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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The O's Lose The Fans, And Why The Dodgers Should: Orioles 8, White Sox 2

You would be hard pressed to find a more remarked-upon or remarkable game than today's White Sox/Orioles tilt at an entirely empty Camden Yards, due to the rioting in Baltimore. The game itself was mostly noteworthy for its astonishing speed, completing nine innings in a barely-recognizable 2:03 despite the high-scoring offense.  If MLB rules people want to figure out how best to accelerate the pace of play, this game might well be a good place to start, an experiment otherwise impossible that yields an interesting result, just as shutting down all air traffic on September 11, 2001 yielded some interesting (or not) results. Taking the fans out of the park might be the most radical idea yet advanced to this end, but is it too much to imagine that showboating batters, the staged drama of walkup music, the endless preening of the pitcher between pitches might be considerably lowered in such an environment?

If any team can achieve such a thing, it's the Dodgers, who have staked what appears to be the vast majority of their revenue streams to television contracts, rather than seats in the park. While it might be overkill to suggest the team could play entirely without fans in the stadium, it could certainly operate financially without them, although their current TV contract's viability is in grave peril. Think of the advantages for the team: no parking hassles (or revenue), no more Brian Stows, no fan interference, no need for concessions or staffing. Security could be reduced by no less than two-thirds. This begins to sound better all the time.

ESPN BoxRecap

Update: Apparently the Orioles signed autographs for and tossed balls to fans that weren't there.

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It would certainly make the commute between Downtown and Pasadena smoother on game days!

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