Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said he doesn't know what to expect when the Orioles take the field with no fans in the stands, but he does know one thing. The lack of crowd noise will force players to behave themselves better in the dugout.
"I think a lot of the guys on the bench, like myself, I'm going to have to keep my mouth shut a little bit more, so I don't get tossed,'' Hardy said, "because now the umpires are going to be able to hear everything you're saying, where before you could say a lot of stuff and they wouldn't hear it."
Hardy, who will be a spectator today because he is on the disabled list, said the closest he ever came to playing in front of no one as a professional was on an ugly night in Canada at the Class-AAA level.
"The smallest crowd I think I ever remember playing in front of was Triple-A Ottawa against the Orioles in 2004,'' he said. "It was cold. It was wet. It was snowing. I think there was a big hockey game. And there was nobody at our game. There was probably 50 people.
"Of course, we prefer to have fans, but obviously the situation doesn't call for that and we need to get this game in. We can't figure out three makeup dates for this series. I don't even know if that would be possible with their (the White Sox's) off-days."
Hardy, like everybody else, is just wondering what it will be like to do what has never been done before in modern baseball history, playing before a lockout audience.
"It's just going to be so different,'' he said "I don't have any idea what to expect."