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Joey Votto had a lot to say about Albert Pujols

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Before I get to that, can I note that the Baltimore Orioles are 14 games out of first place but have only played in 30 games? That’s some next-level stuff right there. Sorry to just blurt that out, but it’s not enough of a factoid to support its own post and I needed people to know that.

Anyway, this is a link to an interview of Joey Votto in The Athletic. The topic is Albert Pujols. As Pujols stands poised to enter the 3,000 hit club, C. Trent Rosecrans asked Votto to speak about his longtime division and first base rival, and Votto just motored on for a long time. Since it’s Votto, and since Votto is one of the smarter cookies and deeper thinkers in the game, it was super interesting.

The broad strokes are what you’d expect: lots of praise for his elder and an appreciation for him from having seen him up close for so many years. We tend to think of Pujols as a lumbering defensive liability now but Votto reminds us that he was once pretty darn good on defense.

Votto also talks about Pujols winning the World Series a couple of times in St. Louis and how important that is. That led to a brief aside that almost made me a little sad, with Votto saying that the biggest moment of his life was the Blue Jays winning back-to-back World Series in 1992-93. I do hope Votto can find himself on winning team again.

That aside, there was some humor too. There isn’t a moment in the interview when Votto does not praise and respect Pujols, but this owns:

Q: You beat him for the MVP in 2010…

A: I’m very aware of that. I’ve told many a St. Louis Uber driver that. They ask me who I am, they say, “You play baseball?”

I say, “Yes.”

They say, “Wow, what team?”

I say, “Cincinnati.”

They say, “Oh, where’s that?”

I say, “Oh, it’s in Ohio.”

They’ll say, “OK.”

I say, “Do you know Albert Pujols?”

“Oh yes, of course.”

I’ll say, “Well, I beat him for the Most Valuable Player. He came in second to me.”

Some fun stuff. The Athletic is subscription only, but they’ve reached some pretty critical mass, content wise, to where I think it’s worth the subscription just for the cool baseball bits. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

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 fans will finally have the opportunity to go to the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas–one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year. The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game.

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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