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Good news and (slightly) bad news

The A’s lost on Friday, but A’s fans won overall.

The LA Angels won the Cactus League game at Hohokam 7-3, with Shohei Ohtani showing off his stellar stuff on the mound in the process and the Halos boshing three home runs in their victory.

However, no sooner had the game been completed than news was being shared on Twitter that California will start allowing outdoor venues to reopen from April 1st.

Alameda County is currently in the “purple” Covid tier that would only allow gatherings of 100 people, but the team has confirmed that everything points to the area being downgraded to “Red” at some point next week. At that level, venues will be allowed to open at 20 per cent capacity.

That means it’s looking good for the A’s to be able to have an 11,020 capacity from Opening Day. There will be restrictions, of course, around social distancing and changes to the concession offerings (concourse concessions closed and requiring you to order via an app, although food and drink can be brought into the ballpark). I doubt a single person will have any problems with these, though, when the pay-off is being able to back at the Coliseum cheering on the A’s.

Some thoughts on Friday’s game

My current Shohei Ohtani nickname list (“The Sho-Off”, “The Sho-Pony”) will have “Single Knot Shohei” added to it if he keeps up on his poor shoelace-tying form in the regular season! I counted at least three times that he had to stop to re-tie his laces during his otherwise extremely impressive 1.2 innings of work.

James Kaprielian’s start was always going to be overshadowed given his opposing starting pitcher, but he looked really good too. He gave the A’s two solid innings of work against pretty much the Angels’ best line-up, with three strike-outs thrown in for good measure.

Matt Olson demolished another ball for his second big-fly of the week at Hohokam. “O-Bomb” gif has been added to my pre-season “To Do” list.

Next up

Daulton Jefferies will get the start against the Seattle Mariners. First pitch is 20:10 UK time (12.10pm Oakland), although there is no TV coverage so it will be radio coverage today. Thankfully the A’s confirmed yesterday that they have moved away from their limited coverage approach and will now be providing A’s radio commentary for every game from this point onwards.

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