects fans' choices when conflicts arise

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BALTIMORE -- While the Orioles were preparing for Thursday's series opener against the White Sox, the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens were hours away from kicking off the NFL season in Denver.

The Super Bowl champions usually host the NFL season opener, but the Ravens played Thursday night's game on the road because of other conflicting events, including the Orioles game. The conflict made an uncomfortable situation for both franchises and divided the attention of Baltimore sports fans Thursday night.

When asked about the possibility of a light crowd because of the Ravens' game -- as well as a downtown concert by country music star Keith Urban -- manager Buck Showalter said that he was not concerned about attendance.

"We're just trying to get to [the Ravens'] level consistently like they've been consistent. That's what we want to be," he said. "To critique fans, human beings, fellow Baltimoreans, what they consider worthy of their time on a given night? For me to critique that? I'm just excited that anybody's excited to come here. … It's a good choice to have. Lots of good choices."

The Ravens game did not deter 17,383 fans from watching the Orioles defeat the White Sox, 3-1. With that crowd, the Orioles also eclipsed the 2 million mark in season attendance for the second consecutive year and 24th time in franchise history.

"It shouldn't affect the way we play or the intensity we bring," Showalter said of attendance. "But it makes it easier with the support we've had last year, this year and in the past."

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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