the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. a game that the Orioles defeated the White Sox, 8-2 and the attendance was 0.
Zero, zip, no one, nothing, nada.
Images of an empty Oriole Park at Camden Yards in yesterday's
White Sox-Orioles baseball game.
Yes, in what has to be the worst decision of the new Major League Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, MLB decided that the game would be played in Baltimore and that no fans would be admitted into Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Keep in mind that this is due to the rioting going on Monday evening in Baltimore over the death in police custody of Freddie Gray. Already Monday's and Tuesday's games were cancelled. And there was the game played yesterday. And there was to be a series to be played in Baltimore between the Tampa Bay Rays and Orioles.
There were three much better solutions Mr. Manfred could have done.
One, move the game to Chicago. In fact when it became clear that there would be no game Monday and Tuesday, they could have moved to Chicago and played Tuesday night and Wednesday. Now the weekend series mentioned above will move from Baltimore to Tropicana Field in St. Petersberg, Florida.
Two, cancel the series completely and make up the three games throughout the regular season.
The third and toughest, I readily admit, is to have played the game and opened the stadium up to fans for free.
What?! Are you insane, Mr. RVFTLC?! Do you want a riot in a baseball stadium?!
Let me answer about a potential riot in a stadium.
Keep in mind that as of this writing, Baltimore is in the middle of a 10pm to 5am curfew. And the local police are supported by law enforcement throughout the state of Maryland. Even some from New Jersey. And of course there is the Maryland National Guard deployed throughout the city. So some of those forces could have been easily deployed throughout the Camden Yards area. Also, as of this season, all fans must pass through metal detectors similar to that at airports throughout the United States. Armed police and National Guard troops would not let the situation get out of control.
Well, how do you let these fans enter without chaos?
The Orioles could have printed tickets as if it was for a game. Open all the stadium ticket booths and distribute accordingly. At the moment the national anthem ended, the ticket booth closes and that is all. Essentially a first come, first serve basis. They could have made huge, readable signs explaining how those who wanted to attend could do so. Also, they could have taken out a full-page ad in the local fish-wrap, The Sun.
I don't think that I am insane for suggesting a game go on in such treacherous conditions. I look at the possibility of a day of peace in a riot-torn city. That people could have a respite from the conditions that perpetuated the cancellation of games prior to yesterday.
One of the reasons I think that MLB took a cautious approach was because when the Orioles played on Saturday night, protesters began to harass fans leaving the game. Of course there was not a full-fledged riot at that moment and as such security was probably average for a Saturday night baseball game.
The other reason I think that fans should have been allowed to attend the game for free is because of the rantings of the Orioles' owner's son, John Angelos, on Twitter in regards to the whole situation in the city of Baltimore over the past 40 years.
Full disclosure is that John Angelos' father, Peter Angelos, is a well connected Democrat activist.
Since the game yesterday essentially made some money through advertisements and advanced ticket sales, it was essentially paid for. And since John Angelos made such a bold political statement, Peter Angelos could have sent a message of solidarity with his fan base.
But playing a game in an empty stadium sent a negative message of succumbing to thugs and essentially domestic terrorists. That they will play a game, a kid's game, but with no one in the ballpark. Not even in the summer after the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, in 1942, did MLB cave to the forces of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. The games went on.
The fact that MLB and Mr. Manfred went along with this says that in the future, caution and fear of a possibility of violence will make this sport cower in a corner.
Remember the date, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
Remember the teams, Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles.
Remember the attendance, 0
Remember that it was the worst major league baseball game ever.