Wednesday newsletter time: Globe Life Field gets loud as Rangers clinch ALDS
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
ARLINGTON — When Globe Life Field was being built, one of the features that players and coaches recognized was how close the stands would be to the playing field.
Rows of seats on the lower level at the newer ballparks have a low-gradient rise to the concourse, and the upper decks are pushed back far from the field. The thinking in 2019 and even early in 2020 was that Globe Life Field had the potential to turn into a massive home-field advantage for the Rangers because the ballpark would be so loud.
The theory was realized Tuesday night.
The sellout crowd of 40,861 screamed and cheered throughout Game 3 of the American League Division Series, taking their cues from PA man Chuck Morgan when necessary, but rejoicing spontaneously with every hit, run, home run and big out by Nathan Eovaldi.
The fans gave Eovaldi a curtain call after his seven strong innings.
“They brought the energy tonight,” he said. “We fed off that.”
The crowd saved its best for last, going crazy after the final out of the 7-1 victory that sent the Rangers to the AL Championship Series.
The roof being closed (more on that below) helped add some decibels.
The Rangers hadn’t played a home playoff game since Game 2 of the 2016 ALDS. They hadn’t won a home playoff game since Game 5 of the 2011 World Series.
They will host at least two more this postseason, maybe three, beginning next Wednesday.
It’s going to be loud.
Roof … closed!
The Globe Life Field roof was closed for Game 3. MLB made the decision, and there were some antsy folks wondering what the decision would be.
Rangers Today wants the roof closed at all times and wishes all ballparks had roofs. But open or closed, the conditions are the same for both teams.
What little data there is regarding the ballpark factors with the roof open says the ball travels slightly further, so pitchers are Team Roof Closed. Outfielder Leody Taveras is willing to sacrifice the extra distance because he believes it’s easier to see flyballs with the roof closed.
The amount of questions asked about the roof paled in comparison to what seemed like a full-blown controversy in 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The ballpark carries further there when the roof is open, and it might have made a difference on the long flyball Edwin Encarnacion hit off Keone Kela in Game 2 that was caught at the center-field wall.
But it is much louder at both venues when the roof is closed.
Seager on the podium
It’s not that Corey Seager doesn’t talk the to media during the season. He does, usually after games.
On Tuesday, though, he was coaxed into the interview room before Game 3 to a pack house, and the media kept him around a while.
Of note, Seager talked about the five walks he took in Game 2 to set an MLB postseason record. For someone who seems to take a hack early in counts, that’s quite a feat.
“I think we all know I like to swing, so I probably would have not bet that I would have been the person to do that,” he said. “But this team’s really good at staying within themselves. We’ve talked about it all year about passing the baton, and I feel like we’ve done that extremely well this postseason. You’re just trying to continue those at-bats.”
Seager was asked about his teammates, including Marcus Semien and Josh Jung, and about why he chose to sign with the Rangers after their 102-loss season in 2021.
He remembers playing in MLB postseason games the first time Globe Life Field hosted games, during the COVID World Series of 2020. Seager was the MVP of the National League Championship Series and the World Series for the Dodgers in games that were played without crowds or with limited attendance.
There were 40,000 at Globe Life Field on Tuesday.
“When people are there, you feel the atmosphere more,” he said. “You feel the sense in the air, whatever you want to call it. So we’re all extremely excited about how this atmosphere is going to be tonight.”
As always the only subject he really didn’t touch on was himself.
So, Corey, what do you think of your season to date?
“I haven’t, to be honest without,” he said. “I truly haven’t. Sorry.”
Rangers fan here. Enjoy.
So excited.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/QLl8uj2lbl
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) October 9, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org