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The top questions about an Orioles game to be played in front of nobody

The Orioles will play a game not open to the public this afternoon. There are things I want to know.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I'm pretty sure this is important to say -- please don't take this post as making light of the situation in Baltimore in any way, shape or form.  I send nothing but positive thoughts in the direction of the city, in particular those directly affected by the recent property damage, or living in any kind of fear right now.  If a little bit of inquisitive humor about a byproduct of the situation comes across as crass to you, please accept my apology and/or stop right here.

The Orioles have decided to move forward with today's game against the Chicago White Sox, bumping the start time up to 2 p.m. and closing the game off to the public.  It's an odd but defensible decision, allowing the two teams to avoid a third makeup game, but keeping a large police presence from being allocated to the park when it's sorely needed elsewhere.  Plus, it prevents a crowd of thousands from congregating, and therefore needing to be controlled, particularly before and after the game at the open-air bars near the stadium.

So, the decision makes sense.  But it's a novel situation in the recent history of Major League Baseball.  And it sets off tons of questions in my head.  We know a few basic things -- the game will be televised, open to both press and associated cameramen -- but for every thing we know, there seem to be a few more that we don't.

  • Will there be a live performance of the Star-Spangled Banner?
  • If not, will there be a recorded version?
  • Will there be a PA announcer? (apparently he didn't know, at least as of yesterday)
  • Will the jumbotron be on?
  • If so, will the features air or will it just stay locked on the lineups?
  • If the normal jumbotron features air, who will be on the Kiss Cam?
  • What will MASN use for intros and outros as they go to and from commercial breaks, where they would normally air crowd shots?
  • Will there be a few dozen diehards out on the balconies of the Hilton that overlook the park?
  • What will it be like when the first player hits a home run?  Surreal?
  • Will we be able to hear foul balls crack off of seatbacks on TV?
  • Will there be a seventh-inning stretch?
  • If so, will they play "Thank God I'm a Country Boy?"
  • Will the silent atmosphere affect the players?
  • If so, will fans watching on TV be able to tell?
  • Will the Oriole bird be on duty, running around the empty sections and dancing atop the dugout?
  • If Chris Davis strikes out and no one's there to see it, does he still strike out?
I'm sure there are more odd repercussions to a fan-less baseball game that I'm not even considering.  Watching today's matchup could well be a one-time-only experience.  Against the sad backdrop of everything else happening in Baltimore, it will be a fascinating sideshow.