This year’s potential number one draft pick ruled ineligible for the high school season

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Jason Groome, a New Jersey high school pitcher who is considered the odds-on favorite to be the top pick in this year’s draft, will not be pitching for his high school team for a while. He was ruled ineligible by the body which governs high school athletics in New Jersey for violating transfer rules.

Groome pitched last year at at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which is basically a boarding school for sports prospects. His family didn’t change permanent addresses, however, and he decided that he wanted to pitch this year back home with his high school friends rather than return to IMG. For these purposes, the governing board ruled that he hadn’t transferred the same way that a kid who simply moved did and thus he was required to sit out half the season. He didn’t do that, and now he’s ineligible and his records on the year have been erased, including a 19-strikeout, 90-pitch no-hitter he threw this past Monday. He can return once he has missed half of his team’s games.

I’m of two minds here. On the one hand, it’s lame that a kid can’t play baseball. On the other hand, parents of elite athletes have to have some sort of check on them because, if given the chance, they would absolutely switch their kids from school to school each year if doing so maximized their kids’ athletic opportunities. Sports parents are pretty terrible when given the chance to be. It’s also worth noting that the main voice speaking up in the kids’ defense is an agent. There are a lot of interests behind Groome who aren’t involved here simply because a boy wants to play with his friends.

Ultimately this probably won’t matter a ton. Groome is six-foot, five inches, throws a 97 mph fastball and has a plus curveball. He was ranked as the No. 1 overall draft prospect last month by Baseball America. That shouldn’t change.

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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