Athletics' Diekman on Having Three Straight Noon Starts: `It's horseshit'

The Oakland Athletics are the No. 2 seed in the American League playoffs, but Thursday's game will be their third consecutive noon start. They are dealing with it, but they aren't happy about it, in particularly reliever Jake Diekman, who said several times over that it's terrible. And he used colorful vocabulary.
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Thursday will be third consecutive noon start for the A’s in the American League playoffs.

If it seems to you as if the No. 2 seed in the AL isn’t getting much respect, you aren’t alone.

“It’s horseshit,” A’s reliever Jake Diekman said, breaking into the middle of my question. “I’m sorry, but we’re the second seed and we’re playing three noon games in a row. That’s terrible.

“I’m sorry about interrupting you, but I had to get that off my chest.”

Oakland center fielder Ramón Laureano, told about 30 minutes later what Diekman had said, added “I’m with Jake.”

A’s manager Bob Melvin had talked about his unhappiness with the noon starts, which mean among other things that the A’s wind up getting their daily COVID-19 tests before the sun rises, about 6:30 a.m.

Afterward, he said he was just “feeling cranky” when he talked about it, but the A’s clearly aren’t happy that lower ranked teams have gotten scheduling breaks that the A’s haven’t.

“We’ve had 30 home games this year, and I think 19 maybe have been day games,” Diekman said, “at least some sort of a day game, either at noon, one, three, whatever it was.

“There’s really no difference, but it’s just getting your body like moving, ready to go. I think now the third game, we’re all used to it from the first and second game, but do I think it’s fair? Not really. Do I think it stinks? Yeah.”

He does see a solution, albeit a little after the fact.

“That’s the time slot that was had,” Diekman said. “If we want better time slots, we win today and then we’re basically guaranteed that. I just think the game times are unfortunate.”

Laureano said he’s resigned himself to getting to bed by 7:30 or 8 p.m. to be able tog et up for the 6:30 COVID testing, which takes place at the A’s hotel in the East Bay before heading to the park.

“Look, it is what it is and we just have to accept it,” Laureano said. “We’ve just got to keep playing. I’m with Jake, for sure. We have got to go out there and just compete and if we don’t want to complain, we’ve got to advance to the next round.

“I’ve got to find a way to fall asleep at 7:30, 8 o’clock. It’s just an adjustment. It’s all about adjustments, just like you guys are on Zoom calls now instead of being in the clubhouse. Everything’s an adjustment.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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