Today's Orioles and White Sox Game Will Be Played in an Empty Stadium
April 29, 2015 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Today's Orioles and White Sox game at Camden Yards in Baltimore will be the first game in MLB history played in an empty stadium. However, the phenomenon is more common in football (soccer) because of reasons ranging from punishment for racist fans to fears of contagious diseases. The crew at 538.com suggest that the Orioles might lose the home-field advantage from umpiring calls that teams playing in front of a friendly crowd typically enjoy. If you want to view the surreal scene yourself, the game is MLB.com's free game of the day.
posted by Fister Roboto (185 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nothing unusual for the White Sox!


/bitter White Sox fan.
posted by bgal81 at 9:42 AM on April 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


Somehow baseball has managed to operate for over a hundred years without resorting to this. I find it disgraceful. Either play the game with fans the way it's supposed to work or figure out a way to postpone this one too.
posted by zachlipton at 9:44 AM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


"I find it disgraceful. Either play the game with fans the way it's supposed to work or figure out a way to postpone this one too."

Closing line of the article: "It's not how baseball is supposed to be, which suggests that the decision to play the game in an empty stadium is more than just a tactical move; it's a statement about the behavior of a fractured city."
posted by komara at 9:47 AM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Can you imagine how surreal it will be for the players?
posted by tunewell at 9:48 AM on April 29, 2015


Either play the game with fans the way it's supposed to work or figure out a way to postpone this one too.

If it keeps even a few thousand people at home, it will be worth the slight loss to tradition.
posted by Etrigan at 9:49 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are they going to mix in fake audience sounds for the TV broadcast? Maybe some close in shots to avoid showing all the empty seats?
posted by backseatpilot at 9:52 AM on April 29, 2015


It's an artistic breakthrough, quityerbitchin.
posted by thelonius at 9:52 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


As one of my friends said, the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner to an empty Camden Yards while Baltimore is in turmoil outside its gates may become one of the truly lasting images of our time.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:53 AM on April 29, 2015 [91 favorites]


This is a pretty revealing travesty, the pretense of a functioning civil society being so far gone these days that we're unable to assemble even the simulacrum of one for sporting purposes — but it does have some precedent, in the fake applause pumped into the Busch Stadium speakers for George Bush a few years back. The regularity with which the mayor — almost any political figure, really — gets roundly booed at baseball games in New York has always struck me as a better indicator of the robustness of local political discourse.
posted by RogerB at 9:53 AM on April 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


If it keeps even a few thousand people at home, it will be worth the slight loss to tradition.

Keeping them home why?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:54 AM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Kind of related: whenever they have a make-up game where it's technically a home game for the away team, I always want the crowd to play along and cheer for the away team.

Wrestling fans could pull it off.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:54 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]




This'll be eerie. I'll watch a bit online just to see what it's like.

I'd love it if a few people were able to attend - maybe a dozen, two dozen? - and they were constantly on the jumbotron in the outfield. Kiss cam! Dance cam! Hold up that sign! Look ma, we're on the big screen!
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:57 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm laughing to myself picturing a guy with a T-shirt cannon.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:59 AM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


Oh. And when I first heard of this, I immediately thought of Buck Bokai and the London Kings, playing the last World Series in front of 300 fans in 2042.

At the time I thought that was the saddest thing I ever heard. This situation in Baltimore is sadder.
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:00 AM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Will there be stadium staff there? Will they be allowed to cheer?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:00 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine how surreal it will be for the players?

I'm sure at least one of them did it while playing for Tampa.
posted by drezdn at 10:01 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think this is actually a smart move, sad comment as it is on our society. Given that baseball fans tend to be white and male, I don't know if a race riot is what Baltimore needs right now.
posted by bgal81 at 10:02 AM on April 29, 2015


I have this image of MLB 2099 where cyborg players travel from empty stadium to empty stadium in armored trains running in tunnels underneath a desolute, ruined wasteland while the Koch Dynasty and their 99,000 vat grown clones watch from an orbital space platform.

Somehow Joe Buck is still there.
posted by selfnoise at 10:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [31 favorites]


Will there be stadium staff there? Will they be allowed to cheer?

There's actually a sportswriter-backed fundraiser for the stadium employees, some of whom are going to lose a week's wages as a result of this. (Yes, of course, the owners should pay them.)
posted by RogerB at 10:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


So the baseball fans are being punished because the cops are at war with the minority population? OK, that makes about as much sense as anything else these days.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:06 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


the audience at Camden Yards is largely white people from the suburbs or DC. From the perspective of Baltimore City it might as well be empty.

(I'm old enough that I went to games at Memorial Stadium when I was a kid... that was a wholly different world.)
posted by ennui.bz at 10:07 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aside from the heavy context, I find the idea itself here really interesting to think about and am really inclined to watch. There's something about violating major assumptions about a sports game that I find really interesting (which is probably part of why I've dug Jon Bois' stuff so much, aside from the it-being-hilarious part) in how it throws into sharp contrast a lot of little things that just feel so normalized and baked-in to what is, ultimately, a complicated set of sort of arbitrary moving parts.

I'm laughing to myself picturing a guy with a T-shirt cannon.

Exactly. I kind of want a Ghost Stadium management game now, where you have to like strategically host ballgames by no one for no one with a crew of confused human staffers and concessionaires whose sanity levels you have to somehow maintain.
posted by cortex at 10:07 AM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Bread and circuses of such a staple of the modern diet that they are still on offer even when there aren't people to consume them.
posted by resurrexit at 10:09 AM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


Pro wrestling set a precedent for this years ago.
posted by The Gooch at 10:10 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


What a sad strange scene this will be.
posted by jonmc at 10:13 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just a sad and lonely hot-dog vendor calling out to no one.
An umpire on the field who turns to look at our lonely vendor and nods in understanding.
An announcer that reads the newspaper instead of calling the game because who cares.
A mascot who takes off its head and unveils the human underneath.
Let's make this art.
posted by Fizz at 10:14 AM on April 29, 2015 [19 favorites]


The guy with the tee-shirt cannon sitting on a toilet in an empty restroom. He turns the muzzle of the cannon on himself, tucked under his chin. An explosion echoes down the empty corridors of the stadium.
posted by Splunge at 10:18 AM on April 29, 2015 [69 favorites]


If this happened at Fenway they'd still claim the game was sold out.
posted by bondcliff at 10:21 AM on April 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


He awakens on the floor of the restroom, his head pounding, his chin bruised, his tongue bitten half-through, but: oblivion still out of reach. The spent t-shirt round lays next to him, half-unfurled where it sits on the urine-stained ground. (Whose urine? Who is left to urinate? How long has he been here, in this empty stadium? Has he ever not been here?)

He reaches out to the shirt, lifts it, watches with dawning horror as the image on the front becomes clear. He stares at a photograph of himself on a toilet with a t-shirt cannon beneath his chin. They've known, all along; even this desperate bid was part of their eldritch design. They. They.
posted by cortex at 10:27 AM on April 29, 2015 [66 favorites]


It's really sick that they won't just cancel the game. It's like making someone go to work and sit at their desk when they clearly aren't well. If you don't think Baltimore is well enough to hold the event then don't. Don't put on some kind of weird sad spectacle for the benefit of your massive corporation.
posted by bleep at 10:28 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


The hot dog vendor sits on the dug out. He takes a bite from a frozen dog and throws it on the ground. He sees the peanut man approach and threatens him with a bottle of mustard. There is no one to witness the attempted murder. The team plays on. The announcer falls asleep. A low murmuring snore echoes.
posted by Fizz at 10:30 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't decide if a bench-clearing brawl would make this better or worse.
posted by Kabanos at 10:30 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


The guy parachuting into the stadium with a fan on his back sees the empty seats. He mutters to himself, "Abort. Fucking abort." Gunning his fan he turns and flies into the setting sun.
posted by Splunge at 10:32 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile in the depths of the stadium the cleaning crew crack open a few beers, put their feet up and tune into reruns of '227'.
posted by PenDevil at 10:34 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


A pale figure runs naked across the field, screaming. The Orioles mascot watches in silence through the dark mirrors of his bird helmet's eyes, wondering: is it madness that terrifies him, or freedom?
posted by cortex at 10:36 AM on April 29, 2015 [18 favorites]


It's really sick that they won't just cancel the game.

They already cancelled one, and there isn't much slack in the season -- which is very much *part* of the season. You play 162 games, and you play them with very little time off. Baseball isn't a terrifically active sport like ice hockey, but the regular season is a grind.

So, there aren't many days in the schedule to make days up, and it's early yet, we don't know what rainout we have to deal with. They're going to play a doubleheader over the weekend to make up for yesterday's game, move the rest of the series to Tampa Bay, and work it from there, but they couldn't find a hole for this game in Tampa Bay, so they decided to just lock the doors and play it.

I'm not a big fan of the idea, but I get why they chose this -- the point of the regular season is to play. There was some argument that Baltimore would have to forfeit, but I (and MLB, thankfully) saw that as bogus. Baltimore and the field were ready to play, it's events outside the park causing the constraint. Would you have made Oakland and San Francisco both forfeit that World Series that was delayed by the Earthquake? No, of course not. If the field wasn't ready for play, yes, but it is. See also Wrigley Field, where while the bleacher have a bit of a "not ready for seating" problem, the feild is perfectly playable, so play they do.

I can't decide if a bench-clearing brawl would make this better or worse.

This is the ChiSox, not the Royals.
posted by eriko at 10:36 AM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Baltimore PD helicopter will be providing the flyby after the Star Spangled Banner. The post-victory fireworks display will be replaced with flash bangs and tear gas grenades.
posted by peeedro at 10:38 AM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


between the halves of the seventh
time stretches to eternity
the chasm between worlds opens
there are no cracker jacks
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:38 AM on April 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


$10 hot dogs
$9 hot dogs
$4 hot dogs
free hot dogs!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:39 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Take me out to the ball game
Take me out
Take me
posted by cortex at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2015 [27 favorites]


Someone has plugged into the PA system and the Bane speech from Dark Knight Rises plays loudly throughout the stadium in an endless loop:
"Hold your families close....and wait....tomorrow you claim what is rightfully yours."

*mic drop
posted by Fizz at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2015


Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks
I don't care if I ever get back
if I ever get back
get back


I don't care
posted by duffell at 10:44 AM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


The circumstances are depressing for me, but the idea of a spectatorless major league game really pleases me. I might have to watch this.
posted by Theta States at 10:45 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have a working link to the MLB livestream? I can't get the ones in the OP to load
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:45 AM on April 29, 2015


A picnic forms in left field. The pitcher serves tea to the short-stop.
posted by Fizz at 10:45 AM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


The crew at 538.com suggest that the Orioles might lose the home-field advantage from umpiring calls that teams playing in front of a friendly crowd typically enjoy.

It's not like it was doing them much good before.

The Gods never seem to tire of finding new ways to shit on the Os.
posted by clarknova at 10:47 AM on April 29, 2015


Baseball has sold out, alright.
posted by Renoroc at 10:52 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




The guy with the tee-shirt cannon sitting on a toilet in an empty restroom. He turns the muzzle of the cannon on himself, tucked under his chin. An explosion echoes down the empty corridors of the stadium.
Private Joker: Are those... live T-shirts?

Private Pyle: Double-X-L Short sleeve raglan. Cotton-poly blend.
posted by Freon at 10:54 AM on April 29, 2015 [15 favorites]


If the Orioles don't forfeit they're not worthy of fans.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:54 AM on April 29, 2015


Let's make this art.

I can't decide if a bench-clearing brawl would make this better or worse.


Given the circumstances, I can't decide if a bench-clearing brawl would make this art.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:58 AM on April 29, 2015


Is anyone getting a feed yet?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:58 AM on April 29, 2015


No, at 5 min to game time it still says "stay tuned / this game will begin shortly."
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:00 AM on April 29, 2015


A brawl might be art of a sort, but a bench-clearing musical dance fight would be Tony material.
posted by cortex at 11:01 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


There we go.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:01 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yep, MLB.com streaming is a go.
posted by cortex at 11:02 AM on April 29, 2015


Crowds are outside the gates, locked out.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:03 AM on April 29, 2015


As the O's broadcast just pointed out, there are crowds of peaceful, jersey-clad fans standing directly outside the stadium fence looking in. What an amazing farce.
posted by RogerB at 11:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [14 favorites]


Surely those people would be safer inside the stadium. *eyeroll*
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:04 AM on April 29, 2015


A more fitting memorial to America's neoliberal capitalism could hardly be found: overpaid jesters play for an empty court while the city arounds them burns and America, Inc.'s mercenaries keep "order".

Meanwhile, on the internet, the connected, well intentioned liberal middle classes joke and make poignant remarks.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:05 AM on April 29, 2015 [37 favorites]


Of course, Baltimore residents cannot watch the "free game of the day" due to blackout restrictions... This kind of injustice is what brought us to this juncture people!
posted by joecacti at 11:06 AM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yep, MLB.com streaming is a go.
posted by cortex at 2:02 PM on April 29


Unless you happen to live in Baltimore. The game is blacked out :/
posted by ShawnString at 11:06 AM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


There would be a lot more people if they were able to be inside the stadium.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:06 AM on April 29, 2015


Well I am just not going to get any work done today, I guess is the way of it
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:06 AM on April 29, 2015


OK, blacking out the game in Baltimore is fucking ridiculous.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:06 AM on April 29, 2015 [20 favorites]


MartinWisse: "Meanwhile, on the internet, the connected, well intentioned liberal middle classes joke and make poignant remarks."

Let us know what you'd advise I should do instead.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does seem like a really missed opportunity for a tiny sliver of compensatory good will in an already weird situation, yeah.
posted by cortex at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2015


I guess they aren't going to sing the national anthem.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2015




Public address guy is doing at bat intros.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:09 AM on April 29, 2015


The ball soars high into right field and falls, unregarded. The defending team doesn't care. They stare at the empty seats, at the empty eyes of the television cameras. What do they hear? What do they see? As they converge upon second base, the ball forgotten, questions seem irrelevant.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:10 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


View of the National Anthem
posted by dobi at 11:10 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ha, someone's doing "the wave" by themselves.
posted by dr_dank at 11:14 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


ESPN crew says WGN (ChiSox) crew is bitching that they can hear them.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:17 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


A foul into the empty stands. A foul into the empty stands. A foul into the empty stands. How much time has passed? The stands fill with foul balls, a strange rounded homunculus of mounded whiteness, threatening at any moment to spill over into the field.
posted by cortex at 11:17 AM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't know that I can handle the shots of the fans locked out of the ballpark while the millionaires play.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:17 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


A home run! And the crowd goes... oh.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:21 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Someone was smart enough to get a mic at least in the general vicinity of those folks outside. The crowd goes slightly audible, at least.
posted by cortex at 11:22 AM on April 29, 2015


Yeah. Fans locked out, trying desperately to catch a glimpse through prison-like black bars. That's fucked up.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:22 AM on April 29, 2015


I can't even.

This is like some shit that happens in 12 Monkys or something to show that you are in a malignant near-future. Fuck this.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:22 AM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't know that I can handle the shots of the fans locked out of the ballpark while the millionaires play.

Yeah that's the sad part. The camera keeps cutting to fans literally pressed against the gate trying to see. And you can hear their distant cheers. Of course, now I can hear a haunting siren in the background too, so it's just pathetic all the way around.
posted by zachlipton at 11:23 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


So much for losing home field advantage.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:24 AM on April 29, 2015


Yeesh. I feel like the White Sox are treating this like a practice game - no hustle at all. Maybe they're creeped out too.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:24 AM on April 29, 2015


They should have let them vote if they'd rather have fans or a home field advantage.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:25 AM on April 29, 2015


Speaking of farcically hollow pretenses, Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox infield.
posted by RogerB at 11:25 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


So much for losing home field advantage.

Well, when the game is happening inside a Samuel Beckett play, wouldn't you rather be the team at least more familiar with the set?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:26 AM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


I biked around downtown Baltimore today - from Harbor to North Avenue. All is fine. There is no mayhem in the streets. There was a free BSO symphony concert at Noon, on the plaza outside the Meyerhoff, (a few blocks from where the worst of Mondays events happened.) They opened with the National Anthem, and of course the crown all chimed in with the "Oh!". Great crowd, no problems.

Ridiculous that they aren't allowing O's fans in.
posted by jetsetsc at 11:26 AM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


Orioles, more like Sixioles amirite
posted by cortex at 11:26 AM on April 29, 2015


Where was this Samardzija when he was on the Cubs pitching against the Pirates?
posted by dirigibleman at 11:27 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Orioles, more like Sixioles amirite

More like Argioles.

(French? No?)
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2015


Let us know what you'd advise I should do instead.

Riot, clearly.
posted by Fister Roboto at 11:31 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tip that this is streaming free, got it going now.

So dumb it's blacked out in Baltimore though.
posted by dogwalker at 11:34 AM on April 29, 2015


There *are* a couple of people in seats behind home plate - scouts.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:37 AM on April 29, 2015


That is is also blacked out in Baltimore is somehow, to me, an absurd detail too far.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:38 AM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


And a full press box. I wonder what the share is in there of work today on straight ballgame reporting vs. empty-stadium think pieces.
posted by cortex at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2015


So, we know they're broadcasting, though admittedly for free, but are all the private skyboxes and private suites also closed, or are the 1% still able to enjoy the game?
posted by Blackanvil at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Guessing the authorities don't want people riled up by watching the sportsing in public places. When you have an antitrust exception, the government has you by the balls.

Vlad and Kim Jong must be laughing their asses off today.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:40 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Announcer on MLB stream doing obligatory recitation of Papa Johns discount coupon promo specifically for the Baltimore-area fans not able to watch the stream of the game they're not allowed to attend.
posted by cortex at 11:41 AM on April 29, 2015 [25 favorites]


They opened with the National Anthem, and of course the crown all chimed in with the "Oh!"

I did not know this was a thing! Learn something new every day.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:44 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


If they baked a Papa Johns pizza and no one was there to eat it, would it still give you the runs?
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:44 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ha, someone's doing "the wave" by themselves.

Every wave is someone doing the wave by themselves initially.
posted by rlk at 11:44 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


MLB guys just mentioned previous low attendance of 6 - (Troy at Worcester, 1882).
posted by Chrysostom at 11:45 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


A one-person Wave is known as a Particle.
posted by cortex at 11:45 AM on April 29, 2015 [61 favorites]


I'm kind of impressed that the previously lowest-attended game at Camden was a little over 9,000.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:46 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


A one-person Wave is known as a Particle.

Well, sure, now that you've observed it.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on April 29, 2015 [54 favorites]


nerrrrrrds!
posted by poffin boffin at 11:48 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Speaking of, has anyone checked on Schrödinger's bat?
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:49 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.


The crowd is part of the game for crying out loud. Fuck MLB.
posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think I changed my mind. This shit is just weird.
posted by bgal81 at 11:50 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's why the Expos moved out of Montreal; attendance there was regularly in the 100s IIRC. Players said that they could hear individual conversations behind the plate.

According to ESPN: "Since 1987, the lowest attendance has been 746 when the White Sox hosted Toronto at Comiskey Park on April 9, 1997, according to Stats LLC. The New York Yankees' home game against the White Sox on Sept. 22, 1966, had a listed attendance of 413."
posted by Melismata at 11:54 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given that baseball fans tend to be white and male

I can't believe no one has challenged this lazy, fact-free, "eh, seems about right" kind of assertion (ok, it's in a MeFi thread about sports so I can). Maybe this is true where YOU live, but having spent a lot of time around AT&T Park during last year's post-season I definitely noticed that Giants fandom truly transcends gender, race, income bracket, etc. It was the furthest thing from a bunch of white, straight, heterosexual dudes.
posted by MattMangels at 11:54 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm in Northern California. Why is the stream blacked out for me!?!
posted by ogooglebar at 11:57 AM on April 29, 2015


I grew up in Maryland and lived in Baltimore for a year. The Orioles are part of me. Fans in O's caps jeering the protesters. And protesters marching in lockstep wearing O's caps too. And the cops probably wear O's caps too, when they're not wearing riot helmets.
posted by escabeche at 12:01 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone at MLB has been busy since game-start putting together a highlight reel of players high-fiving in front of empty stands, empty streets, locked out fans, all montaged together with gauzy overlays and crossfades to some tinkling yacht-triumphant piano pop.

And then, back to the announcers:

"Simon and Garfunkel." A long pause. "The Sounds of Silence."
posted by cortex at 12:04 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


In the living room the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o'clock, time to get up, time to
get up, seven o'clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would. The morning house lay empty. The clock ticked on, repeating and repeating its sounds into the emptiness. Seven-nine, breakfast time, seven-nine!

In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk.

"Today is August 4, 2026," said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, "in the city of
Allendale, California." It repeated the date three times for memory's sake. "Today is Mr.
Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage. Insurance is payable, as are the water, gas, and light bills."

Somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes.

Eight-one, tick-tock, eight-one o'clock, off to school, off to work, run, run, eight-one! But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels. It was raining outside. The weather box on the front door sang quietly: "Rain, rain, go away; rubbers, raincoats for today..." And the rain tapped on the empty house, echoing.

Outside, the garage chimed and lifted its door to reveal the waiting car. After a long wait
the door swung down again.

At eight-thirty the eggs were shriveled and the toast was like stone. An aluminum wedge scraped them into the sink, where hot water whirled them down a metal throat which digested and flushed them away to the distant sea. The dirty dishes were dropped into a hot washer and emerged twinkling dry.
...
- There Will Come Soft Rains, Ray Bradbury, 1950
posted by foonly at 12:06 PM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


That was one sad-looking ball girl.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:06 PM on April 29, 2015


Announcer on MLB stream doing obligatory recitation of Papa Johns discount coupon promo specifically for the Baltimore-area fans not able to watch the stream of the game they're not allowed to attend.

There is still a thing called "television"
posted by enjoymoreradio at 12:07 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, when the game is happening inside a Samuel Beckett play

Waiting for Good O's
posted by Kabanos at 12:08 PM on April 29, 2015 [20 favorites]


Maybe this is true where YOU live, but having spent a lot of time around AT&T Park during last year's post-season

If you're challenging assertions for being fact-free, you'll need to do so with facts, not anecdote.

MLB Demographic: 70% male, 50% age 55+, 83% white, for example.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:09 PM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


There is still a thing called "television"

The game is only available on the MASN cable channel, or on the radio, for people in Baltimore and DC.
posted by peeedro at 12:13 PM on April 29, 2015


Which is why the stream is blacked out in Baltimore -- it always is, because of the cable tv deal. Guess there was no facility to change the contract for the day.

This is too weird; I'm switching back to the tiny kittens feed.
posted by JanetLand at 12:16 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, this has certainly been an amazing showcase for Gary Thorne's godawful pomposity. "Our great hopes for this city to remain calm and for the matters that need to be taken care of to be done in a proper way," and then a little lecture on bringing out brooms and dustpans? Great stuff.
posted by RogerB at 12:17 PM on April 29, 2015


The Orioles' most popular and probably best player is Adam Jones, an African-American star in a sport that's gotten less and less black over the years. He said:

Jones sent a direct message to the youth of the city, some of whom have been in the middle of the most violent of the protests.

"Someone has your back," he said. "When you look at the picture, it looks like no one is fighting for you. There are people like myself, not only athletes but civic leaders who are effecting change."

"I'd say to the youth," Jones continued, "your frustration is warranted. It's understandable, understood. The actions I don't think are acceptable. But this is their cry. Obviously, this isn't a cry that's acceptable but it's their cry and therefore we have to understand it and accept it. They need hugs. They need love. They need support. I'm going to try to give as much as I can because the city needs it."

posted by escabeche at 12:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


Unlocator is your (~$5/mo) friend if you're into getting around MLB.com's blackout restrictions. This non-TV-owning A's fan swears by it.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not much hope of having a society at this point. Stadiums, but not for people - very dark stuff.
posted by thebestusernameever at 12:24 PM on April 29, 2015


The game is only available on the MASN cable channel, or on the radio, for people in Baltimore and DC.

My point is that the pizza promotion certainly serves a purpose for MASN's significant cable TV audience. A broadcast is available to people in the blackout zone (like myself), you just have to pay for it.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 12:25 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is one time I wish I had the Premium version of the MLB feed so I could use the Park feature (which removes all audio commentary and just leaves the ball park's natural sounds). Must be eerie.
posted by Kabanos at 12:26 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


A broadcast is available to people in the blackout zone (like myself), you just have to pay for it.
posted by enjoymoreradio


A little Eponysterical! on a sad weird day.
posted by JanetLand at 12:27 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


So the baseball fans are being punished because the cops are at war with the minority population?

Well, drunk O's fans played at least some part in the week's violence. So maybe the 'punishment' fits.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:29 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


The game is on the tv
In th falafel shop where
I'm eating lunch
Outside a busker plays
A diggeridoo.

BURMA SHAVE.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:32 PM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


@MLBCathedrals has been running some good pictures of this weirdness.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:37 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm listening to the radio call, because of the blackout, and it's weird enough without being able to see the empty seats. You can hear random sounds that are normally drowned out and lone people clapping. It's surreal.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:40 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


What is the mascot doing during this game? I have questions.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:42 PM on April 29, 2015


This is one time I wish I had the Premium version of the MLB feed so I could use the Park feature (which removes all audio commentary and just leaves the ball park's natural sounds). Must be eerie.

oh my god it would be the closest we have to a Deranged Billionaire Simulator
posted by griphus at 12:43 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seventh Inning Motionlessness
posted by cortex at 12:44 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


What is the mascot doing during this game?

Ideally some sort of dread summoning.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:44 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


So the baseball fans are being punished because the cops are at war with the minority population?

Everyone is already being punished when the cops are war with the minority population.
posted by dances with hamsters at 12:44 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


seventh inning haruspicy
posted by poffin boffin at 12:45 PM on April 29, 2015


Seventh inning stretching of reality, sanity.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:46 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thorne is now being an asshole, calling it golf announcer style.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:47 PM on April 29, 2015


Gary Thorne now announcing golf-announcer style.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:48 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thorne calling Adam Jones's at-bat (and double) in a whisper there was one of the most genuinely horrifying feelings I've ever experienced while watching baseball.
posted by RogerB at 12:48 PM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Thorne is now being an asshole, calling it golf announcer style.

That was a little surreal. It was also weird that he chose Jones' at bat to do that.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:49 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks, T. D. Strange. That's an important point. If even a small subset of you fans are going to come down and chant disgusting sewage like "we don't care" and worse words to people who are furious about violence against their community, It may be reasonable to say "to heck with it. Keep 'em all away if it'll avoid the provocations. We've got enough trouble without inviting in a crowd containing a few who will try to start more"
posted by CHoldredge at 12:49 PM on April 29, 2015


"So police were clashing with protesters and a lot of people were scared and they closed the schools but the Orioles offered free admission and an ice cream cone to all the local children and I've been a huge baseball fan ever since."

Oh don't mind me, I'm just writing crazy Sci Fi alternate reality stories over here.
posted by elr at 12:49 PM on April 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


There's a part of me that wants the White Sox to rally hard and tie it up and see this go into interminable extra innings. If it goes to a tenth, I'll go figure out what the password was for my John Isner sockpuppet.
posted by cortex at 12:54 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


It was also weird that he chose Jones' at bat to do that.

I'm not a baseball fan and don't know Adam Jones from, well, Adam; could you explain for me why doing this during Jones's at-bat would be any weirder than during any other player's at-bat?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2015


As escabeche said upstream "The Orioles' most popular and probably best player is Adam Jones, an African-American star in a sport that's gotten less and less black over the years."
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:59 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


The stadium ushers pass the time by wiping off seats for each other. Nobody tips.
posted by Splunge at 1:02 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Orioles will be the "home team" in Tampa. Does that mean they will switch dugouts, locker rooms, etc?
posted by dirigibleman at 1:02 PM on April 29, 2015


Look, I just stumbled into this thread by accident and haven't RTFA, but you guys are doing a sports-themed dystopian sci-fi exquisite corpse, right? Right??
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:05 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Orioles win 8-2.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:09 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, thanks TWR (and escabeche).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:09 PM on April 29, 2015


The Orioles will be the "home team" in Tampa. Does that mean they will switch dugouts, locker rooms, etc?

I believe they just bat in the bottom of the inning, no other changes.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:10 PM on April 29, 2015


This is the second just-barely-over-2-hours game I've seen this week.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:10 PM on April 29, 2015


I believe they just bat in the bottom of the inning, no other changes.

They switch uniforms, too.

no, home and road uniforms, not with the other team
posted by RogerB at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I believe they just bat in the bottom of the inning, no other changes.

Wouldn't being the "home" team also affect their uniforms?
posted by fifthrider at 1:17 PM on April 29, 2015


This is the second just-barely-over-2-hours game I've seen this week.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:10 PM on April 29


Commissioner Manfred's original plan also included banning police officers from positioning themselves to catch the protestors, but he backed off on that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:21 PM on April 29, 2015


The first verse of "Casey at the Bat" is very relevant today.

"The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game."
posted by extraheavymarcellus at 1:23 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thorne is now being an asshole, calling it golf announcer style.

I found this clip of the golf announcer double call. Very weird.
posted by zachlipton at 1:25 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't believe no one has challenged this lazy, fact-free, "eh, seems about right" kind of assertion (ok, it's in a MeFi thread about sports so I can).

I guess you missed this, huh? The white maleness of baseball is kind of a thing.

(And someone beat me to the Atantic link so here's another!)
posted by bgal81 at 1:36 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw this once in a Three Stooges short, 'cept it was football. BONUS: It featured a very early appearance by Lucy Ball. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Little_Pigskins
posted by Gungho at 1:38 PM on April 29, 2015


"Since 1987, the lowest attendance has been 746 when the White Sox hosted Toronto at Comiskey Park on April 9, 1997, according to Stats LLC. The New York Yankees' home game against the White Sox on Sept. 22, 1966, had a listed attendance of 413."

*cries and clutches 2005 World Series t-shirt*
posted by bgal81 at 1:42 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Since 1987, the lowest attendance has been 746 when the White Sox hosted Toronto at Comiskey Park on April 9, 1997."

Does anybody know why this game's attendance was so low? Googling it just gives me the same stat over and over, but no explanation. Given the date, I'm assuming the temp was about 36 degrees F and it was sleeting...?
posted by Elly Vortex at 1:50 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does anybody know why this game's attendance was so low? Googling it just gives me the same stat over and over, but no explanation. Given the date, I'm assuming the temp was about 36 degrees F and it was sleeting...?

No precipitation, but the high temperature was 37 that day, so I'd say you pretty much nailed it...
posted by zachlipton at 1:53 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Wunderground says you're right. It was 33 degrees that day in Chicago.
posted by bgal81 at 1:53 PM on April 29, 2015


Ok, the accurate thing would have been to say "baseball fans in most of the country are generally white and male". My point about diversity in SF Giants Fandom still stands. I'm suspect A's fandom is similarly diverse.
posted by MattMangels at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2015


Baseball Reference says "Start Time Weather: 34° F, Wind 3mph from Left to Right, Sunny, No Precipitation" for that 1997 White Sox game. So definitely cold, albeit dry. The fact that it was a 1:00 PM Wednesday afternoon game surely didn't help attendance either. "Let's skip work this afternoon to go sit in the freezing cold at Comiskey!" Nope.
posted by letourneau at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hard to say what the pre-season predictions were for the 1997 Sox, but that might have been part of it, too. They finished 80-81 that season; 2-3 going into that game.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:02 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Start Time Weather: 34° F, Wind 3mph from Left to Right, Sunny, No Precipitation" for that 1997 White Sox game."

Wimps!

~ Minnesotan
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:33 PM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


And Clemens (who won one of his Cy Youngs that year) was starting for the Jays, which contributed to making the proposition as unattractive as it could possibly be — you have to be a pretty committed fan to even consider buying a ticket to a freezing-cold weekday day game with one of the best pitchers of all time at the peak of his ability starting for the opposition.
posted by RogerB at 2:33 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


~ Minnesotan

Wimps!

~ Canadian
posted by blue_beetle at 3:00 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hard to say what the pre-season predictions were for the 1997 Sox, but that might have been part of it, too. They finished 80-81 that season; 2-3 going into that game.

Also, April '97 was the tail end of the the incredible 72-10 season for the Chicago Bulls, so everyone in town was probably still hyped up and focused on that and not super pumped about baseball season yet.
posted by dogwalker at 3:27 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


nevermind, that would have been April 1996. They still had a great team in 97 and were about to head into the playoffs for a repeat.
posted by dogwalker at 3:30 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Since 1987, the lowest attendance has been 746 when the White Sox hosted Toronto at Comiskey Park on April 9, 1997."

Only because the Marlins lied about only having about 350 a few years ago. It was a mid day, mid week game after they were (perhaps only almost) eliminated from the playoffs and still playing at Dolphins Stadium.
posted by dances with hamsters at 4:12 PM on April 29, 2015


“The Rarest Of Possible Events In Sports”Olbermann, 28 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I watched most of the first inning on the free stream...I thought it was pretty amusing. I will challenge the idea that this was a greedy move, or whatever, on the part of ownership and MLB. The money-solution would have been to postpone this game too so they could scrape up some gate revenue at whatever makeup game they end up playing later this season.
posted by MillMan at 5:42 PM on April 29, 2015


They played the game because there was not space in the season for another make-up. The other two games of this series are being played on the same day a month from now on what would have been an off day in between a series with the Astros and another with the Rays. The only other days off - for the rest of the season - between one home series and another are May 14 and May 18.

On May 14 the White Sox are travelling between Milwaukee and Oakland so a game in Baltimore doesn't make sense. And the White Sox are playing Cleveland at home on the 18th, the day after playing the last game of that series in Oakland.

This was a desperate move, if anything.
posted by mountmccabe at 6:09 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


This song was introduced to me via AskMe in the past year. It seems extremely appropriate now.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:48 PM on April 29, 2015


Only because the Marlins lied about only having about 350 a few years ago.

Announced attendance 13,810. The Marlins stadium is designed to stay empty, the team itself is design to perpetually suck, and rake in profit off the luxury tax and the largess of South Florida's moronic public leaders.

At least the Orioles only played in an empty stadium as a last resort, for the Marlins it's an everyday business plan.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:10 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think announced attendance these days is paid attendance, not turnstile count.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:50 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Which is exactly how the Red Sox claimed they were "sold out" for, what, 3 years?

I believe they kept up with the claim by "donating" tickets to local charities or whatever, but then MLB stepped in and said there's only so much you can claim that way.
posted by Melismata at 8:21 AM on April 30, 2015


Did anyone ironically riot outside the stadium?
posted by Theta States at 6:40 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Apartheid Games: Baltimore, Urban America, and Camden Yards
Camden Yards has for twenty-five years been praised not only as the heart of Baltimore's “urban renewal" but also as a template for every city like Baltimore that had seen their manufacturing base disappear and with it, decent paying union jobs. That's why we have seen similar ballparks, big on charm and big on public subsidies, built over the last generation in—to name just a sampling—Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago's South Side, and Pittsburgh. All of these cities were at one time synonymous with industry and multiracial labor power. Now they have boarded up factories—or factories that have been transformed into coffee shops or bars—and sports stadiums. These stadiums were all built with the promise of an attendant service economy that could provide jobs and thriving city centers, with restaurants mushrooming around the fun and games
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:43 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


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