My daughter is done with school until April 14 at least. Luckily, my wife is a school teacher so she’s going to be home too. But it’s been two days into our isolation and I’m already going a bit batty. And these are two days that everyone would have been home anyway!
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I took the weekend to comment on Liga MX, which is Mexico’s top soccer league and the only North American professional team sport still playing this weekend. I became a fan of Cruz Azul since if I don’t have any reason to do otherwise, I’m going to cheer for the team in blue, right? (We are rooting for laundry.) Cruz Azul beat Club América 1-0 in front of an empty stadium in what was the final match before Liga MX shuts down. América was awarded a penalty kick deep in added time which would have ended the game in a draw, but the Cruz Azul goalkeeper made a great save to win the game as time ran out. The name of that goalkeeper?
The photo today is a picture of that save. You will notice the empty stands.
They say the Australian soccer league will go on, but two teams are currently being quarantined so I don’t know how likely that is. The Russian league intends to keep playing behind closed doors (as far as I know) and the Turkish league is just playing as if nothing is different, although that may change as the players are in a bit of a revolt.
The National League, which is England’s soccer league for the 5th and 6th levels (think Short-Season and Rookie Leagues in minor league baseball) are continuing to play in front of crowds. That’s causing a lot of controversy. The truth of the matter is, those leagues probably can’t financially survive a shutdown. But they may be forced to do so anyway.
I’m sure that there are other professional leagues in small countries still playing one sport or another. But the truth of the matter is, sport has just stopped all over the world. We’re experiencing something unprecedented.
Also, if you’ve got a favorite musician, please consider purchasing their music. Don’t just listen to it on a streaming service where they only get a fraction of a penny for every listen. Pay for it. Every act has been forced off the road and that’s the only place they can make real money to live on these days. Now if all you listen to is Katy Perry, Taylor Swift or the Rolling Stones, don’t bother. I’m not worried about the megastars making through the next few months financially. But most artists, some of whom aren’t really obscure at all, are going to be hurting over the next few months. Download their music and pay for it. I understand if you don’t want to go out and purchase a CD (I’m not), although it would be nice to support a local store too. I’m typing this up while listening to Angel Olsen’s “All Mirrors” album that I just purchased. If you buy something, feel free to tell us in the comments. We need something to talk about.
I believe all The Athletic and ESPN+ stories have been opened up to all.
- Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich explain why chaos in the new normal in MLB right now.
- MLB has told all non-roster players to go home and is banning team workouts.
- Rosenthal and Drellich also report that there is some tension between teams and the players as rostered players want access to training facilities and some MLB teams closing them.
- One Yankees minor leaguer has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first baseball player to do so. His name is being withheld to protect his privacy.
- Because of that, Yankees minor leaguers are going to be quarantined in a Tampa hotel for the next 14 days. The player reportedly had no contact with major league players.
- Will the players get paid over this time that the game is suspended? That’s unclear at this moment. But because of the declaration of a national emergency, commissioner Rob Manfred has the authority to suspend the collective bargaining agreement and thus, end all players getting paid. Word coming out of the commissioner’s office is that he does not intend to do that at this time.
- Stephanie Apstein speaks with one minor leaguer who is working for DoorDash now that the camps are closed.
- How about the hourly workers at the games? MLB doesn’t know what is going to happen with those people yet. Ken Rosenthal explains why it is a lot more complicated (and expensive) for MLB to cover their wages than it is for the NBA, NHL or MLS.
- Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer held a fundraising whiffle ball game. All the money is going to all those MLB staff workers who are currently out of a job.
- Ben Clemens has more thoughts on baseball being shuttered.
- Players react to the shutdown.
- Keith Law speaks with scouts and front office people about how they are planning to conduct a draft when no one is playing baseball this spring?
- Michael Baumann has a touching essay on how we’ve lost the “little things” (i.e. sports) that we have always taken for granted. Also handshakes.
- Rachel McDaniel is depressed about the lack of an Opening Day this year.
- Buster Olney writes about all the problems that MLB is going to have starting back up again.
- Chris Bumbaca remembers the strike-shortened 1981 season.
- Sean Morrison recreates the next ten seasons of baseball using the video game MLB: The Show. Three World Series titles for the Cubs!
- If you’re home like my family is for the next month, here’s a suggestion of old games that are available on YouTube to watch. One for each team.
- Or you can watch the old PBS documentary series, Ken Burns “Baseball,” which is now free for everyone to watch on-line. If you haven’t seen it half a dozen times over the offseason on the MLB Network.
- Former Red Sox player Ted Cox has died at 65. His death had nothing to do with the pandemic, as far as I know. He had cancer.
- The Nationals have released reliever Hunter Strickland.
- One prospect from each team to watch for in the year 2022.
- And finally, here’s a game that people have been playing on-line and if you want to participate in the comments, please do so. Pick a line-up of all-time greats to win just one game.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. We’ll get through this together.