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Sport Column: Neutral-site World Series hopefully a one-and-done

04:15  24 october  2020
04:15  24 october  2020 Source:   ap.org

Report: MLB considering two playoff bubbles, neutral-site World Series at Globe Life Field

  Report: MLB considering two playoff bubbles, neutral-site World Series at Globe Life Field Entering a bubble situation could be the best thing for MLB. We've seen the NHL and NBA successfully eliminate the risk of COVID-19 infection by keeping players in an isolated situation.As multiple teams have dealt with coronavirus outbreaks, continuing on with the same format doesn't seem feasible. In light of that, the league reportedly is considering a bubble format with a neutral-site World Series at the Texas Rangers' Globe Life Field, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

At a neutral - site World Series , that would only be magnified over a long series . " I totally understand why they're doing it this season, and it But a neutral - site World Series is not such a Super idea. ___ Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)

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In the midst of a pandemic, one can’t be too picky.

Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe celebrates a two-run home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dustin May during the fifth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) © Provided by Associated Press Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe celebrates a two-run home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dustin May during the fifth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Major League Baseball is less than a week away from completing its truncated season, and given the odds it faced at the beginning of this perilous, three-month-long journey, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Tampa Bay Rays' Willy Adames celebrates after a double against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) © Provided by Associated Press Tampa Bay Rays' Willy Adames celebrates after a double against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

So, we’re surely not going to complain about a World Series between teams from opposite coasts being played in a sparsely populated stadium in the heart of Texas.

The who, why and how of MLB’s decision to allow fans at the NLCS and World Series

  The who, why and how of MLB’s decision to allow fans at the NLCS and World Series Jon Stein, a 31-year-old Los Angeles resident, bought seven refundable roundtrip flights from LAX to Dallas Love Field for every day of the 2020 World Series, weeks before the tickets went on sale. After months of baseball games played in empty stadiums, there will be 11,500 tickets sold to each of the NLCS and World Series games taking place at the new Globe Life Field. As soon as college football in the state started playing games in front of fans, Stein had a hunch MLB would follow suit. They had put the neutral-site World Series in Texas for a reason — to sell tickets in a state that has lax limits on large gatherings despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Do we have to watch on lolesports and YouTube? And what can you get from the drops? But what happens if I watch from the lolesports.com site but the youtube stream with my account linked? Do I get the youtube reward as well as the lolesports rewards without having to open two windows?

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Fans watch during the fourth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) © Provided by Associated Press Fans watch during the fourth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

That said, let’s hope this is a one-and-done.

MLB isn’t the NFL.

Any thought of transforming the World Series into some sort of Super Bowl-like spectacle, played in a single city that is chosen years in advance, should not be part of a much-needed discussion on modernizing the game.

Scott Boras, the most prominent agent in baseball, has been pushing this idea for at least a decade, long before anyone could’ve envisioned it would become necessary to help navigate through a pandemic that has claimed more than 220,000 American lives and some 1.1 million around the world.

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Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates a two-run home run with Enrique Hernandez against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) © Provided by Associated Press Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates a two-run home run with Enrique Hernandez against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

He brought it up again this week in an interview with The New York Times, coinciding with the start of a World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays that is being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

When Boras speaks, it’s certainly worth listening. He wields enormous influence within the game, and anything he is proposing is surely with a well-honed eye toward increasing revenues — and, by extension, the salaries of his clients.

“We have to be forward-thinking about how we create a game that has attention above all other sports,” Boras told the Times. “It’s already given us an indication of what the current, traditional approach has provided, and that is that baseball does not receive the attention of the Super Bowl.”

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Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager rounds the bases after a home run off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Peter Fairbanks during the eighth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) © Provided by Associated Press Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager rounds the bases after a home run off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Peter Fairbanks during the eighth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

No one can deny the Super Bowl is the 800-pound gorilla that dominates the American sporting landscape, and it’s mere folly to think the World Series — or any other event — could ever approach its popularity.

But, in Boras’ view, that doesn’t mean baseball shouldn’t at least make the effort. And considering the ratings for the first two games of the World Series were the lowest in history, we'll listen to him a little more.

“Let’s create a product that does receive the attention of the Super Bowl," he said, “and let’s create something that allows for a World Series week and brings commerce and corporate interaction and all those things that come to a city for the Super Bowl — but we can actually deliver four to seven games as opposed to one.”

Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager strikes out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) © Provided by Associated Press Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager strikes out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

But here's the problem.

Ryan Day apologizes to Nebraska for touchdown late in game

  Ryan Day apologizes to Nebraska for touchdown late in game Ryan Day apologized to Nebraska for a touchdown the Buckeyes scored late in their 52-17 win over the Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday. © Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports Nebraska and Ohio State were actually tied at 14 in the second quarter before the Buckeyes broke away. They outscored Nebraska 38-3 from that point on. Ohio State was up 45-17 with under three minutes left and took over at the Nebraska 40. They ran the ball five straight times and got down to the two. Rather than take a knee, freshman quarterback Jack Miller III ran a ball in for the touchdown with 18 seconds left.

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By having just one game, which falls at the end of a carefully orchestrated week of media events, concerts, parties and all sorts of associated revelry, the Super Bowl has masterfully created a model that culminates with a huge swath of the nation gathering around their TV sets to watch what has become much more than two teams playing for the title.

A best-of-seven World Series, it would seem, hardly allows enough free time for the sort of extracurricular activities that helped transform the Super Bowl into a de facto national holiday. And one doesn't even know if it will go seven games. It could be over in four.

Also, the Super Bowl's most glaring drawback is the lack of crowd atmosphere inside the stadium for the game. The seats are largely doled out as high-priced perks to the league's biggest corporate backers, with only about a third of the tickets reserved for actual fans of the two teams.

Instead of a raucous stadium, the game is usually played before a largely disinterested crowd that seems mostly concerned with being seen at the biggest game of the year rather than who wins.

At a neutral-site World Series, that would only be magnified over a long series.

“I totally understand why they're doing it this season, and it seems to be working well,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before Game 3 Friday night. “Saying that, I personally would feel really crummy for our Bay Area fans" — granted, not a very large sample — "if we didn't have an opportunity to play games at home. I don't know which way it's going to go, and I'm glad I'm not the person making that decision, but the atmosphere created for the home team is pretty special.”

Rays, Dodgers grateful to have fans at neutral-site Series

  Rays, Dodgers grateful to have fans at neutral-site Series ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Individual whistles echo during quieter moments, and a single fan with enough persistence can leave an impression with a chant during World Series games with the smallest crowds in more than 100 years. Because of the coronavirus, this year's Fall Classic is being held at a neutral site. A team from each coast is playing in Texas, drawing fans from Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida — along with curious Rangers supporters seeing the home squad's new retractable-roof stadium for the first time.

Boras, however, told the Times that he's eyeing fans far beyond U.S. borders in a post-pandemic world.

Under his proposal, there would be no off days between games, as was the case during this year's league championship series (which also were played at neutral sites). He insisted there would still be time for ancillary events such as an awards ceremony, a home-run derby, entertainment and massive viewing parties throughout the host city.

Boras said the absence of off days is key to his plan. He wants to promote the sort of nightly binge watching that propelled reality series such as “Tiger King” to enormous popularity.

“This is the best Netflix series you could ever want,” he said.

Without question, baseball has spent far too much of its existence resisting new ideas and defending traditions that no longer make sense in the modern world.

In this shortened season, it gave a test drive to such radical proposals as seven-inning doubleheaders, putting a runner at second base to start extra innings, expanding the playoffs to 16 teams, and adding the designated hitter in the National League.

After initial skepticism, all of those changes have generated such widespread approval that they could be part of the game going forward.

But a neutral-site World Series is not such a Super idea.

___

Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963. His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

___

AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Arlington, Texas contributed to this report.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Opinion: Justin Turner controversy again reveals selfishness of our broken society .
Justin Turner returned to the field Tuesday to celebrate the Dodgers' World Series win despite being removed from Game 6 for a positive COVID-19 test.That’s how we’re doing it, right? Personal satisfaction and happiness over the collective good, science and common sense be damned.

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