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Orioles playing in an empty stadium was quite strange

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Orioles playing in an empty stadium was quite strange

An age old premise of baseball - if you play fans will come - was tested today in Baltimore. Nobody came, but the Orioles still played.

Yes, the National Anthem cranked out of the loud speakers before the game. No, the crowd did not scream the "O" as is Baltimore custom, though a vocal group of fans ammassed beyond the left center wall, behind the bullpens and Camden Yards picnic area, did. The fans could be heard inside too, more than 500 feet away, as could police sirens, helicopters, and even chatter from the dugouts and the field. 

The scene was surreal. The cavernous stadium silent but for the crack of the bat and the ball hitting leather. This is not meant as some ode to romantic baseball of times past, it's just the reality of Major League Baseball in an empty stadium. The TV cameras still rolled, the jumbotron in centerfield still lit up with stats, the press box full beyond capacity.

But nobody in the stands. Foul balls fell to the ground, smacked between seats, with not a single skirmish. 

Ed. Note: Fans were not allowed into the game due to ongoing civic unrest in Baltimore. For more on that, click here 

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Orioles' 2021 schedule is released, looks similar to 2020

Orioles' 2021 schedule is released, looks similar to 2020

Though the 2020 MLB season has not yet begun, the 2021 MLB schedule was released on Thursday. For the Baltimore Orioles, next year's campaign is somewhat similar to the condensed season they'll begin playing starting at the end of July.

Much like this year, Baltimore will open up the season on the road against the Boston Red Sox. The three-game series will take place from April 1-4, with an off day scheduled after the first game of the series. Opening Day for all 30 teams will be on April 1.

As for interleague play, the Orioles face the same National League opponents they'll see in 2020. Facing off against the NL East, Baltimore will play the Marlins and the Phillies on the road, and host the Braves and Mets. They'll also have the standard home-road series with the Nationals. Games at Nationals Park will be played on May 21-23, while the matchups at OPACY will be on July 23-25.

RELATED: O'S 2020 SCHEDULE

Sticking with the theme, the Orioles will close the season with a three-game road series against the Toronto Blue Jays, just like they do in 2020. The 2021 regular season will come to a close on October 3.

There are really two main differences between the Orioles 2020 and 2021 schedules, and in a normal season, they wouldn't be as noticeable. First, the plan is to once again have 162 games be played in the next campaign. That means Baltimore will get the opportunity to play teams from the AL West and AL Central, something that was eliminated this year.

The release of the 2021 schedule came at an unexpected time, as baseball just figured out 2020 earlier in the month. There were no prior hints that a drop was coming, and it's the earliest the league has ever released the schedule for the following year.  

A 60-game season in 2020 may slightly delay Baltimore's plan for the future in terms of prospects, but 2021 could still prove to be the year that faces of the rebuild like Adley Rutschman make their MLB debuts.

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Orioles' 60-game 2020 season begins with Opening Day on the road in Boston

Orioles' 60-game 2020 season begins with Opening Day on the road in Boston

Baseball is coming.

Major League Baseball announced its 2020 schedule on Monday evening, as each of the league's 30 clubs found out their 60-game slate for this year's pandemic-shortened season. For the Baltimore Orioles, that means an away date with the Boston Red Sox when the sport returns.

Baltimore will travel to Boston for a three-game series with rival Red Sox, starting on Friday, July 24, to begin its 2020 season. After a quick two-game series with the Miami Marlins following their weekend series in Boston, Baltimore returns home for an eight-game homestand beginning with the team's home opener on July 29 against Miami.

The Orioles are scheduled for a 10-game homestand from August 14-23, hosting series with the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

However, the O's will head on the road for over a week immediately after, as Baltimore will play seven consecutive games away from Camden Yards from August 25-31.

RELATED: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE O'S ARE IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION?

The New York Yankees, arguably Baltimore's toughest opponent this season, first come to Baltimore on August 3 for a three-game series. Baltimore will have an extended stay in New York from September 8-13, as they are scheduled for a two-game series with the Mets before a four-game set with the Yankees.

Baltimore's season will conclude with two road series, beginning in Boston from September 22-24 before traveling to Toronto from September 25-27.

You can see the full schedule below:

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