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O'Day on O's postponement: 'Right thing to do'

Orioles reliever Darren O'Day says the Orioles just want to play baseball.
Orioles reliever Darren O'Day says the Orioles just want to play baseball. (GAIL BURTON / Associated Press)

Veteran reliever Darren O'Day said the Orioles would love to be playing Tuesday night, but he fully understands the reasoning the club, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and city and state authorities, has postponed a second consecutive game with the Chicago White Sox due to unrest in the city.

"Personally, I think it is the right thing to do," O'Day said. "You watch people's homes and businesses and personal effects be destroyed. To protect the people that will come to our games and to protect us at the stadium would cost a lot of manpower. And to me it just makes sense to employ that manpower to protect people's homes and businesses instead of our game."

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O'Day, one of the undeniable leaders on the team, is also the Orioles' players union representative. He said, in that capacity, he was told very little about what the plans were for Tuesday until the decision was made. Given the situation, that's understandable, he said.

"Obviously, an event like this takes precedent over normal daily lives and they've kind of gone through with a decision-making process that's higher up than the player reps or the players' union," O'Day said. "I haven't been too in-tune to it. Basically, [we're] hearing about things really after decisions have been made when it's an issue of public safety and fan safety. It's kind of out of the players' hands, and we kind of do what we are instructed."

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The Orioles' first two games against the Chicago White Sox were postponed. Wednesday's game will be played at 2:05 p.m., but will be closed to the public. The Orioles will make up Monday's and Tuesday's postponed games against the White Sox as part of a single-admission doubleheader on May 28 to begin at 4:05 p.m.

The Orioles have a scheduled day off on Thursday, but they can't make up one of the postponed games then because the White Sox play in Minnesota that evening. The White Sox are not scheduled to return to Baltimore this year.

This weekend's series planned for Camden Yards against the Tampa Bay Rays has been moved to St. Petersburg, Fla. It will technically be a home series for the Orioles, who will receive the gate at Tropicana Field, minus the Rays' expenses.

"Speaking just in a very narrow, team-centric point of view, on our striving to win baseball games, this is tough," O'Day said. "It affects your starting pitching quite a bit, and other teams are playing their games right now and it is beautiful weather, and we can't play. But it's all for a good reason. It's definitely a challenge, but one that we are going to have to face either way."

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The bottom line, O'Day said, is getting back to playing in a secured atmosphere as quickly as possible.

"We want to play for sure. The more games we miss, the bigger the challenge is to make them all up," he said. "And as you've seen in recent years, every game ends up counting in the end. We just want to play, really."

O'Day said he and his wife, Fox News Channel journalist Elizabeth Prann, watched several hours of TV coverage of the riots Monday before going to bed. It hit home for the couple. Prann covered several hours of Saturday's protests downtown, before leaving before dark.

"There are a lot of people's loved ones that are involved in this. There are people that live down there, are innocent, and aren't involved in anything, and live right next to the violent going-ons. It made it a little bit real last night when Liz's co-worker and friend was out there and almost got hit by a vehicle that jumped through the fire around about 11 p.m.," O'Day said. "That very easily could have been her. So, yes, that concerns me, not just because of the situations that are happening downtown, but you just never know what could happen. If she had to be there covering it, yes, I'd be even more worried about it."

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