Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The 2020 MLB season got started last weekend, and for Oakland A’s fans it was everything we’d hoped for after an extra four-month wait for baseball. However, everyone has always known that this campaign still lies in a precarious position, with the coronavirus pandemic remaining prevalent throughout the country and threatening to shut things down again at any moment.
That worst-case possibility has already shown the first signs of emerging. The Miami Marlins, playing in one of the biggest virus hotspots in the nation, have reported over a dozen positive tests for coronavirus among their 33 players (roster plus taxi squad) and staff, including between nine and 11 players. The first four were reported Sunday, with the rest coming to light Monday morning.
As a result of this outbreak, the Marlins home opener Monday against the Orioles has been postponed. In addition, the team they were playing against last weekend, the Phillies, also had their Monday home opener (against the Yankees) set back as a precaution.
This is the first real test of the viability of this season. Can this outbreak be contained, without spreading, and without effectively removing one or more teams from the 2020 season? Missing two weeks for quarantine is nearly a full quarter of the schedule, which begins to really challenge the competitive integrity of the game.
There were also a couple reminders of how serious the disease is. Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is dealing with heart complications after his bout with the virus, and D’Backs international scout Johan Maya passed away last week at age 40.
For now there is still baseball. Hopefully that continues to last because everyone stays safe and healthy.
- Kawahara: A’s lefty A.J. Puk playing catch but ‘a ways off’ from potential return ($)
- Kawahara: A’s pitcher Mike Fiers: ‘Every win counts as three’ in shortened season ($)
- Kawahara: A’s lefty Sean Manaea ‘totally confident’ as rotation depth is tested early ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Jesús Luzardo passes first regular-season test ‘with flying colors,’ may join rotation soon ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Chris Bassitt says players took fans ‘somewhat for granted’ ($)
- Slusser: Protest opposing ballpark plans set for Coliseum before A’s opener ($)
- Slusser: Will expanded playoffs help A’s, or hinder team that struggles to advance? ($)
- Slusser: A’s Bob Melvin shuffles lineup ‘to keep everybody involved’ ($)
- Slusser: A’s overlook safety protocols during on-field celebration after Olson’s walkoff ($)
- Gallegos: A’s: Playoff format ‘gives us a better chance’
- Coffey: How the A’s Ramón Laureano worked to launch himself into his hot start ($$$)
- Hickey: For a Season Athletics’ Laureano was Never Sure Would Happen, He’s off to a Great Start
- Hickey: Athletics’ GM Forst Ready to `Throw out the Norms’ as 2020 Starts Up Tonight
- Hickey: Fortunes Swing Wildly in AL West as Athletics Win, But Astros, Rangers & Angels Develop Starting Pitcher Issues
- Hickey: Bassitt Goes into Monday Start Missing Both Athletics’ Fans and Fellow Starters
- Hickey: Social Distancing Loses First Confrontation With Celebrating an Athletics Walkoff Win
Best of AN:
- A’s opening weekend roundup: Two wins, a loss, and an Opening Day pregame ceremony
- AL West update: Astros’ Justin Verlander, Rangers’ Corey Kluber out with injuries
- Jesus Luzardo aces season debut, could be in rotation soon
- Quick look: T.J. McFarland stays grounded in A’s debut
- Quick look: Burch Smith earns win inA’s debut
- MLB 2020 expanded playoffs: Pro and con of the new setup
- Tom Hanks will be featured in Coliseum crowd noise
- A’s cardboard cutouts include Astros mascot Orbit in a trash can
MLB News, & Interest:
- GoFundMe: Support for late D’Backs scout Johan Maya’s wife Edulig & children
- Matheson: Blue Jays finalize 2020 home schedule (in Buffalo)
- Leitch: 30 teams, 30 first impressions
- Kelly: For first time in 66 years, no team starts 3-0
- Today in Baseball History
Weekend Game Highlights:
Saturday: Loss, but Luzardo debut!
Best of A’s Twitter:
Love every single thing about this tweet
Great catch! Congrats to Richard Lovelady for catching the first foul ball of the season in the 811 Foul Ball Zone! We will be sending you the ball! @Athletics And that is $81.10 for the Oakland A’s Community Fund on behalf of Call 811! ⚾️⚾️⚾️ pic.twitter.com/pNEYA0dotO— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) July 25, 2020
I mustache you a question
Sean Manaea has a mustache growing. He’s still not sure if it’s a long-term thing: “I just got bored with having a really bad beard so why not have an OK mustache. We’ll see how it goes.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 24, 2020
Good luck with that!
A little taste of the Coliseum Diamond Vision at home
It’s similar to getting free pizza
Another fun thing at the Coliseum this season starting with tonight's opener - there's a target stretched out in the left-field seats and if any A's homer hits it, all fans with cutouts in the building will get emails with a coupon for a free Round Table pizza.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 24, 2020
Best of MLB Twitter:
Bill Murray with the 7th inning stretch! pic.twitter.com/JDTmnKOAbF— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 25, 2020
It’s always Sonny
Sonny Gray has now gone 34 straight starts allowed 6 hits or fewer -- an MLB record— C. トレント・ローズクランズ (@ctrent) July 25, 2020
Regardless of your views, THIS is what a leader looks like
Cavan Biggio says he didn’t show up expecting to kneel today. His locker is next to Anthony Alford, who wanted to kneel, but Biggio recognized Alford was hesitant to draw attention as an up-and-down player— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 25, 2020
He asked Alford: “If I did it, would you feel more comfortable doing it?”
AL West injury
Dusty Baker says Aledmys Diaz on the IL with a right groin strain. Says Taylor Jones replaces Diaz on the roster.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 25, 2020
Former Athletic back in the majors-ish
Former A's catcher Chris Hermann has signed a minor-league deal with the Giants and will be part of the taxi squad.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) July 25, 2020
Sources: Lefty reliever Fernando Abad signs with Yankees— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 24, 2020
Take Me Out To The Ballgame!