Should the Dodgers happen to advance past the Brewers, every remaining game for Los Angeles will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. But perhaps to distract us from the bits of coconut husks that seem to bounce up on every hit to the grass, we’ll have another thing to pay attention to in Texas.
MLB is allowing fans into games.
Beginning Tuesday morning, tickets will be available for sale for both the NLCS and World Series. There will be 11,500 tickets made available, about 28.5 percent of capacity, including 10,550 fans throughout the park, and 950 more in suites.
Tickets will be sold in groups of four, which can’t be broken up, with a limit of one “pod” of four per game per customer. The other regulations, from MLB:
Each pod will be a minimum of six feet from each other.
No seats will be sold within 20 feet of where a player can be located on the field, in the dugouts or in the bullpen.
Masks will be mandatory for all fans except when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.
Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the ballpark.
No bags will be permitted except for those that are carried for medical reasons or manufactured diaper bags that accompany infants and young children.
There have been no fans at games all season, though with families joining players in isolation during the wild card series there have been some family and team employees, all subject to testing, spread throughout the ballpark. That still doesn’t compare to 11,500 in the seats.
“I think it would be an adjustment, but I think it would be so welcomed by everyone. I applaud the players for for getting through this without fans, and it is sort of like a new normal and guys are used to it,” Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “Just watching games today and yesterday, you see emotion which is great, but man, teams that get to that situation and to have fans, it’s going to be pretty cool.”
Fans haven’t been approved for sporting events yet in California, with the ALCS set for Petco Park in San Diego.
“Any time there’s fans in the stands, there might be a heightened sense that it’s a real game, and it might raise everybody’s play a little bit,” Clayton Kershaw said Wednesday. “I’m not exactly sure if it’s a huge advantage or not, but I think everybody would be excited to have some fans on the stands for sure. Get back to normal.”
Links & notes
Pedro Moura at The Athletic profiled Kenley Jansen, including his friendship with former Dodgers outfielder Trayvon Robinson. Dodgers assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness praised Jansen embracing his full pitch mix with his cutter much slower than its peak:
“I’m excited that Kenley is so bought in to himself and his development this year,” McGuiness said. “For a guy who doesn’t really need to do that, with as much foundation that he’s already built and the equity he’s built up in our game, to see that growth mindset, that want to take it up a notch, is really cool.”
Justin Turner is the Dodgers’ all-time postseason leader in hits (33), extra-base hits (17), doubles (9), and RBI (35). Ken Gurnick at MLB.com wrote about Turner’s propensity for clutch hitting, especially in October:
“But, if there was one person I give a lot of credit to in trying to mentally hone in and be present, that would be Ken Ravizza, who unfortunately we lost a couple years ago. I worked with him for many, many years, took a couple of his classes and he just talked about the mental side of baseball and life, really. He was huge for my career, for being present and letting go of the bad stuff and move on and get back to the next pitch.”
The working agreement between MLB and Minor League Baseball expired on Wednesday. With the folding in of independent leagues as partners, and the reassignment of the Appalachian League as a collegiate wood bat league, the very structure of the minors is going to change.
In a statement released Wednesday, D.G. Elmore, the chairman of MiLB’s negotiating committee, said:
“For more than a century, Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MiLB) have worked together to grow the game of baseball into America’s Pastime. The current agreement between MLB and MiLB expires today. Minor League Baseball’s negotiators have been meeting with MLB to reach a new agreement – one that would continue the relationship with MLB and preserve affordable, family-friendly entertainment in each of our 150 communities across the nation. Minor League Baseball will continue to work in good faith over the coming weeks to reach a well-designed and fair agreement that meets MLB’s player development needs and continues the relationship between the two for generations to come.”