Athletics

Why Melvin doesn't like noon start time for A's playoff games

Athletics

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.

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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.” 

 
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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.”