Readers React

Baseball in Baltimore, but without the fans

To the editor: When I was a kid, I discovered that going to a professional baseball game provided a respite from the world outside. Inside that small, walled universe were understandable rules fairly applied to players making their best effort. ("Final at Baltimore's Camden Yards: Orioles 8, White Sox 2, fans 0," April 29)

It is not a fantasy world. In fact, it is quintessentially real because occasionally the rules seem arcane, the umpires err and the players don't give their all. But generally, it provides a welcome distraction from the sometimes overwhelming strangeness outside. You sit among people with whom you have something in common, and everyone is pretty much equal.

If ever there was a group who needed and deserved some relief in those terms, it was the people of Baltimore. Necessarily or not, they were denied this Wednesday when their Orioles and the White Sox played in an empty stadium.

The answer to that Zen question — if a baseball game is played and there are no fans to watch, is a baseball game played? — is no. Because what would be the point?

Thomas Bailey, Long Beach

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