The 2020 MLB season has persisted through a multitude of upheavals this year. The latest is the wildfire crisis presently afflicting California, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. 

Coincidentally, the Seattle Mariners returned home for a Monday doubleheader against the A’s. Hours prior to first pitch, it wasn’t certain whether conditions — especially air quality — would be suitable for baseball. 

The teams wound up playing the first game as scheduled (SEA 6, OAK 5), but an eerie haze blanketed Safeco Field: 


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Even though the first game of the doubleheader was played to completion, it may have been inadvisable because of the poor air quality resulting from the fires: 

That air quality degraded as the game went on and caused problems for players on the field.

“I’m a healthy 22-year-old. I shouldn’t be gasping for air or missing oxygen. I’ll leave it at that,” Oakland starter Jesus Luzardo told reporters after his team’s Game 1 loss.

The second game of the doubleheader began shortly after 5 p.m. local time.

As the Seattle Times recently noted, the Pacific Northwest over the weekend was hit with a “super-massive smoke plume” drifting from the more than 30 fires burning in the region. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the largest current fires have burned a combined 4.6 million acres in 10 states. The Mariners are just at the outset of a 10-game homestand that will span as many days. Some of perhaps even all of those games may be in peril because of air quality concerns. 

The Mariners are unfortunately accustomed to playing against such a backdrop, as their recent road series against the Giants was notable for the bizarre orange-hued skies that covered the Bay Area at the time. 

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