morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s already began selling vouchers for 2021 regular season tickets, but there was still the question of when fans might be allowed to begin attending games in the state of California again amid the coronavirus pandemic. The answer might end up being Opening Day.
California Governor Gavin Newsom indicated belief that A’s fans will be able to enter the Coliseum by the team’s April 1 opener, reports Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News. Newson said Wednesday that there have been “advanced discussions” with Major League Baseball on the topic and that they’re “working on the final details,” adds Rubin. Click the link for more info.
Some other states have already begun allowing fans at pro sports, including Arizona, where the A’s are currently playing spring training. Capacity is limited to 20% for the club’s Cactus League exhibition games at Hohokam Stadium, and the Coliseum could begin around that percentage range as well.
Last week the A’s announced a new FlexTix program, in which fans can buy packs of vouchers for 2021 tickets and then choose the exact dates later. Normal single-game ticket sales will begin later in March.
Lou Gehrig Day
Henceforth in MLB, June 2 will be known as Lou Gehrig Day. Per a press release sent by the A’s on Thursday:
The dedicated date will forever commemorate the legacy of the Hall of Famer who has inspired the ongoing movement to end Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The focus of Lou Gehrig Day will be on three pillars: remembering the legacy of Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name; raising awareness and funds for research of ALS; and celebrating the groups and individuals who have led the pursuit for cures.
The date June 2 is significant for two reasons, notes MLB’s Anthony Castrovince. It was the day Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp as the Yankees starting first baseman in 1925 (second day of his famous Iron Horse streak, after pinch-hitting in the previous game), and it was the day he passed away in 1941.
June 2 will forever be known as Lou Gehrig Day.— MLB (@MLB) March 4, 2021
Each year, we will celebrate his legacy and honor those we've lost to ALS. Together, we will help in the fight against this disease. #4ALS pic.twitter.com/jFP0Z7ym6L
The topic of ALS is particularly close for the A’s, after outfielder Stephen Piscotty lost his mother to the disease in 2018.
Stephen Piscotty on MLB’s Lou Gehrig Day: pic.twitter.com/We3JN8iDfn— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 4, 2021
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MLB News & Interest
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- Today in Baseball History
Irvin made a great impression in his first spring start
Cole Irvin says his goal is to make the A's Opening Day roster. He realizes it's going to be tough to make this starting rotation and would be thankful for any opportunity that comes his way. Showed off a nice four-pitch mix today and mixed speeds well against the Rockies.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 3, 2021
After already throwing and homering, Buddy shows off his next trick
Now Buddy Reed steals third base. pic.twitter.com/fXIQrpqvmg— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 3, 2021
Technically, Criswell’s appearance on Wednesday was his pro debut
RHP Jeff Criswell, the A's 2020 second-round pick, had a rough debut - 2/3 IP, 4 runs, 2 walks. Melvin said there were "probably some nerves involved ... That's not who he is. Just had some command issues."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 4, 2021
The game got off to a ... rocky start for Colorado’s pitching and defense
The #Athletics currently have 7 runs on 2 hits in their spring training game against the Rockies.— Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) March 3, 2021
A.J. Puk is going to face hitters on Friday. This is what Emerson had to say about him: "I really can't answer where he's gonna be penciled in because we got to watch the guy pitch first. But what he's been doing has been awesome. He's very confident, that makes it even better."— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) March 3, 2021
For now we should expect the normal 5-man rotation
Emerson on whether the A's will use a six-man rotation and how Puk's development plays into that: pic.twitter.com/cBqSTnz9JZ— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) March 3, 2021
Best of Twitter
Minor league update
Expected minor league roster sizes by affiliate level:— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) March 4, 2021
Expanded sizes aim to decrease player travel.
Maxwell is an NRI with the Mets this spring
The top tracked EV's from todays spring training games:— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) March 4, 2021
1. J.D. Martinez: 111.5
2. Ali Sanchez: 109.9
3. Bruce Maxwell: 109.3
4. Bobby Dalbec: 108.7
5. Nelson Cruz: 108.6
Speaking of former A’s prospects, another one found a new home
Right-hander Heath Fillmyer and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in agreement on a minor league deal, sources tell ESPN. Fillmyer, 26, last pitched for Kansas City in 2019 and will give the Diamondbacks depth as they proceed in a season when healthy arms and innings are at a premium.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 4, 2021
The initial recommendation for top young Astros SP Framber Valdez is for surgery to repair his fractured ring finger, and the early belief is that could mean he’d miss the 2021 season, as I just said on @MLBNetwork. But the team is getting 2nd opinions before commenting further.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 4, 2021
One of the biggest remaining free agents finally comes off the board
Source: Jackie Bradley Jr. is heading to the Milwaukee Brewers. Two-year, $24 million deal with a player option after the first year.— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) March 4, 2021
In case anyone is burning to relive 2014
... But one of those final (non-former-A’s) free agents is already crossed off the list
Source: the Red Sox have signed INF/OF Danny Santana to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) March 4, 2021