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Strangest. Game. Ever.

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

* Tribune

The game between the White Sox and Orioles will be observed, just not by paying fans.

After the Orioles announced that Wednesday’s game would be closed to the public due to security concerns stemming from this week’s violence in Baltimore, the Orioles prepared for a full press box, with 92 seats for the writing press assigned to media members and outlets.

Scouts and an undisclosed number of employees also are allowed to attend, according to an Orioles spokesman.

Grounds crew members worked on the field as usual about four hours before the game, but the videoboard and scoreboard showed blank black screens. The dry erase board in the press box sporting the day’s lineups already had an attendance of zero written in marker.

It is believed to be the first major-league game ever to be closed to the public, according to a Baseball Hall of Fame representative and an MLB historian. But the game will be televised by the teams’ local TV outlets.

The team didn’t want to divert police and military resources away from potential trouble spots.

* Sun-Times

t will look weird, to be sure, with nothing but more than 45,000 seats surrounding a major-league field, two teams, four umpires, a couple of coaching staffs and scouts. Media will be present in the press box, most of them silent — except for broadcasters such as Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone, the Sox’ TV broadcast team.

As quiet as it will be, it’s not out of the question that players will hear Harrelson making a call, especially if it’s that patented “You can put it on the board, yes!” he’s known for.

“We’re right behind home plate, so I imagine some of them will hear some things,’’ Harrelson said. “With that little circle we’re backed in now, it’s like a megaphone going out.”

Harrelson has never called a game in an empty stadium. Nobody ever has, for that matter, not in major-league baseball. After having the games on Monday and Tuesday postponed because of rioting in Baltimore, MLB and the Orioles, citing safety reasons, decided to play the last game of the series at 1:05 p.m., in daylight hours instead of at night. The game will be televised in the Chicago area on Channel 50.

* Dan Connolly at The Baltimore Sun

I drove through the city to the park and it was eerie. People were walking around the downtown streets, but there was very little traffic. It seemed like a Sunday morning, until I pulled into the warehouse lot and there were three Humvees filled with soldiers driving out of the lot.

It’s going to be a very strange day.

* More from the Sun

Baltimore continues to recover from Monday night’s riots, and on Wednesday, some normalcy may be restored.

City school students will return to class, the Orioles will play, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is holding a free concert.

Police arrested 10 people a variety of charges, including looting and disorderly conduct, including seven for breaking the newly instituted citywide curfew after it began at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said. A group faced off with police in West Baltimore. […]

The post-curfew arrests were in addition to the 235 during the riots Tuesday that prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to announce the weeklong curfew and Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency and request the U.S. National Guard to assist in policing the city.

Let’s keep it civil in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Diogenes in DuPage - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    Those living in poverty, especially in America’s big cities, have no lobbyists in Washington. They foolishly believe that the politicians they elect will serve in their interests. 2015 Baltimore looks too much, sadly, like 1968 Baltimore — especially in the poorer neighborhoods. America, we can do better. We need new ideas, new plans, leadership and a concerted effort

  2. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    Wasn’t there a football game not too long ago that was closed to fans (maybe it was a flu epidemic or something?) It’s sad when an empidemic is a better situation than what’s going on in Baltimore. I wish them the best.

  3. - Great Caesar's Ghost! - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    It’ll seem like a Cubs game from September, 1965. Almost as many fans there.

  4. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:29 pm:

    Such a shame. I love that city. Love that park. So much cool history for the country and the Catholic religion. Babe Ruth’s childhood, Edgar Allan Poe, Railway Museum, Coolest Aquarium in the nation, Inner Harbor, so much to completely fall in love with.

    As much frustration as there has been with Rahm and Gerry McCarthy, you really do see what happens when people not up to running a large city are in place and things get way out of control. I feel sorry for that Mayor. She’s not ready. Feel sorry for the citizens who saw a preventable crisis get out of hand so quickly because they simply didn’t take things seriously enough to prepare.

    I feel sorry that this absolutely lovely city is going to be a symbol of something so utterly different than what it’s identity really should be. This is one of the most serious times where you can say elections have consequences. There are very basic things government must provide. This government in that city failed miserably. It will take years to think of anything else when you think of Baltimore. It’s all terribly sad.

    The empty stadium ball game is just punctuation. I pray it’s a period.

  5. - MrJM - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    It’s not without precedent:

    – MrJM

  6. - haverford - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    Orioles COO John Angelos had some spot-on comments the other day:

  7. - Brad - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:33 pm:

    The White Sox should feel right at home playing to an empty stadium!

  8. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:34 pm:

    In international soccer, this is becoming more common.

  9. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    The only game I can think of that comes close is the Yankees/Royals pine tar game that was finished 25 days later after the Royals won their appeal on Brett’s homer.

    Only a few hundred people showed up at Yankee Stadium.

    When the first batter came up in the resumed game, crafty old Billy Martin had George Frazier throw to all bases and home plate, claiming that Brett hadn’t touched and should be called out.

    When the umps ruled safe on all four throws, Billy came out and beefed, since it was a different umpiring crew and they could not know whether or not Brett had touched.

    The crew chief then produced a notarized and signed affidavit from the previous crew attesting to the fact, lol.

    After that, Billy reportedly went into the clubhouse and drank til it was over.

  10. - Now What? - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    So it’s a home game for the Sox? Hey-O!!

  11. - Jorge - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:42 pm:

    Reminds me of a Rays game in Tampa.

  12. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    strictly speaking of sports, the schedule is crazy for the Sox. so many days off, they have to play the two make up games as a one ticket DH on a day off between road trips. wonder how this will affect their game.

  13. - Responsa - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    I’ll be watching! This whole thing also reminded me of the bad luck the White Sox had to be hotelled in Manhattan as the visiting team scheduled to play the Yankees on 9/11.

  14. - Person 8 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    Wife and I were at a sox game years ago. It was a Wednesday night game, bunch of rain, eventually they cancelled and made the next day a true double header. The double header started off with a rain delay followed by at least 5-6 hours of more rain delays throughout the first and into the second game. By the time the later stages of the 2nd game rolled around we counted about 40 fans left in the lower bowl. Little different, but defiantly a very eerie feeling.

    Luckily it was dollar dog Thursday!

  15. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    – …you really do see what happens when people not up to running a large city are in place ands things get out of control.–

    Unbelievable. For Kass, it’s the liberals, the Democrats and the Mexicans who cause riots, for you it’s a mayor you know nothing about who’s not named Rahm.

    Any simple-minded explanation will do if you wish to avoid a deep dive into the issue.

    For all your experiences in the lovely city of Baltimore, did you observe any not-so-lovely conditions that might lead to mob action once a fuse is lit?

    Those same condition exist here in the lovely city of Chicago. Do you think the great Rahm could just waive his magic wand to stop a riot? How’d that work for the great Richard J? Was he not up to the job?

    There’s a history of urban riots in this country that goes way back, and it usually involves members of an aggrieved minority lashing out after a provocation.

    Unless you think the mayor of NYC just wasn’t up to it when the Irish started burning the city down and stringing up blacks by lamp posts back in 1863. Or many, many other examples.

  16. - Joe M - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    I went to a Brave’s game at County Stadium in 1965 that had less than 500 in attendance. It was kind of eerie. That last year they were in Milwaukee, they had several games with less than a thousand in attendance. Once could buy the cheapest ticket and then go sit in the prime box seats. I think they only sold 36 season tickets that year.

  17. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    Commissioner Manfred and Peter Angelos really screwed the pooch on this one. I saw a game at Camden Yards when I was in high school. It was an awesome experience and it’s still the coolest ballpark I’ve been to. But what about all of the employees who depend on a home game for their livelihood? Ushers, vendors, parking attendants, security…you name it, every MLB team/stadium has them. What about them? Also - and this does not mean that I think MLB athletes are more important than anyone - but what about the players, coaches and team staff? They still have to get to and from the ballpark.

  18. - quicknote - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    You can hear the shutters of all the cameras on every pitch, the iPhone notices in the press room. Oddly enough, they still have all the goofy promo music going.

  19. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    I always thought it would be the Cubs who would be playing to an empty stadium.

  20. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    Quicknote - does that mean that Adam Jones is walking out to “All by Myself” by Eric Carmen?!

  21. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    Bad mistake. Better to take the gamble on the game representing the bringing together of people, as it always had.

  22. - Comprende? - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    I don’t recall Kass ever saying liberals, blacks or Mexicans cause riots. If anything, he goes through great lengths and contortions to absolve any particular group from responsibility for such things.

  23. - Yes!!! - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    Because of the Hurricanes a few years back the Marlins played the Expos at US Cellular field in Chicago. There were about 100 fans or so there. That was pretty weird.

  24. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:58 pm:

    My daugher lives in downtown Baltimore so I see no humor in any of this. It is a neat city around the inner harbor and some of the historical areas but it seems old and dirty in all the other parts I’ve been to.

  25. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    Comprende, read his column yesterday on Baltimore. He lays his whole explanation out there.

  26. - 60657 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    Well, the Sox are getting crushed, so it’s not *that* strange.

  27. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    -=== Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    – …you really do see what happens when people not up to running a large city are in place ands things get out of control.–

    Unbelievable. For Kass, it’s the liberals, the Democrats and the Mexicans who cause riots, for you it’s a mayor you know nothing about who’s not named Rahm.

    Any simple-minded explanation will do if you wish to avoid a deep dive into the issue.===

    Pompous clown, yes I visited all parts of the city and like most large cities, it has its tough parts. I didn’t mention any party. Whether it’s Rudy Giuliani, Jerry Brown, Rahm or Willie Wilson, Mayors either do or don’t have the chops to handle a crisis in a city.

    This very nice Mayor of Baltimore doesn’t. She ain’t the first, she ain’t the last. Thugs and gangs assess what they think they can get away with in a city. These thugs were unabated. Stronger mayors, whether the Great Slinger likes them or not, don’t put up with this. Rahm wouldn’t, Rich the son, Dick the dad wouldn’t, Harold wouldn’t, Jayne wouldn’t.

    You stepped on your own pompous tongue on this one. Some days I wonder how even you can stand you.

    And BTW, it is a lovely city.

  28. - Comprende? - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    I was thinking about today’s column since he’s not on Tuesdays, and also a pattern over the years where he assigns blame to go around on controversial issues. He will zero in on individuals though, especially Chicago politicians that he wants to zero in on. Some real goofs seem to escape his criticism or commentary.

    To the post: I am watching the game on television and on this medium it is not as weird as I expected. In person, though, it could be a little surreal.

  29. - ToddAF - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:15 pm:

    So weird, on the TV broadcast I actually heard players shouting “I got it” when someone hit a flyball.

  30. - Aschockedobserver - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    Who’s being naive Kay, I mean A guy. If you dont realize the same conditions exist in many other US cities as Word mentions, then suggesting he is just being pompous is pretty naive on your part.

  31. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    – Stronger mayors… dont put up with this… Dick the dad wouldnt —

    There were no riots in Chicago when Richard J. Daley was mayor?

    Why do you bother?

  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:37 pm:

    ===Dick the dad wouldn’t===

    Please, stop making things up.


  33. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    I was alive for that one Sling. Policing has changed a bit since ‘68. Dick didn’t put up with it “Police are here to preserve disorder” Remember?? Even that one was handled better than this one. He never ceded control of the city streets.

    Good question as to why I bother with you? You actually like unhappiness too much to move away from it. Of course you don’t have to go anywhere if all of the answers are in your head.

  34. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    OW, make a real point or go back to the corner.

  35. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    “There’s a history of urban riots in this country that goes way back, and it usually involves members of an aggrieved minority lashing out after a provocation.”

    Actually Wordslinger, up until the 1960s, “race riots” meant white riots, almost universally directed against blacks: Cincinnati, 1841, Memphis, 1866, Atlanta, 1906, Detroit, 1943 … just to name a few …

  36. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    Also heard the Orioles-Rays weekend series has been moved to Tampa with the Orioles as home team. While those who would have worked at Camden Yards this weekend lose 3 days pay.

  37. - Juice - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    Guy, you are clearly just ignoring the first rights in ‘68 when Daley issued the shoot to kill, shoot to maim or cripple order, and two miles of the west side were burnt down. Then there was the riot when the Bulls won in ‘92.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:52 pm:

    ===…didn’t put up with it “Police are here to preserve disorder” Remember??===

    Here in the corner I see - A Guy -, revisionist history, after making something up.


    How about you provide some facts, or stay in the corner(?)

  39. - Comprende? - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    The Sox-Orioles game is moving pretty fast. No anthem, no stretch, and an apparent desire to get the heck out of there. Sunday afternoon games seem to move fast as well, for some reason.

  40. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    Anon, 2:47, you’re right, there have been plenty of other riots others than those centered on aggrieved minorities.

    There are riots when someone’s favorite team wins or loses.

    There are elements who will exploit an angry/happy crowd and the next thing you know you have a mob action.

  41. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:00 pm:

    ….and some Mayors and Police Forces are better prepared than others.

  42. - Stones - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    I heard they did indeed play the anthem, announce players and have a 7th inning stretch. I have no idea why though.

  43. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    Their 7th Inning Stretch there has traditionally been John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”. Just a tidbit.

  44. - james the intolerant - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    Unfortunately, so far, National League pitchers haven’t help up very well in the American League.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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