TWISTITY MLB REPORT: BALTIMORE BURNS

BALTIMORE BURNS There are far greater casualties in Baltimore than two baseball games. “when the common events that normally bind the population cannot be staged, another bit of civilized...

BALTIMORE BURNS

There are far greater casualties in Baltimore than two baseball games.

“when the common events that normally bind the population cannot be staged, another bit of civilized life disappears and our differences become magnified.”

Amid the rioting and looting in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray protests, Major League Baseball postponed Monday night’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles. Given the imposition of a week-long curfew and the possibility of continuing violence, Tuesday’s game was also postponed. The Baltimore Ravens also announced the cancellation of their Thursday night NFL draft party.

Completely understandable. What would encourage a ticket-holder to attend this game with chaos in the streets? What assurance could MLB, the city, or the state offer of safe passage for fans where cars still smolder and anger rules? And how would it look, when so large a portion of the population feels aggrieved enough to burn and loot, for people to turn up at a ballgame?

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Baltimore’s problem is far bigger than a postponed game. A portion of its population is engaged in violence against the city and the police, outraged over the years by what it sees as police brutality and abuse of authority. Even if the rioters go home, the issues don’t dissolve. Will out-of-towners want to visit Baltimore’s Harborplace with threats hanging in the air? What happens to the jobs at the burned-out drug store and in tourism? What of the city’s reputation and its economy?

Baltimore has some serious social issues, and they’re far bigger than baseball. But when the common events that normally bind the population cannot be staged, another bit of civilized life disappears and our differences become magnified.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .
 

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