The West Coast fires are impacting MLB’s season down the stretch
After the A’s and Mariners played their game on Monday night despite air quality issues, MLB has stepped in and made the right call before Seattle’s next home contest on Tuesday. The Giants and M’s were set to square off tonight, but Rob Manfred won’t let that happen. Player safety must come first in times like this, even if it impacts MLB’s postseason plan just weeks ahead of time.
Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo was visibly impacted by the air quality last night, and made a comment postgame regarding just how unsafe it is for professional athletes to perform in such conditions.
“I’m a healthy 22-year-old,” Luzardo said. “I shouldn’t be gasping for air, or missing oxygen when I’m kind of getting to the line.”
Luzardo is absolutely right, and good on Manfred for stepping in
MLB is supposed to play the ALDS and ALCS in California in early-to-mid October. Should such conditions persist, MLB might have to rethink their bubble plans, which looked relatively solid just hours ago.
The league realizes the risks of flying players around the country for the postseason, which is why they’ve opted for a bubble format. They’ve even taken away the home-field advantage aspect by forcing AL teams to play in National League ballparks, and vice versa.
The immediate future for both Seattle and San Francisco is murky, and this series matters. The Giants are in a Wild Card position in the NL, while the red-hot Mariners are fighting with the Yankees and Astros for an AL Wild Card spot or second place in the AL West, respectively. Going off-script is something both teams weren’t prepared for, even during this bizarre MLB season.