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A's 'being smart' with precautions on road

@MartinJGallegos
August 1, 2020

After beginning the regular season in the comforts of the Coliseum through the first seven games, the A’s are now going through their first experience of life on the road during a pandemic in the middle of a four-game series in Seattle. Nothing about the process of going on the

After beginning the regular season in the comforts of the Coliseum through the first seven games, the A’s are now going through their first experience of life on the road during a pandemic in the middle of a four-game series in Seattle.

Nothing about the process of going on the road during these times feels normal, as the A’s anticipated would be the case. With five games postponed Saturday due to COVID-19 concerns involving the participating clubs -- a doubleheader between the Blue Jays and Phillies along with games between the Nationals and Marlins, the Cardinals and Brewers and the Tigers and Reds -- the high sense of awareness that the A’s took on the road has only heightened.

“The minute we got on the road, it felt different,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said before Saturday’s game against the Mariners. “A lot of the [positive COVID tests] were popping up with teams on the road, so that got our attention. We were home for such a long period of time, and when you go into a different environment, it gets your attention.

“It just makes you want to be more aware, if that’s even possible. It’s a different feeling on the road because of the travel and dealing with new people on the road that you’re not as certain about as when you’re home. It’s something we have to go through, and hopefully we get comfortable with this, too.”

A’s players already believe they’ve been following the proper guidelines and protocols, holding each other accountable if they see something that could put people at risk. Now on the road, their daily routines have consisted of confining to the team hotel, where the team eats all of its meals and plays video games to kill time, then leaving for the ballpark and heading straight back to the hotel following the game.

“I don’t think we’ve had a worry about one thing on our team,” A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt said. “I think we have a very mature group that it’s pretty easy to stay inside. We’re bunked up in our hotel room, come to the field, then go back to the hotel room. That’s our schedule every day. It’s pretty simple to stay safe right now.”

Pleased with how players handled themselves at home, Bassitt said that the only added practice they’ve implemented on the road has been to wear masks on all the plane and bus trips.

“I don’t really think we’ve added much here. I think we just reinforce everything we’re doing, being smart around the clubhouse and spacing out,” Bassitt said. “I don’t know if we can be doing a better job here in Oakland. From the training standpoint and front office, I don’t think we can do a better job."

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.