Apr 14, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; A general view of the stadium as the tarp lays on the field prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
One of the great things about the sport of baseball is that you have never seen it all. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, there will be some sort of unusual play that takes place that has never happened before.
The Baltimore Orioles on Friday will be participating in a first-time event in the history of baseball, as they will host a game to be played with zero fans admitted. The official historian of Major League Baseball – John Thorn – confirmed this on Tuesday evening.
There have been a couple of occasions even in recent years where very small crowds attended, most often because of recent severe weather situations. For example, only 347 attended a game in Florida in 2011 between the Marlins and Reds because of Hurricane Irene.
The rioting and civil unrest in Baltimore in recent days has resulted in three basic decisions to address safety concerns and complete the schedule…
- Wednesday’s regularly-scheduled game with the White Sox will be played at 2:05 with no admittance of fans whatsoever. There will be televised broadcasts of the game.
- The Friday through Sunday home games against the Tampa Bay Rays will be moved to Florida with Baltimore as the home team.
- The two postponed games of Monday and Tuesday with the White Sox will be made up as a Thursday doubleheader on May 28th in Baltimore.
So what are the schedule implications devolving from these decisions?
The Orioles will play one game in four days. – Thursday is a scheduled off day. Anybody worried still about the bullpen being burned out? The entire team should be well rested, or you could say that they are all going to be rusty due to inactivity. It does indeed knock the starting pitchers off schedule, though maybe some could benefit from this.
Beginning on May 18th, the Orioles will have to play 21 games in 20 days. – Here is the greater problem. However, the situation could be worse.
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Eleven of the games will be in Baltimore, including the doubleheader.
It is also at a time when the Orioles are playing weaker competition. They open the stretch with three games at home again Seattle, followed by three on the road in a quick Florida trip against the Marlins. Coming home, they play eight games in seven days – three to open against the Astros and three to close against the Rays, with the doubleheader in the middle. The final seven involve a four-game trip to Houston and three in Cleveland.
All of the travel is reasonable in terms of game times and allowances for the flights, etc. There is none of the story like 2014 with a night game in one city and day game the next afternoon in another.
The Orioles are simply going to need to deal with the hand that they have been dealt.