Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The MLB playoffs continued on Wednesday and turned up to full intensity, with the National League joining the party. In total there were eight games in one day, an all-time record. When the dust settled, the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays were eliminated, taking us down to 14 teams.
But the biggest news of the day regards the future of the playoffs, a couple weeks down the road. Major League Baseball will allow fans to attend games during the NLCS and World Series, reports the Associated Press. Both series are being held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and 11,500 tickets will be sold for each of those games, representing around 28% of the park’s capacity. Fans will sit in groups of four, with each group spaced apart from each other and from the players. (Note: The ALCS will be played in San Diego.)
This will mark massive progress during a year in which fans weren’t allowed to attend any games at all. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its ensuing safety protocols, including social distancing and avoidance of dense crowds, the MLB season was shortened from 162 games down to just 60, and doors were not open for public spectators. Teams played in front of empty stadiums, usually with the seats filled with cardboard cutouts bearing the likenesses of fans, players, and celebrities.
The pandemic is not over, having claimed over 200,000 lives in the United States alone, and with no vaccine available yet. But public restrictions have gradually lightened as the summer has progressed, and now MLB will take the next step by putting some fans in the seats for the biggest games of the year.
- News: Mike Fiers to start Game 3 of Wild Card Series
- Gallegos and Merkin: White Sox-A’s Game 3 FAQ (ESPN, 3 ET)
- Coffey: Joe Rudi on how Mark Canha’s Game 2 catch compares to his 1972 classic ($$$)
- AN: Mark Canha channels Joe Rudi with incredible catch in Game 2
- Hickey: Chris Bassitt’s `Inner Weird’ Embraced by His Athletics Teammates
- Hickey: Athletics Missing Chapman the DJ Almost As Much as Chapman the Third Baseman
- AN: Will the same story have a new ending for the Oakland A’s this time?
- AN: 3 Positive takeaways from Oakland A’s Game 1 disappointment
- Game 2: Oakland A’s flip script, win 5-3 to even series
MLB News & Interest
- Just the playoffs
- Today in Baseball History
Game 1 Highlights
Win! Back in the familiar territory of the winner-take-all elimination game, this time in Game 3. (Below: Semien homers against the team that traded him to the A’s.)
Best of Twitter
Khris Davis also homered in Game 2, a sight to behold after a two-year slump
Chris Bassitt on Khris Davis: "I know he hasn’t played much, but for the last month, I promise you guys in the clubhouse are like, 'Man, the explosion in your bat is back.’ I think he’s starting to believe, too."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 30, 2020
Rudi! Rudi! Rudi!
Deja vu all over again
Best dive bar in the league
Just heard Ken Korach mention that the Coliseum is hosting its 60th postseason game — fourth most in MLB history. That’s something ... only old Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium and Fenway have hosted more. #Athletics— Joe Stiglich (@Joe_Stiglich) September 30, 2020
Breaking news: National broadcasts suck. I still believe MLB should find a way to use local crews in the postseason to cover their own teams.
Not the best from ESPN. Bothering a guy for an inning who's playing in the outfield at the time - and didn't manage to ask about the shoulder he kept stretching and tugging at after slamming into the wall.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 30, 2020
Is it worse to always lose Game 5, or to never even get to it in the first place?
The Minnesota Twins have lost 18 consecutive postseason games.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 30, 2020
The streak started in 2004, continued in 2006, grew into kinda messed up in 2009, was like WTF in 2010, got super painful in 2017, stopped making any sense in 2019 and in 2020 is sadly amazing and amazingly sad.