BALTIMORE -- They’ve been diplomatic and said the right things but the White Sox will face a hardship when they return in late May for a makeup doubleheader.
At the same time it was announced the two teams would play their series finale in an empty Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles also said that games cancelled Monday and Tuesday would be made up in a May 28 doubleheader.
Riots across Baltimore on Monday night that resulted in 200-plus arrests and 159 fires have led city and state officials as well as Major League Baseball and the Orioles to cancel the first two games of the series. The White Sox have been more than happy to assist the process to ensure the safety of players and fans as well as making sure that law enforcement resources aren’t tied up at the ballpark. But without any say in the matter, the White Sox are now adding a fourth city and two games to an 11-day road trip that starts in late May and ends in early June.
“It’s not ideal, but we’ll try to find a way to make it as easy possible on everybody,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “We’ll make it work. It’s not ideal, but people are dealing with a lot more serious stuff than that right now so we’ll make it work.”
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The scheduling is less than optimal for the White Sox.
Originally, the White Sox were scheduled to have days off on May 28 and June 1. But now the team is set to play 18 games in a 17-day span beginning May 15. Instead of having two days off on a trip that begins in Toronto on May 25, heads to Houston and concludes in Arlington, Texas on June 4, the White Sox must return to Baltimore for a straight doubleheader that begins at 4 p.m. EST on May 28.
Hahn said the decision is left up to the scheduling team.
After the announcement was made, White Sox players said they aren’t bothered by the additional trip.
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“Not out of the ordinary stopping at a place for one day,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “It will be energetic with all the traveling. We have a good time traveling with each other. It will be exciting because of rarity of situation.”
Outfielder Adam Eaton experienced a similar trip with the Arizona Diamondbacks in late 2013. But in that instance, Arizona had to fly half way across the country and then head back to the East Coast.
This trip should be much easier, Eaton said.
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“It's over and done before you know it,” Eaton said. “You get in, sleep for a couple of hours and play the game and you're gone. You're in and out.
“Something you have to do and take in stride.”
The White Sox have done just that over the past few days as they’ve ingested several days worth of harrowing events. Hahn said what has transpired has put the team’s issues in perspective and they’ll deal with their impending travel woes in the same manner.
“We realize we’ve got to make some sacrifices and one of them is going to be that off day,” Hahn said. “Look, there’s more serious concerns than an off day right now. We get it and we’ll deal with it as that road trip unfolds.”