You may have seen it if you played hooky and hung out in a sports bar this morning. Today’s mid-morning offering of the ALDS was hidden from many on the MLB network, where additional charges would have been incurred by many viewers to gain TV access to the game. Thankfully, this is the last of the post-season games that MLB kept to a smaller, paying viewing audience. But it’s no consolation to A’s fans who may have missed their team’s bats slugging it out in cool, windy Comerica Park today.
After scoring only 3 runs in the first two games of the ALDS, the A’s offense came alive to cross the plate 6 times. Home runs by Seth Smith, Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick fueled the fire of the A’s offense. The Tigers managed to score 3 times in the fourth when Victor Martinez drove in Tori Hunter with a double, and later scored along with Prince Fielder on a Jhonny Peralta single. The Tigers would not score again in the game and did not pose a significant threat in the later innings.
Jarrod Parker pitched 5 innings, and was pulled after throwing only 73 pitches, while Anibal Sanchez was removed after 4 ⅓ innings and 101 pitches. In the ninth, some naughty words between Grant Balfour and Victor Martinez cleared the benches.
Oct 7, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Home plate umpire Gary Darling (37) gets between Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (left) and Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) in the ninth inning in game three of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Oalkand won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Martinez later lined out to Reddick for the first out of the inning. Balfour gave up a walk to Alex Avila but ended the game, and collected his first save of the series, by getting Omar Infante to line out to right field to end the game.
And now on my soap box briefly in conclusion: Beware baseball fans, MLB will dig into your wallet any way they can. Those of us who love baseball need to understand that the business of baseball exploits our love for the sport. We, the fans, contribute the most to this game through our volume and expenditures of disposable (and sometimes not so disposable) income. Let’s keep an eye out for our own interests, as the players and front office execs do. We pay enough for tickets, concessions, and branded clothing and paraphernalia. The average American family cannot afford a day at the ball park, and now, MLB wants to price them out of the TV market. I hope the post-season exclusionary tactic of broadcasting games solely on MLB is an anomaly and not a future strategy of MLB.