If you are a baseball fan, you are probably aware that today is a 1st in baseball. But as much as baseball likes to count things, this is one “honor” the Orioles would rather not have. Today marks the first time in baseball history that a game is played in an empty stadium – no public allowed.
While this kind of thing has happened in European soccer stadiums before, it wasn’t the fault of the fans in this case. It is sad to know that at 2pm today, Oriole Park at Camden yards will have empty seats, silent cheers, and no time-honored stretching and singing in the 7th. Why? Rioters.
In light of the riots in Baltimore, Major League Baseball decided to postpone 2 games and play the 3rd in an empty stadium. Now, I’m sure that they had the best interest of the players, city resources, and fan safety in mind. But I wonder if they shouldn’t have taken a lesson from one “Mad Mama” who didn’t back down from danger.
The Mom is Toya Graham. And she made headlines for the “correction” she gave her son on national television this week. [Warning: if you are going to watch the video, I suggest you do so with the sound off as there is foul language used.]
But as the old saying goes: “When Mama ain’t happy, she’s gonna smack you in front of all your rioting gang and drag you home by your ear.” Or something like that, I think. At least, that is the lesson Toya’s son learned. She spotted her son on television and, as only a Mom could, marched down to the riot, grabbed her son, and dragged him home by his ear!
Now, aside from being a really embarrassing way to lose your street cred, her son learned a great lesson, and baseball should too. We need more Mad Mamas! We need people who are willing to take uncomfortable risks to teach important lessons. And this Mom showed that when you love someone enough, you won’t let a little thing like a riot or looters stop you from trying to save them.
Of course, you’re probably thinking, it would be nice if we taught kids not to riot and loot in the first place. Well, yeah. But you know what? Everyone makes mistakes. And those of us who made mistakes, and learned from them, often learned those lessons because of Mad Mamas who grabbed us by the ear and sent us home.
In Matthew 23, Jesus likens himself to a Mother hen who longed to gather her chicks together, but they would not come under her wings. And sometimes, “mother,” had to give her children a correction. Unfortunately, we won’t always be successful when we try to correct children, but it is always worth the effort.
In Matthew 21, Jesus went into the Temple grounds and found money changers looting the people – a “den of robbers.” John writes, in John 2, that Jesus fastens a whip and gives the equivalent of a smack upside the head and a good ear grabbing. It didn’t cause God’s children to correct their behavior, but at least Jesus tried to show them the error of their ways.
I don’t know if Major League Baseball should have moved the game to a nearby stadium or played the game at Camden Yards. But it seems to me that playing the game while barring the public sends the wrong message. Isn’t it better to at least try to teach a better lesson? If not, the rioters and looters win, and we are all in trouble!