BALTIMORE – It was a surreal scene at Oriole Park. A handful of fans in the stands, music played, and the Chicago White Sox were taking batting practice.
Most entrances to the ballpark had been blocked, and then finally about 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the game, it was postponed due to the rioting taking place in Baltimore.
Commissioner Rob Manfred was on hand for a previously scheduled visit to the ballpark, and he was consulted.
"We feel like we made the decision that would provide us the greatest possible security in terms of protecting the fans, the players, the umpires, everybody involved,” Manfred said.
"All I want to say about that is we are looking at every possible alternative in terms of completing the schedule in a timely way and making sure the games are played in a security situation that is safe for the fans. We are going to look at every alternative at this point.”
There is no scheduled makeup date. The White Sox are scheduled to play the Orioles on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Orioles play in Chicago in July.
Before batting practice, players watched televised coverage of the rioting, which initially took place at the Mondawmin Mall, about 3 ½ miles away.
As reports of looting became more intense and businesses closer to the ballpark were ransacked, tensions rose. Gates are scheduled to open two hours before the game’s start, but they weren’t. One gate in the outfield, which was heavily policed, opened, and the home plate plaza entrance opened, too.
The situation was much different than on Saturday. Then, a near capacity crowd was expected, but thousands couldn’t get to the ballpark because of demonstrations nearby.
The Orioles have already announced that fans with tickets for Saturday night will have the opportunity to attend another game.
NOTE: Ubaldo Jimenez, who was supposed to pitch Monday night, is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday against Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija.