The Orioles announced that tonight's game is postponed.
After consultation with MLB & state & local officials, tonight’s game between the Orioles & the White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed.— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 28, 2015
The White Sox will now have played just one complete baseball game in the past four days. Setting aside for a moment the complex issues unfolding in Baltimore, this obviously has a substantial baseball impact.
First, this is the only trip the White Sox make to Baltimore. With the curfew in Baltimore, it's not likely that a doubleheader would be possible tomorrow. Heck, it's quite uncertain whether the scheduled game will be possible tomorrow. If it does happen, it will certainly be changed to a day game.
While logistically difficult, it's possible to reschedule one game for a mutual day off later in the season. Two games, however, is another matter entirely. Flying in to Baltimore for one day to play a doubleheader is probably not at the top of the White Sox' summer bucket list. And I'd guess the Orioles wouldn't be too happy about a day off turning into a doubleheader, either. Let's look at the options on mutual off days:
The clubs have mutual off days next month on the 14th and 28th. With the White Sox going to Oakland after a series in Milwaukee, the 14th is probably out. The 28th is in the middle of an Orioles homestand and the White Sox would be coming from Toronto on their way to Houston.
The next possible date is not until July 20, which sees the Orioles travelling from Detroit to a series with the Yankees. The White Sox already open the second half of the season with a doubleheader with Kansas City and giving up the off day following that four game series wouldn't be ideal, not to mention that they'd have to fly from Chicago to Baltimore and then back to Chicago for their series with the Cardinals.
August 6th and 13th are the next dates. The Orioles are in the middle of a West Coast road trip on the 6th so that date is out. The 13th has the Orioles returning to Baltimore from Seattle - certainly not an ideal situation for them - and the White Sox are in the middle of a homestand; however, the 14th is a day game against Cubs.
The final possible date is September 10th. The White Sox would be in the middle of a homestand and the Orioles would be returning home from New York.
The Orioles also visit the Cell on July 3-5. A doubleheader on Saturday or Sunday would be possible. And, being the 4th of July weekend, there's not much more American than a twin bill.
From those options, it probably would be best to re-schedule at least one of the games at the Cell. Of course, the Orioles then lose the revenue from that game and, on the baseball side, while they would play as the home team in the game, they wouldn't have the complete home field advantage. May 28th looks like the best option for a game in Baltimore.
The second issue, of course, is the baseball impact right now. And the biggest part of that is the pending suspensions for Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija.
The usual process for pitcher suspensions is immediately appeal - because the appeal hearing is normally not held quickly - and then, after the pitcher makes his next start, drop the appeal and start serving the suspension. That minimizes the impact of the suspension.
Things were going as planned. Samardzija was going to pitch today and Sale was going to pitch tomorrow. The off day on May 4th was going to help the White Sox avoid using someone like Scott Carroll for a fill-in and let Carlos Rodon be the only one who might need to make a fill-in start.
Last we heard, the appeal hearings had not been scheduled. There's a danger now that the appeals will be scheduled and resolved prior to their next starts - particularly if tomorrow's game doesn't happen.
Obviously, there are other issues, both good and bad.
Matt Albers and Javy Guerra are on the DL. For whatever it's worth, they'll miss fewer games.
A concern regarding "game rust" will be there.
The days rest for the starting pitchers is getting pretty messed up. And so on.
And while we're talking about such frivolities, Baltimore is pretty messed up, too.