The Orioles were right not to accommodate the Ravens tonight

Thursday September 5th, 2013

Camden Yards, Orioles There will be baseball tonight in Baltimore, not football. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will kick off the National Football League season tonight . . . in Denver. Normally the reigning champion opens at home, but because of a scheduling conflict with the Orioles, who play the White Sox at home tonight at 7:05 and whose Camden Yards shares a parking lot with the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens were forced to open on the road.

This caused some minor controversy back in April when the 2013 NFL schedule was announced. As someone who is not only a huge baseball fan but also makes my living off the game, I'm hardly an impartial voice in this situation, but, as I wrote then, the whole controversy seemed petty and absurd. "Asking [the Orioles] to surrender a home game this year when they could be in the playoff hunt again," I wrote, "is nonsensical."

As it turns out, the Orioles are indeed still embroiled in a pennant race. They enter tonight's game just four games out of the second wild-card spot, currently occupied by the Tampa Bay Rays. The White Sox, meanwhile, have emerged as a patsy, the team with the second-worst record in the American League and one that could be eliminated from the playoffs entirely tonight with the right combination of results. Having just slipped behind the Indians in the wild-card tussle, the O's need to fatten up on this four-game set against Chicago before a home stretch that finds them playing 14 of 20 games against the three teams ahead of them in the AL East, the Red Sox (six games), Rays (four on the road) and Yankees (four at home starting Monday).

admitted in April Playoff Odds Report
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