There’s some one-upsmanship going on at baseball ticket offices. First the Nationals — in a prearranged promotion — gave away tickets to military members. Then the Mets joined in on the spur of the moment for tonight’s game. Now the Dodgers are doing it too, but they’re going a step futher:
The day after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden, the Dodgers announced they will give free tickets to military members during the month of May. Any active, reserve or retired member with a valid military ID can receive two complimentary tickets at any ticket booth on the day of the game. The tickets will be for the best available seats.
Which team goes all season long first? There are enough who don’t draw so well that it could be done by many. The only place you may really see it get difficult to manage would be San Diego due to the sheer number of military and military vets in the area, but even then, it’s not like the Padres are selling out the joint.
I bet someone does it this week.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.