Orioles postpone game; city enacts curfew
BALTIMORE -- Just a few hours after players huddled around clubhouse televisions, watching the Freddie Gray protests move through Baltimore, the Orioles postponed Monday night's game against the White Sox after consulting with the Baltimore City Police Department. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a citywide curfew from 10 p.m.- 5 a.m. ET starting Tuesday and running for the rest of the week.
The curfew comes while the city of Baltimore is experiencing civil unrest following the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on April 19 from injuries allegedly suffered while in police custody. It is unknown how the curfew will affect the rest of the series, with 7:05 p.m. ET games scheduled for both Tuesday and Wednesday
"We feel like we made the decision that would provide us the greatest possible security in terms of protecting the fans, players, the umpires, everybody involved in the game," said Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, who had just met with White Sox players on a scheduled visit prior to the announcement that the game would be postponed.
The curfew could impact the Orioles beyond this series, as they are scheduled to host the Rays for a weekend set.
"We're 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's safe for the fans," Manfred said. "We're going to look at every alternative at this point."
The protests, which caused Camden Yards to close all but two gates on Monday, have been a hot topic of conversation among the players and coaching staff.
"Sure it is," manager Buck Showalter said. "But I don't want to lessen it all so I'm very cautious about even talking about it. There's so many things that go on that you get challenged with, obviously this is a different level. There's not a lot of experience with it. So you try to take each moment as it comes and I know there were a lot of calls to some guys' families about making sure they knew what was going on from a safety standpoint. But guys are watching it. They are all aware of what's going on."
The curfew includes all events except for medical emergencies and people traveling to work, and will continue until May 4 or it's rescinded by Rawlings-Blake.