The Tigers rescheduled a game to accommodate the NFL

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Now: watch the football people act all dumb about it.

You’ll recall last year that the NFL and its water carriers in the media got all huffy when the Baltimore Orioles would not reschedule a game that conflicted with the Baltimore Ravens’ desired Thursday night home opener.

This angered them because the Super Bowl champion opening at home on Thursday night has a long rich tradition lasting at least, like, a couple of years. And because baseball is dying and the NFL rules and why don’t you pencil neck baseball people just do the right thing and get the hell out of the NFL’s way even though your game was scheduled months before ours?

Really, go back and read that Michael Silver post at Yahoo. It was one of the more obnoxious and, ultimately, more wrong things written by a professional sports talking person in several years.

Anyway, we have a baseball-football conflict again. Or at least we had one. The Detroit Tigers had an evening game scheduled against the Royals for Monday, September 8. The Lions were granted the Monday Night Football Game that night, however, and since the Tigers and Lions stadiums are literally right next to each other it would’ve been a mess for both to play that night. The Tigers rescheduled their game to a 4PM start, though, solving the problem before anyone could get mad about it.

While that conflict lasted approximately five seconds before being resolved, there was already room for some snark from our NFL friends and commenters at PFT, saying things like “see, that wasn’t so hard, take note Baltimore” and the like. What our NFL friends and commenters are missing, however, is that the Tigers and Orioles were in very different situations with respect to the conflict, making the resolution of their respective scheduling problems totally different things.

The Tigers game is smack dab in the middle of a six-game homestand and the game against the Royals is the first of a three-game set. It’s the simplest of all things for the Tigers to unilaterally move the game up and, because the Lions and Tigers play well together for the most part, they did so willingly. A totally easy call and a totally right call.

Last year, however, both the Orioles and their opponent, the Chicago White Sox, were are coming in to Baltimore off the road following night games and thus weren’t even getting into town until the wee hours of that Thursday morning, making a day game a pretty unreasonable proposition. Likewise, rescheduling that game as a doubleheader would’ve required union, league and Chicago White Sox signoff, and there was resistance to that. While, in an ideal world the Orioles make way for the Ravens, if doing so is not a simple proposition it’s not reasonable to expect them to do it.

So, different situations resolved differently and, in both cases, quite reasonably. Especially considering that baseball set its schedule months before the NFL did. If that inspires you to throw shade at the Orioles over what happened next year, well, I suppose you have the right to. You’re just misapprehending the facts of the matter. And, in all likelihood, operating from an assumption that the entire world lives to serve the NFL’s interests.

That’s not the case. Not yet anyway.

Dodgers clinch NL’s top seed, West title with win over A’s

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Wrapping up an NL West title has become routine for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but in a year in which no one was sure three months ago if there would be a baseball season, manager Dave Roberts wanted his team to still savor the moment.

The Dodgers clinched the NL’s top postseason seed and eighth straight division title Tuesday night with a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics. They are third team to win at least eight straight division titles, joining the Atlanta Braves (14 straight from 1991-2005) and New York Yankees (nine straight from 1998-2006).

“To fast forward a couple months and be crowned NL West champs is a credit to everyone. It should never be taken for granted,” Roberts said. “Truth be told a lot of guys didn’t know we could clinch. We were responsible but I let it know that it has to be appreciated.”

The Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors at 39-16, were the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff berth on Sept. 16. They will open postseason play on Sept. 30 by hosting every game in a best-of-three series against the No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles came into the day with a magic number of two and got help with the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Instead of a wild celebration on the mound after Jake McGee struck out Sean Murphy for the final out, players briskly walked out of the dugout to celebrate with teammates. Everyone grabbed a division clinching shirt and cap before heading to the mound for a group photo.

The clubhouse celebration was also muted. Champagne was still involved, but it was players toasting each other with a glass instead of being showered in it.

“We talked about it instead of dumping stuff on people. It’s a moment you need to celebrate and we did,” said Corey Seager, who had three hits and one of Los Angeles’ four home runs, “It stinks not being able to do champagne and beer showers because some of the younger guys haven’t been able to experience that.”

Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock also went deep for Los Angeles, which leads the majors with 104 home runs.

“This whole year has been weird. There’s no other way to describe it,” Muncy said. “It’s sad not to be celebrate as usual but we know there is a lot more at stake.”

Dustin May (2-1) went five innings and allowed two runs on three hits. The 22-year-old red-headed righty set a team record by not allowing more than three earned runs in his first 13 career starts, which include 10 this season.

Robbie Grossman homered for Oakland, which clinched its first AL West crown in seven years on Monday during a day off. The Athletics, in the postseason for the third straight year, currently are the AL’s No. 3 seed.

Mark Canha had two of Oakland’s five hits.

Seager tied it at 1 in the first with an RBI single and then led off the fifth with a drive to center off T.J. McFarland to extend LA’s lead to 6-2.

Muncy gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the third inning with a two-run homer. Taylor and Pollock extended it with solo shots in the fourth off Oakland starter Frankie Montas (3-5).

Grossman quickly gave Oakland a 1-0 lead when he homered off the left-field pole in the first inning. Sean Murphy briefly gave the Athletics a 2-1 advantage when he led off the third with a walk and scored on a wild pitch by May with two outs.

Montas, who allowed only four home runs in his first seven starts, has given up six in his past three. The right-hander went four innings and yielded five runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

“They’re a pretty good team that when you make mistakes, they make you pay,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “They’re pretty good laying off and making you throw it over the plate. They made Montas pay, unfortunately.”

Cody Bellinger added two hits for the Dodgers, including an RBI single with the bases loaded in the seventh.

ATHLETICS ADVANCE

The A’s have a team text thread they used to celebrate clinching their first AL West title since 2013 during their off day Monday, when the Mariners beat Houston.

“We didn’t really celebrate too much yet. It’s exciting,” Chad Pinder said. “We wanted to do it on our own terms. We still won the division and that was our goal. It’s nice to know we’ll be playing home for the series.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: INF/OF Pinder (strained right hamstring) planned to run at Dodger Stadium and test his leg with hopes of still playing before the conclusion of the regular season. …. RHP Daniel Mengden has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas. He was designated for assignment after being medically cleared and reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list following a positive test from Aug. 28.

Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner was scratched from the lineup less than an hour before first pitch due to left hamstring discomfort He came off the injured list on Sept. 15 and has not played in the field since Aug. 28. … Joc Pederson was in the lineup at DH after missing five games while on the family emergency medical list. Roberts said before the game that he wasn’t sure if Pederson will remain with the team during the entire postseason.

UP NEXT

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50) is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA over his last five starts dating to Aug. 20.

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.49) will make his team-leading 11th start.

AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this story.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports