Well, we are hunkering down for a long absence from baseball, but nevertheless, there is baseball news to report to you, and today I am your designated reporter.
We’ll start with the minor leagues.
- Josh Norris writes about how tough it is for many minor league clubs, including team broadcasters, some of whom work without a contract.
- Could some minor-league teams fold as a result of the stoppage of baseball? Here are some financial facts about the state of the minors. Here’s just how difficult things are:
Received this from a minor league player today.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) March 17, 2020
"I just want people to understand how bad this is." pic.twitter.com/mTRqbdf8Vh
- This is good, though:
Rays announced that every minor leaguer will be getting $800 to help with expenses during the Spring Training shutdown.— More Than Baseball (@mtb_org) March 16, 2020
This is going to help so many players with unstable situations continue to focus on their health and on baseball.
- So is this: Emma Baccellieri writes about the “Adopt A Minor Leaguer” program begun by Michael Rivers, a fan in Minnesota. That’s a great thing.
- This, concerning the independent leagues, isn’t:
Per source: Message sent out to Indy Ball players. pic.twitter.com/juNybwYvNo— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) March 16, 2020
- But this is a good way for an indy league to help out in the community:
We use our spring radio ad buy to promote tickets on sale. Until we return to normal we’re donating our air time to non-profit organizations that can use it to get word out about helping those in need. Reply, if your non-profit organization can use these radio spots.— St. Paul Saints (@StPaulSaints) March 16, 2020
- FiveThirtyEight has details on what the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak might be on sports.
Regarding the possibility of a shortened season...
- Dan Szymborski shows how the odds of making the postseason for 2020 change depending on whether it’s a 162-game, 140-game, 110-game or 81-game season. (Spoiler alert: The Cubs make it in all the scenarios.)
- Jeff Passan has six creative ways the league could make the best of this difficult situation, including the possibility of playing baseball in warm-weather cities into December (!).
- Bobby Nightengale (the son, not the father, both are sportswriters) tackles the same concept; one of his ideas is to allow pre-arb players to receive full 2020 salaries.
- More schedule scenarios from Matt Snyder of CBS Sports.
- Craig Edwards of Fangraphs looks at how many games MLB could realistically play, and reviews other shortened seasons as an example.
- Tom Verducci shares his ideas on what the effects of a shortened season might be.
- Players aren’t sure what to do with training camps sort-of open. Derrick Goold talked to some Cardinals players about how they’re going to try to stay in shape.
- Tommy Pham was interviewed by Bob Nightengale (the father, not the son) about how all this is affecting him and his Padres teammates. (Yes, Pham’s a Padre now, in case you missed it.)
- Some Cubs players were in camp working out Tuesday:
So the speck on the right is Darvish; the speck on the left is Hendricks. Playing catch. (From as close as media or anyone else without an employee ID can get). #baseball #cubs. pic.twitter.com/aeJ32RnLQm— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 17, 2020
- Though MLB has halted all scouting for now, there will be a draft this year, sometime. Keith Law lists his Top 30 draft prospects. (The Athletic subscription required)
- Justin Verlander was injured just before spring play was halted. He had groin surgery Tuesday and will miss six weeks. But that might not be a big deal with no games, right?
- A story about a tone-deaf team: The Cleveland Indians were, at least earlier this week, still charging season-ticket holders who were on payment plans. Matt Lyons of our SB Nation Indians site Let’s Go Tribe has details.
- Now, on to more pleasant baseball pursuits. Craig Calcaterra writes about a baseball game he attended when he was at a crossroads in his personal life that helped him realize “even when you’re not the best anymore, you can still do your best.” Greg Maddux is involved.
- Former Cub Edwin Jackson was in Diamondbacks camp this spring. Zach Buchanan has the story of “baseball’s ultimate nomad” and confirms what we always heard when Jackson was a Cub, that he was a standup guy and great teammate. (The Athletic subscription required)
- Can you top the greatest starting lineup ever? Marc Carig started this on Twitter the other day and it became a thing. The Athletic subscription required, but if you don’t have a subscription, here’s what started it all:
Something to pass the time.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) March 15, 2020
You must make the lineup for a baseball game that you absolutely must win.
Who would you choose? Maybe try this in the comments with all-time players from across baseball, then maybe a team of Cubs.
- Another fun game from Tyler Kepner:
I'm always good for some baseball nostalgia. Give me your:— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) March 17, 2020
1st player you met:
No-hitter you saw in person (or broken up in 9th):
1st favorite player (star):
1st favorite player (non-star):
1st player you saw randomly out of uniform:
- Lastly, in this age of COVID-19, photos from a KBO intrasquad game:
Here's a few pics from Hanwha's intrasquad game on Tuesday pic.twitter.com/PCoZhcXnFG— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) March 17, 2020
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.