Chapman told reporters on Thursday he thinks spectatorless games might work as an “advantage” for the team, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I think other teams coming in and seeing no fans and a big huge empty stadium and it might be a little cold at night, it just plays to our advantage. We’re used to playing there. We’re used to playing in front of however big or small a crowd is,” Chapman said.
The third baseman wasn’t exactly wrong.
Oakland had 1,662,211 fans come to the ballpark last season despite the team going 97-65 and making the playoffs — and averaged only about 20,500 fans per game. Both statistics were among the lowest in Major League Baseball.
Chapman has emerged as one of the best players in the sport. He’s finished in the top 10 in American League MVP voting the last two seasons.
Last year, he earned his first trip to the All-Star Game. He hit .249 with a .848 OPS and a career-high 36 home runs.
Oakland is likely to be one of the top contenders for the World Series during the pandemic-shortened season.