With tensions remaining high in Baltimore after violence erupted Monday following the funeral for Freddie Gray, the Orioles announced Tuesday that they would not permit fans into Oriole Park at Camden Yards for Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
“We strongly believe that at this point Baltimore needs to focus its resources on restoring calm,” Orioles spokesman Greg Bader said Tuesday. “That’s everybody’s priority right now, including ours.”
The unprecedented decision has led to a lot of trivial questions in the buildup to first pitch. This post will be updated.
Will this be the lowest-attended game ever?
Yes, but maybe not in the record book. The lowest attendance in baseball history was for a game between the Troy (N.Y. ) Trojans and Worcester (Mass.) Ruby Legs on Sept. 28, 1882. Six fans attended. Wednesday’s attendance will officially be listed as “N/A.”
Will the game be broadcast?
Yes. The game will air on MASN and CBS Radio’s 105.7 The Fan. The game is also MLB.TV’s “Free Game” of the day, but it will be blacked out locally.
Will other media be there?
Will there be a national anthem?
UPDATE: Orioles fans shouted ‘O’ during the anthem from outside the gates.
Will the public-address announcer be there?
Yes. Ryan Wagner tweeted that he would be at the game, but as of last night, he wasn’t sure about his responsibilities.
Will players use walk-up music? Will the Orioles play CHARGE? Will the scoreboard operate as usual? Will there be a seventh-inning stretch?
Yes. Maybe. Yes. Yes. The Orioles will play John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” per tradition. The Kiss Cam is probably out. “Guess the Attendance,” too.
Is there any way to watch the game in person?
As noted by several people, including @thesportingway, the Hilton Baltimore has rooms with decent views of Oriole Park. When I called to inquire about making a reservation at 11 a.m. this morning, the hotel clerk offered me a room with a King-sized bed and a view of the stadium for $219. He could not, however, guarantee an early check-in time for first pitch.
Will ushers and concession workers be at the game?
No. Sportswriter Bill Baer set up a Go Fund Me campaign for temporary employees missing out on wages this week.
Will the Oriole Bird be there?
Wait, why aren’t they playing this game at Nationals Park?
Besides the logistical challenges of playing a game at a different venue, a Nationals spokeswoman said Monday that neither the Orioles nor MLB approached the team about moving the games to D.C. An Orioles spokesman declined to comment on whether the ongoing dispute between the Orioles and Nationals over TV revenues was a factor in the Orioles’ decision-making.
Will the unrest in Baltimore be noted in any way, like a moment of silence?
Will this be one of the weirder games in baseball history?