MLB’s playoff bubble is set, just needs approval — Redleg Nation

Major League Baseball is attempting to move forward with a “playoff bubble”, following the lead – at least in a way – set by the NBA and NHL. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported late on Friday night that MLB’s plan was set and is now in the hands of the Major League Baseball Players Association…

MLB’s playoff bubble is set, just needs approval — Redleg Nation

Major League Baseball is attempting to move forward with a “playoff bubble”, following the lead – at least in a way – set by the NBA and NHL. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported late on Friday night that MLB’s plan was set and is now in the hands of the Major League Baseball Players Association to review and approve and or make changes to and send back to MLB.

Unlike the NBA bubble, there will be multiple sites around the country for the Major League Baseball playoffs. But many of the same protocols would be followed.

The prospect of spending upward of a month isolated in hotels still is concerning enough to players that including family is a must. In any bubble scenario, the league would rent out entire hotels, allowing players and their families free rein on the property. They would not be allowed to leave the hotels except to attend games.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic are also reporting on the situation. They’ve spoken with some players, including Andrew Miller who is a part of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, about some of the issues that they would like to see worked out.

MLB plans for players to stay with their families at sprawling resorts in warm-weather Texas and Southern California. But Miller, whose Cardinals were quarantined at a hotel in Milwaukee for five days after their outbreak, is wary that staying in one place for an extended period would be difficult on his wife and two young children.

“If that’s the scenario I could be leaving them to head into the bubble on (Sept. 27, the final day of the regular season),” he said. “If we play to the end of the World Series that’s a long time. Hotel isolation is no fun either. Our team can attest to that.”

I did something that I never want to do, but do far too often: I read the comments. And as expected, the comments were full of people calling the players whining, spoiled millionaires who aren’t willing to sacrifice a little comfort for (insert all kinds of reasons here, some which are more valid than others). That, however, is a complete misunderstanding of the point. The complaint about spending a month in the bubble is not about the players themselves. It’s about their families having to do so.

It’s one thing to ask the players to “make the sacrifice” of not leaving the hotel for up to a month. If you’re single, or maybe even if you are married with no children, that’s something you can handle a lot easier. It’s a very different thing, though, if you are asking a family that includes children to potentially remain in a hotel, with no ability to leave it (if you plan to actually be able to re-enter said hotel without quarantining somewhere else for a week before re-entry), for up to a month.

The players believe that there are other things that can be put in place instead of a full on “can’t leave the hotel” situation for the families, citing the success of plans that have been in place by multiple organizations this season that have led to no positive tests.

There’s just over two weeks remaining before the postseason begins. That’s not a lot of time to get things figured out and agreed upon.

What we do know, though, is where all of the games will be played. Sort of.

The Wild Card Round

The wild card round will be played at the home ballpark for the teams seeded 1-4. This round is 3-game series, so there will only be two or three games before moving onto the next round.

The Divisional Round

This is the round where the bubble truly begins. The National League will play their  games in the state of Texas at Globe Life Field and at Minute Maid Park. The highest seed in the National League will have their series played at Globe Life Field (Arlington), while the other series will be played at Minute Maid Park (Houston).

The American League will be playing in California at Petco Park and at Dodger Stadium. San Diego will host the highest seeded American League team and their series, while Los Angeles will host the other series.

The League Championship Round

The National League Championship Series will be played in Arlington at Globe Life Field. The American League Championship Series will be played in San Diego at Petco Park.

The World Series

The World Series will take place in Texas. Arlington’s Globe Life Field will host the World Series, starting October 20th.

Looking at the venues

The wild card round will be played at the highest seeded team’s home ballparks. We don’t know who those teams will be yet. But we do know which ballparks the rest of the playoffs will be held in. And that’s where things get interesting. When it comes to the 2020 season every postseason ballpark is in the bottom half when it comes to run factor. Dodger Stadium is the most “hitter friendly” when it comes to runs scored per game after adjusting for the teams that are playing there – and it is the 19th most “hitter friendly” ballpark in 2020. Petco ranks 20th, while Globe Life Field ranks 23rd, and Minute Maid Park ranks 26th.

Petco Park is playing quite interesting in 2020. The Slam Diego Padres have been crushing the ball this year. Their home ballpark, in terms of runs, favors pitchers. But when it comes to home runs, Petco has been the 5th most hitter friendly ballpark in baseball this season. Globe Life Field, where the World Series will be played, has the lowest home run park factor in baseball this year. Minute Maid park comes in at 25th on the list. Dodger Stadium is 14th.

All four of the ballparks in the postseason bubble favor pitchers when it comes to hits, with Dodger Stadium ranking the highest at 14th in baseball – but just below the league average at .988 (1.000 would be a neutral ballpark). Globe Life Field ranks 19th. Petco ranks 27th overall, while Minute Maid Park comes in at 29th.

RunsHHR
Globe Life.877 (23rd).959 (19th).673 (30th)
Petco.916 (20th).851 (27th)1.309 (5th)
Dodger Stadium.939 (19th).988 (14th)1.045 (14th)
Minute Maid.821 (26th).835 (29th).750 (25th)
Above 1.000 favors hitters, below 1.000 favors pitchers

In the playoffs you tend to see better pitching than in the regular season. If that’s going to hold true in 2020, and these ballparks continue to play out in the way they have this season, runs are going to be really tough to come by, with home runs likely being the way teams are going to score.

Luis Castillo’s complete game seals a Reds win over St. LouisNO MORE STORIES

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Gray

Doug Gray is the owner of RedsMinorLeagues.com, writes here at Redleg Nation, and as you guessed it, passionate about the Cincinnati Reds and baseball in general. He’s been writing about baseball since 2006. You can keep tabs with him on twitter @dougdirt24.

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Lowry reflects on memorable Raptors season: ‘I enjoyed this year’ — Portal4News

Following a hard-fought Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics that ended the Toronto Raptors‘ postseason in the second round, Kyle Lowry spoke candidly his team’s nearly 15-month run as defending NBA champions. “I enjoyed this year. The emergence of Pascal (Siakam). The emergence of Freddy (VanVleet). Just being around these guys, these young guys,” […]

Lowry reflects on memorable Raptors season: ‘I enjoyed this year’ — Portal4News

Following a hard-fought Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics that ended the Toronto Raptors‘ postseason in the second round, Kyle Lowry spoke candidly his team’s nearly 15-month run as defending NBA champions.

“I enjoyed this year. The emergence of Pascal (Siakam). The emergence of Freddy (VanVleet). Just being around these guys, these young guys,” Lowry told reporters moments after the 92-87 defeat. “Now we got a couple free agents, I’m going to be really happy for these guys that’s going out into free agency and going to get paid.”

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The Raptors’ roster could look considerably different entering the 2020-21 season, with key rotation pieces VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol all set to hit unrestricted free agency. VanVleet, in particular, is expected to garner significant interest and a hefty payday on the open market.

Though Lowry is disappointed his team is leaving Orlando despite having “more to give,” the floor general expressed bittersweet emotions about finally flying home.

“I get to go see my babies, man. I’ve been going damn near three months without seeing my kids,” Lowry said. “I don’t want to be going home, I really don’t, and I know my kids don’t want me to be home because they want their daddy to win another championship, but I get to go see my babies.”

The All-Star point guard finished his 14th NBA season with averages of 19.4 points, 7.5 assists, and five rebounds across 58 regular-season games. The 34-year-old went on to average 17 points, 5.6 assists, and 6.3 rebounds in 11 postseason contests.

Lowry is under contract with the Raptors through the 2020-21 campaign.Tags:

DeGrom, In NYPD Hat, Backed By 10-Run 4th, Mets Rout Jays — CBS New York

Dominic Smith hit his first career grand slam and Wilson Ramos had a three-run double in a 10-run fourth inning.

DeGrom, In NYPD Hat, Backed By 10-Run 4th, Mets Rout Jays — CBS New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jacob deGrom, wearing an NYPD cap in honor of first responders on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pitched six strong innings and the New York Mets backed him in a big way, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 18-1 Friday night.

In addition to the police department, caps for the fire department, Port Authority police, Department of Sanitation and Office of Emergency Management were worn by the Mets.

“Everybody remembers that day and exactly where they were, how much that stopped the world and witnessed how many great men rose to that occasion,” Mets manager Luis Rojas, who wore an FDNY hat, said before the game. “It’s special for me that to be wearing this. For the people who were directly involved that day. I’m proud and honored just to be representing.”

DeGrom (4-1) struck out nine and held the Blue Jays to three hits, two walks and a first-inning run, his 13th straight start allowing no more than two earned runs, the most by a Mets pitcher since Johan Santana in 2008-09.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner lowered his ERA to a league-leading 1.67 on a night where the gametime temperature was 61 degrees and fell to the mid-50s by the end.

“Run support is always a plus,” said deGrom, who hasn’t always gotten a lot of offensive backing. “I wanted them to score as many runs as they could. I did the best I did to stay loose in the dugout. I knew it was cool, so I continued to move around. But there wasn’t a time where I thought, ‘OK this is enough.’”

Rojas was also glad to see deGrom working at his peak.

“This is the best version of Jake deGrom that I’ve seen,” Rojas said. “Stuff-wise, demeanor-wise, confidence-wise, he wants the ball and he’s pushing for this team to keep winning and get into playoff position. He’s in a good spot.”

BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 11: Dominic Smith #2 of the New York Mets runs the bases after hitting a grand slam home run during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Sahlen Field on September 11, 2020 in Buffalo, United States. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Dominic Smith hit his first career grand slam and Wilson Ramos had a three-run double in a 10-run fourth inning. Ramos hit a late solo homer.

“I was just trying to get the runner in from third,” Smith said. “I got a good swing on it and it left the ballpark.”

Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer as the Mets scored four times in the third.

Erasmo Ramírez worked the final three innings and was credited with his first save since 2017.

Chase Anderson (0-1) allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings. Former Mets prospect Anthony Kay was tagged four six runs while recording two outs as Toronto had its hold on second place in the AL East trimmed to a half-game over the Yankees, who swept their doubleheader against Baltimore.

“When they’re hard fought and tooth-and-nail, extra-inning games and you lose by a run, that might be a little bit tougher to swallow,” Anderson said. “This one kind of stings while it happens, but you get to kind of watch it, come back tomorrow and try to even the series up.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in the Toronto run on a sharp single that Conforto couldn’t wrangle against the right field wall.

Conforto, who along with Ramos scored four times, hit his ninth homer to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Smith struck for his eighth homer to make it 11-1 and Ramos’ double gave the Mets their first 10-run inning since they scored 10 at Philadelphia in the fifth inning of a 24-4 win on Aug. 16, 2018. Ramos added a leadoff homer in the eighth off Toronto reliever Ken Giles, who was activated from the injured list before the game.

TAKE AND GIVE

Toronto, which put up a 10-run inning on Monday against the New York Yankees, became the third team in the expansion era to score and allow 10 or more runs in an inning in a four-game span, according to STATS. The other two occurred in August 2003, when St. Louis and Pittsburgh did it against each other in back-to-back games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder discomfort) threw a side session and is expected to be activated soon. … Rojas said RHP Dellin Betances (right lat tightness) was responding well to his workout progression.

Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette (right knee sprain) played in a seven-inning intrasquad game Friday at Toronto’s alternate training site and could be activated soon, according to GM Ross Atkins. “The next day depends on his recovery and how he’s feeling,” Atkins said. … OF Teoscar Hernández (strained oblique) did some rotational work and will soon resume baseball activities barring any setbacks.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.05 ERA), who has a 1.54 ERA in his three starts this season with 20 strikeouts, will take the mound on Saturday in the middle-game of the three-game series against Blue Jays LHP Robbie Ray (1-4, 7.51), who was acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline.

You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)Comments

Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals Will Tip Off Tuesday Night — CBS Boston

The Celtics are back in the Eastern Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Miami Heat. At the moment, we know when three of those games will be played.

Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals Will Tip Off Tuesday Night — CBS Boston

The Celtics are back in the Eastern Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Miami Heat. At the moment, we know when three of those games will be played.

Well, for the most part, at least. We don’t know exactly what time some of those games will be played, but we do have some dates. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

Game 1 of the Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals will tip off on Tuesday night, Sept. 15, but the time of that game depends on the Clippers-Nuggets Western Conference Semifinals. If the Nuggets force a Game 7, then the Celtics and the Heat will tip off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. If Los Angeles closes out Denver on Sunday afternoon, then Boston and Miami will tip off at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

After a late night Friday, everyone should be rooting for a Game 7 in the Clippers-Nuggets series.

Game 2 of the Celtics-Heat series is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, with the time TBD. Game 3 is set for Saturday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 p.m., according to NBA.com.

Nothing after that is on the docket yet, but chances are the NBA will keep its every-other-day schedule, meaning Games 4-7 would be Monday (Sept. 21), Wednesday (Sept. 23), Friday (Sept. 25) and Sunday (Sept. 27). You know, if Games 5-7 are necessary.

The Celtics needed seven games to send the defending champion Toronto Raptors home, while the Heat moved on after dispatching the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second-round. Like Boston, Miami swept their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers. Miami is 8-1 in the playoffs after going just 3-5 in its seeding games.

One of those seeding-game wins came against the Celtics, a 112-106 victory on Aug. 4 without Jimmy Butler. The Celtics won their two matchups against the Heat during the regular season.

“I know we always think we’re going to win every game we play,” Jayson Tatum said of the upcoming series. “We didn’t come down here just for the first and second rounds. We didn’t really pay attention to outside noise, whether we were favorite or not. That doesn’t matter to us. It’s all about the guys in that locker room. We know what we’re capable of, we just got to get out there and do it.”

“We’re going to just take our time, rest our bodies up, take a few days and get prepared for a great team,” added Kemba Walker. “Those guys, they balled last series. Those guys are nothing but players.”

Celtics Notes: Marcus Smart Explains What Happened On Game-Altering Block — NESN.com

Sign In Marcus Smart did Marcus Smart things. Again. The Toronto Raptors cut the Boston Celtics’ 10-point lead to two points, taking over momentum and, even more importantly, having the opportunity to tie up the game with 58 seconds left. Toronto’s Pascal Siakam hauled in a defensive rebound after Jayson Tatum’s drive to the rim…

Celtics Notes: Marcus Smart Explains What Happened On Game-Altering Block — NESN.com

Marcus Smart did Marcus Smart things. Again.

The Toronto Raptors cut the Boston Celtics’ 10-point lead to two points, taking over momentum and, even more importantly, having the opportunity to tie up the game with 58 seconds left.

Toronto’s Pascal Siakam hauled in a defensive rebound after Jayson Tatum’s drive to the rim was off the mark. Siakam found teammate Norman Powell, who took the ball the length of the floor, committed to going to his left when he got to half court only to see Smart matching him stride-for-stride.

Smart then did what he always does. He made arguably the most important play of the game, blocking Powell at the rim and saving a game-altering basket. (You can watch the play here.)

He explained what was going through his mind after the Celtics’ claimed the 92-87 win in Game 7, ultimately advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.

“As soon as Norman caught the ball, instantly I remembered last game where that exact same play came full court and he got the and-1 in the same type of standard where, close game, and it put them up I think three,” Smart said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “So, when he caught the ball in my mind I’m just telling myself ‘He has to dunk it. I’m not going to give him no foul, I’m just going to meet him up top and see who wins that battle.’

“I bet on myself 100 percent of the time,” Smart continued. “And I’m first team All-Defense for a reason. I believe that wholeheartedly.”

Smart contributed three steals to go along with his one block. He also helped the Celtics defense force 18 turnovers with 12 steals as a team. That specific play, however, was what stuck out in the minds of head coach Brad Stevens and Kemba Walker.

“I thought two best plays of the night were Smart’s block and Tatum’s (offensive) rebound,” Stevens said, per NBC Sports Boston. “Those were both incredible effort plays by two of our best players.

“The hustle, the block, the toughness,” Stevens added of Smart. “He had a couple loose balls, he almost came up with another couple rebounds there towards the end of the game. Yeah, I mean he’s a huge part of our team. He’s a huge part of organization.”

Walker said much of the same.

“That block was, that block was so special. It was unreal,” Walker said. “This is why he’s first team All-Defense. He shows it night in and night out. He made so many huge plays tonight. A lot of the things he does just goes unnoticed. But that kid, he’s special. He’s on a different level on the basketball court.”More:Celtics Wrap: Boston Wins Game 7 Vs. Raptors, Advances To East Finals

Here are some other notes from Friday’s win:

— Of note, the other play Stevens was referencing was Tatum’s offensive rebound after a missed foul shot by Grant Williams. It helped Tatum go back to the free throw line, where he made one of two to give the Celtics a 90-87 lead with 34.9 second left.

— Despite a slow start from Walker, who took just two shots in his first 17 minutes, the point guard finished strong by scoring eight of his 14 points in the fourth.

Stevens was happy to see Walker play well down the stretch, as well as advance to his first conference finals.

“I’m really happy for him. He deserves to experience this,” Stevens said of Walker. “He’s everything that’s good about basketball. He loves the game, he’s a great teammate. He doesn’t care if he gets any of the glory, like he’s just a special guy. Guys like that deserve to play on these stages, for all the marbles and I’m glad he gets to keep doing it.”

— Rookie Grant Williams was forced to play some key minutes down the stretch when center Daniel Theis fouled out. And he did so admirably, playing strong defense on what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer by Toronto’s Fred VanVleet.

“He’s not even a rookie the way he plays, the way he sees the game, the way he comes in the game and brings energy,” Smart said of Williams. “For him to come in the game like that, Game 7, a rookie, to come up with that play, the fact that he was even in the mix to come up with that rebound was incredible.”

— Celtics’ fans may have had their hearts skip a beat with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter when Jaylen Brown went down with what looked to be a knee injury.

Brown never left the game, explaining that he was able to stay in due to his adrenaline. He admitted he was feeling the injury a bit more after the game.

The Celtics will take the floor next Tuesday for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports ImagesMore NBA:Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart Among Celtics Who React On Twitter After Win

The post Celtics Notes: Marcus Smart Explains What Happened On Game-Altering Block appeared first on NESN.com.

Two Giants-Padres games postponed after positive SF virus test — MLB | NBC Sports

The game between San Francisco and the San Diego Padres was postponed minutes before the scheduled first pitch Friday night after someone in the Giants organization tested positive for COVID-19.

Two Giants-Padres games postponed after positive SF virus test — MLB | NBC Sports

Two Giants-Padres games postponed after positive SF virus test

Associated PressSep 12, 2020, 12:22 AM EDT

The game between San Francisco and the San Diego Padres was postponed minutes before the scheduled first pitch Friday night after someone in the Giants organization tested positive for COVID-19.

Saturday night’s game at Petco Park also was called off. The teams were scheduled to play through Sunday.

This was the first postponement due to COVID-19 for both teams. There have been 45 major league games postponed this season because of coronavirus concerns.

Both teams lined up for a moment of silence for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and then the national anthem. But the Padres didn’t take the field and the team announced the game had been postponed.

Players from both teams lingered in and around the dugouts well after Garrett Richards was scheduled to throw the first pitch.

About a half-hour after the game was to have started, the Padres announced the reason for the postponement. A few minutes after that, the Padres filed into the stands for a team meeting.

Denver’s Michal Porter Jr. makes another statement against Clippers — Press Telegram

This time it’ll be Michael Porter Jr.’s timely shot, block and rebound that’ll come up on sports talk shows, and not any ill-timed postgame comments. The 22-year-old from Missouri shared his frustration after the Clippers won Game 4, 96-85, saying: “We kept going to (Nikola Jokic) and (Jamal Murray) and I think they are two…

Denver’s Michal Porter Jr. makes another statement against Clippers — Press Telegram

mazing players, you can never get mad at that, but I just think to beat that team we got to get more players involved.”

Porter finished with 15 points in Game 4, but got no shots in the fourth quarter.

The talented rookie forward was sidelined last season by a back injury that caused his draft stock to fall to 14th overall, landing him in Denver with the Nuggets, for whom he’s been a contributor this postseason, averaging 11.7 points and 6.9 rebounds.

On Friday, Porter scored all seven of his points in the decisive fourth quarter as the Nuggets staved off elimination with a 111-105 comeback victory over the Clippers. Denver scored 38 points in the fourth quarter to deny L.A. its first conference finals berth in franchise history.