UPDATE: There will be no Chase Utley hearing today — he’s eligible

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UPDATE: Karl Ravech of ESPN reports that there will not be a hearing in the Chase Utley matter today, meaning that he is eligible for tonight’s game.

We haven’t seen an explanation yet, but one assumes that the union, the Dodgers and Utley objected to there being such a quick hearing. As mentioned this morning, it takes a bit of time to prepare for something like this and, no matter what you think of Utley’s slide, MLB pushing it through so quickly was somewhat unseemly and, possibly, calculated to ensure that Utley does not play tonight.

And now we await the lineups to see if Utley is going to be the subject of some frontier justice. Which would be dumb if you’re the Mets given that hitting Utley means putting a baserunner on who doesn’t even have a .300 OBP this year, but no one listens to me about this stuff anyway.

10:00AM: Chase Utley appealed his suspension for sliding into Ruben Tejada. As with all appeals, Utley would be eligible to play until he got his hearing. Which, most of the time, takes a while to happen. Major League Baseball, however, is not too interested in taking a while here: Jon Heyman reports that the league wants Chase Utley’s appeal hearing to happen before Game 3 of the NLDS, which gets underway at 8:37 PM tonight in New York.

There is no small amount of intrigue to this as I suspect that MLB doesn’t want Utley to play in tonight’s game if, for no other reason, than to try to avoid someone throwing at him (though, of course, someone else might get thrown at). At the same time, appeals tend to actually require preparation — compilation of past similar acts, comparison of past fines — that the union and/or Utley’s agent could bring to bear on appeal. Could that fairly happen before, say, 4pm today? Seems unlikely.

So, on top of whatever else we think about Utley’s slide, it’s results and the suspension, the appeal and hearing process is likely to be controversial too.

Will fans be allowed to attend MLB playoff games?

The MLB Playoffs are underway!
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After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.

Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?

There have been no spectators at any games this season but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is hopeful that fans will be able to attend the National League Championship Series and World Series Games. Both will take place in Texas which has been one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year.

“We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas with a ticket sales announcement expected soon,” said Manfred to reporters at USA Today Sports. “One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game.’’

Earlier this month, the Dallas Cowboys allowed over 21,000 fans into AT&T Stadium for the home opener. However, the MLB is still waiting for approval from Texas government officials. ALCS and NLCS games are expected to begin on October 11 and 12, respectively.

Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.

MLB Playoffs Format

Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2

All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.

American League

No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees

National League

No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals

Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10

The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18

The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28

The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.

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