Manager Buck Showalter's post-game press conference was filled with plenty of questions about the bizarre nature of playing in front of an empty stadium and some typical baseball stuff, but the most poignant moment came when a young African-American reporter asked him: "Buck, I'm a resident from here. I grew up in the neighborhoods where everything's happening. What advice would you give to young black males in the city? Because you're well-respected in that area."
Showalter's response: "Well you know, a lot of times you hear people try to weigh in on things they really don't know anything about. I tell guys all the time when they talk about... I've never been black, okay? So I can't put myself there. I've never faced the challenges that they face, okay? So I understand the emotion, but I can't... It's a pet peeve of mine when people say, 'Well, I know what they're feeling. Why don't they do this? Why doesn't somebody do that?' You have never been black, okay? So just slow down a little bit. I try not to get involved in something that I don't know about, but I do know that it's something that is very passionate, something that I am with my upbringing that it bothers me and it bothers everybody else. We've made quite a statement as a city, some good some bad. But now let's get on with taking the statement we've made and creating a positive. We talk to players, I want to be a rallying force for our city, and it doesn't mean necessarily playing good baseball. It just means everything we can do... There are some things I don't want to be normal, you know what I mean? I don't. I want us to learn from some stuff that's gone on, on both sides of it."
Here's a picture from the celebration.
Britton gets a strikeout to end it. The team comes out and celebrates. Final score: 8-2.
Zach Britton coming on to close the game.
And once again the quiet stands and sounds of baseball are interrupted by sirens. Be safe, Baltimore.
Can we talk baseball for a second? Ubaldo Jimenez was terrific, going seven innings and giving up three hits, two runs (zero earned), and one walk while striking out six. Kevin Gausman is in the game for him now. And the bats have been on. This is the way the team is supposed to look.
Just announced in press box that the official paid attendance is zero. A few writers chuckle. Seems like a weird thing to laugh at.
Can't say enough about the sounds. Both bullpens have guys warming up and you can even hear the cracks of the mitts out there. Both bullpens are located 400-plus feet away.
The traditional 7th inning stretch soundtrack of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" just played to no one.
First time hearing something from one of the coaches. Melky Cabrera fouled off a pitch and the White Sox third base coach clapped and said, "Atta boy."
Manny Machado just belted a home run to the Orioles' bullpen in left center. Huge crack. Beautiful arc. The great things about the game are still present.
So there are three people in the seats here. Assuming these are scouts.
Some fans took advantage of the Hilton too. There's a group of about 6-to-10 people on a party deck. Looks like three rooms with balcony views of the field have been rented out.
Delmon Young just hit a deep pop fly near the first base side of the mound. Could clearly hear someone yell "Me!" then first baseman Jose Abreu call him off with, "I got it! I got it! I got it!" Sorry to be a baseball nerd in times like these, but that was really cool.
This being baseball and all, there have been a few foul balls hit into the seating bowl. Nobody is there to catch or collect them. The Orioles just turned a double play to end the top of the 2nd inning and first baseman Chris Davis just jokingly tossed the ball into the stands.
It's a beautiful day for baseball, but for the first time in Major League Baseball history, no fans are not allowed in the stadium to watch it. Thee press box is full for the afternoon game between the Orioles and the White Sox, but Oriole Park at Camden Yards is otherwise empty. The optics of the stadium are a bit surreal. What's really impressive are the sounds. Everything is better: all of the umpires calls are audible, the glove pops louder.
There is a group of fans outside the gates in left field chanting "Let's Go O's!" and the like. Otherwise, the familiar sights and sounds of baseball are absent. There's already been the sound of a helicopter and sirens near downtown, a reminder of the trouble still going on in the city.
First inning is over and the Orioles are already up 6-0.