Pandemic playoffs present new challenges

The baseball postseason starts Sept. 29, and after a bizarre season defined by the coronavirus, there will be nothing normal about October baseball. First of all, there will be 16 teams instead of 10, more than half of Major League Baseball's 30 teams. The wild-card round, usually a dramatic one-game playoff, has moved to a three-game format with all three games played in the ballparks ... read more

Padres aggressively take aim at postseason

Everything has changed with the San Diego Padres. The question: Have they added enough to their roster to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006, or even the World Series for the first time since 1998, the year they were swept by the Yankees? As Monday's trade deadline approached, the Padres were by far the most active team in the market. They fixed ... read more

Former Oriole and National Hairston recalls grandfather's Negro League career

The Orioles drafted Jerry Hairston Jr., in 1997, and when he made his big-league debut at Camden Yards against the Angels on Sept. 11, 1998, the Hairstons became the first African-American family to have three generations play in the major leagues. Hairston hit 26 home runs with the Orioles from 1998 through 2004 and then played with eight other teams, including the 2011 Nationals. His ... read more

Havana-born Sierra among former Negro Leagues players being celebrated Sunday by MLB

As a boy growing up in Havana, Cuba, Pedro Sierra heard stories about the high levels of racism in United States baseball, but that didn't deter him from dreaming of becoming a professional. At 16, after making an impression on Cuban Negro League scouts on a field 13 blocks from his home, Sierra signed for $100 and played with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1954. The ... read more

Rotation's renaissance leads Rockies' rebound in suddenly competitive NL West

As the 2020 season began, the Rockies weren't considered a legitimate playoff contender, not even in a 60-game season. After all, they finished last in 2019 with a rotation that had the highest ERA (5.87) in the National League. And the Rockies didn't bother to fix their starting staff. That brought second-guessing from critics. Colorado stuck with Jon Gray, Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland and Antonio ... read more

In lieu of fans, creative cutouts dot ballparks during pandemic baseball

When the Orioles play in Philadelphia this week, they need to check out a humorous piece of baseball history in section 302V, Row 21, Seat 1. Tip: Use binoculars because the seat is high above right field, likely the worst seat at Citizens Bank Park. The seat is where the Phillies have a cutout of Bob Uecker, the Brewers' Hall of Fame radio broadcaster who ... read more

MLB tightens protocols following outbreaks

After a coronavirus outbreak slammed the rosters of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, Major League Baseball added new provisions to its safety protocols, threatening suspensions for repeated or flagrant violations, according to USA TODAY Sports. The newspaper's website reported that MLB now requires players and staff to wear masks in the dugout, clubhouse and at all public places on the road as well ... read more

Marlins finally get back to playing ball tonight - maybe

After a nine-day layoff because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the Miami Marlins are ready to resume their season Tuesday night against the Orioles at Camden Yards. But heavy rain and high winds, brought on by Tropical Storm Isaias skirting the East Coast, might make the Marlins wait another day. Winds of 35 mph and 3-5 inches of rain are expected in Baltimore, according to weather ... read more