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Elephant Rumblings: Oakland A’s will add crowd noise during fan-less games in 2020

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Good morning, Athletics Nation!

One of the many oddities of the upcoming 2020 MLB season is that fans won’t be allowed to attend the games, due to social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic. That will make for eerily quiet ballparks, offering a strange game environment that will take some getting used to for players and viewers alike. Imagine a clutch home run, with a dramatic bat flip, and ... crickets.

Back in April on Athletics Nation, Nico suggested that teams should recreate crowd noise over their stadiums’ speakers in order to fill this audio void, and apparently he’s not the only one who thinks that’s a good idea. The A’s will indeed pump crowd noise into the Coliseum during games, reports John Hickey of Sports Illustrated.

There are no specifics on this matter yet, but manager Bob Melvin said the team is working on it, and that he predicts all 30 clubs will eventually do some version of it.

The players have certainly noticed the empty parks already, with first baseman Matt Olson calling it “pretty tough” during an A’s simulated game this weekend. Khris Davis said the following, per Hickey: “We are missing something without the fans. It’s more exciting when you have them out there. But there are bigger things going on now.”

This isn’t the A’s first effort toward generating a virtual version of normalcy during an unusual time. They are also selling the opportunity for fans buy cardboard cutouts bearing their photos, to be placed in the Coliseum stands during games. Now the cutouts won’t have to sit silently.

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