September 08, 2008
In case you haven't noticed (and judging by the attendance at Camden Yards lately, you haven't), the Orioles and Athletics had an off-day scheduled yesterday. Yes, on a Sunday.
I'll be honest. At first, I didn't know the game was gone, either.
But when there's a baseball game to be played (Sun-Thur.), my Morning Juice is there (Mon.-Fri) to make fun of it. It's part of my job to make sure all of the games are there. Upon checking Sunday's MLB scoreboard and adding up the games for this morning's Juice, I noticed they weren't all there. The AL lost a man. One, two, three... six games. A full clip is seven. Had the Yahoo! Mainframe goofed, hiccuping out a pair of teams who were not getting their just due?
Nope. The O's 'n' A's were not playing on purpose. The Orioles had agreed some time ago with their NFL neighbors, the Ravens, to not play this Sunday. Camden Yards and a stadium named for yet another bank share parking lots, so the equation was thought to be: Ravens + Orioles @ same time @ home = traffic nightmare. And so even though attendance at OPACY is roughly the size of a small church service, the O's stepped aside — Angelos? Really? How soft have you gotten? — and tried for a split doubleheader split on Saturday.
Only problem is that one of Saturday's games was rained out and instead of just reconvening on Sunday to pay the balance on their unpaid bill, they did what any teams long since erased from relevancy would do — they ran away like the Inner Harbor was under attack.
It seems as if there is very little chance the game will be made up, but I believe they should be forced — just like a toddler finishing his vegetables — to play those full nine innings. MLB's season's still 162 games long, not less for a reason. Roger Maris taught us so!
But because the Orioles are limp, because baseball is weak compared to football, the integrity of the 162-game schedule has been mocked. Would the NFL allow one or two teams to not play the full 16 and just call it a day at 15? Doubtful.
Oh, there is precedent for what the O's did. The Padres used to cede their shared home turf to the Chargers once every other year or so. The Royals have sat out Sundays because the Chiefs, just a few spaces away, were playing the same day. The Orioles probably did it in the old days of the Colts and Memorial Stadium, too.
But those scenarios probably did not involve a baseball game that needed to be played not being played. There was an open diamond. There were two teams needing to get a game into the record books. And yet everyone just looked the other way! Where is the outrage?