The first game of the AL Wild Card Series on Tuesday is slated to start at 12:00 p.m. PT at the Oakland Coliseum. But A’s manager Bob Melvin isn’t a huge fan of it.
“I don’t like it, but again it’s something you have to deal with,” Melvin said Monday. “You talk about home-field advantage -- there’s no fans. You win your division, there’s no fans in the stands and now you’re hitting at 9:00 in the morning. I mean, they hit later than we do.”
Not having fans in the stands is something teams across the league anticipated, but it’s a different scenario when it comes to the playoffs.
Last season, the A’s set a record for the biggest crowd ever at a wild-card game when 54,005 fans showed up at the Coliseum for the do-or-die contest against the Tampa Bay Rays. Now, they’ll have to continue to depend on piped-in crowd noise with cardboard cutouts blanketing the seats.
It’ll be different, but not being able to feel the energy from the crowd that’s expected to come out for the playoffs might be a game-changer.
“I’m not complaining,” Melvin added. “I’m just answering your question to the point that there are a lot of obstacles along the way, including the game times we’re going to get here.”
A’s shortstop Marcus Semien, however, doesn’t mind the early start. Despite maybe needing more sleep, some of the elements during other start times have sometimes been a bother.
"We just did it yesterday,” Semien said on Monday. “So you know in the playoffs, times are going to be weird. I think I would rather play the 12:00 game than the 4:30, 5:00 start because the shadows can kind of be tough with that start, so (we) just got to get our sleep tonight and wake up with some energy.”