Greinke says he prefers playing without fans in ballparks

Sports

FILE – In this Sept. 13, 2020, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles. The Astros are returning to Dodger Stadium, the scene of the crime. The Dodgers won’t be there, but their fans surely won’t let the visitors forget. While the Dodgers head to Texas for the NL Division Series, their ballpark is hosting the American League Division Series in a postseason relocated due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Oct. 5, the Astros and Oakland Athletics will open their ALDS matchup at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke said he’s enjoyed playing games without fans during the pandemic-shortened season and in the playoffs.

“I don’t really notice fans when the game’s going on, but warming up and practice before games, I mean for me it’s nice not having fans in the stands,” Greinke said Tuesday before Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. “Most people like it. When the game comes on it’s the same for me.”

Asked to explain, he said: “Because then there’s no one there to talk to you and ask for autographs and want pictures and all that stuff. I don’t like to do that stuff. It’s nice not having them, for me. Most people like it. I don’t like it.”

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner with Kansas City, discussed during spring training in 2013 that he had social anxiety disorder since before high school but no longer considered it a problem. He did not mention anxiety on Tuesday.

Some fans are being allowed to NL Championship Series games in Arlington, Texas, and will be for the World Series, as well. The announced attendance was 10,700 for Monday’s NLCS opener between Atlanta and the Los Angeles Dodgers, not including those who didn’t pay.

Greinke is scheduled to start Game 4 on Wednesday night. The Rays took a 2-0 lead into Tuesday night’s game.

Fans weren’t allowed in for the AL Division Series against Oakland at Dodger Stadium or the ALCS at Petco Park in San Diego. Some family members have been allowed in for games in San Diego.

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