O's Adam Jones, Buck Showalter feel Baltimore's pain as game goes on without fans

BALTIMORE — Adam Jones was thinking much more about the residents of his city while it’s under a state of emergency than about the feeling of playing in an empty ballpark.“People are hurting,’’ the Orioles centerfielder said Wednesday morning, hours before he and his team took the field at Camden Yards, which was closed to the public in light of the week of unrest in Baltimore. “As one of the older guys in the community, we owe it to the youth to continue to strengthen them, to educate them, to be by their sides. They don’t need more antagonizing, they need a shoulder to cry on, and this city can be that for those kids. Adam Jones: "It's not an easy time right now for anybody. It doesn't matter what race you are." #Orioles pic.twitter.com/NHsa6FxEmk— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke)

April 29, 2015MORE: Bizarre scenes, sounds at Camden Yards“Your frustration is warranted, understood,’’ he continued. “Your actions aren’t acceptable, but I know where they come from.’’ Because of his boyhood growing up in San Diego, Jones said he can relate to the anger felt by those who live in the poorest parts of Baltimore, where the violence broke out Monday night, and where Freddie Gray died in police custody after an incident two weeks ago. “They need hugs, they need love,’’ he said.But, he added, baseball would be as helpful now, and he would have been fine with the game being open to fans at a time like this.“I understand the security issue in the city,’’ Jones said, adding, “To give three hours of distraction from what is going on, that’s what sports is, and that’s why Baltimore needs.“Deciding to play the game and postpone the other games, that’s up to the commissioner,’’ he said, “but sports brings people together.’’Manager Buck Showalter deflected nearly every question about the unusual circumstances of the game, noting that there are much more important issues at stake. “You’re trying to prioritize what’s important, and this wasn’t one of them,’’ he said.Like everybody else in Baltimore and around the country, Showalter watched the riots with a sick feeling.“I tell you what, it’s sad, on a lot of fronts,’’ he said. “You ask how we got to this point. I just want to see this city — some things you want to get back to what it was, but there are things you don't want to get back to what it was.’’