As we approach the start of spring training, we’ve begun to see more chatter and news come out of baseball, especially as it pertains to news of how the game is going to be played this coming season. One of the biggest questions in the minds of fans and players alike was: would the season start on time?
So far everything seems like it’s poised to do just that, as teams released their spring training work out schedules on Tuesday, with players set to report over the next two weeks. Games are sure to look a little different with proposals to limit travel and even boost the number of intrasquad games to lesson exposure risks.
The two biggest bits of news of the week so far (that we reported in a few posts on Tuesday) are the adjusted health and safety protocols MLB released Tuesday to highlight the work they’d be doing to keep players and staff safe, and also the acknowledgement — kind of — that juiced balls were, indeed, a real thing.
- Ken Rosenthal gives a detailed breakdown of the new MLB health and safety protocols. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Alden Gonzalez and Jesse Rogers break down what we know so far about spring training.
- Eno Sarris and Ken Rosenthal take a dive into the news of the newly deadened ball. Can I call it a less-lively ball? A zombie ball? There has to be a more fun name for it. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Stephanie Apstein looks into the incredible research done by Dr. Meredith Wills to investigate whether or not MLB has previously used juiced balls.
- Deadening the ball isn’t exactly something new in baseball. Emma Baccellieri looks at the history of dead ball changes.
- David Price has some opinions on the deadened ball. So does Mike Trout.
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) February 9, 2021
- Another major story not slowing down any time soon is what MLB teams are doing in the wake of multiple harassment allegations like those against Mickey Callaway and Jared Porter. Lindsey Adler looks at the new harassment and discrimination policies baseball is unveiling as a result. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Ben Pickman similarly looks at the new policies, which will now require executives to take the same anti-harassment training players and staff were already taking.
- Bobby Nightengale introduces Reds fans to their delightful new reliever, Sean Doolittle.
- Kevin Goldstein gives an insider’s perspective to the hot mess that is baseball salary arbitration.
- On Monday, Josh shared news of the sudden and devastating passing of Pedro Gomez. A few more memorial posts have obviously been shared since then. Nick Piecoro shared a post for AZ Central.
- This video tribute by SportsCenter is likely to hit you right in the feels.
He was our colleague. He was our friend. A tribute to Pedro Gomez that aired on SportsCenter last night, from our own @ShelleyESPN pic.twitter.com/fvjIuuhhO5— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) February 9, 2021
- We can start having a conversation about Tom Brady being the GOAT if he’s ever gets to Satchel Paige’s career milestones, writes Larry Tye.
- Lots of promo items didn’t get used in 2020, which may turn out to be a jackpot for fans in 2021, shares Joon Lee.
- R.J. Anderson looks at some under-the-radar signings that have the potential to be great for their teams.
- Speaking of good Tigers signings, Brendan Gawlowski looks at why re-signing Jonathan Schoop was such an interesting move for Detroit.
- Seth Rosenthal has the truly unusual story of how Randy Johnson used to keep a bag of baseballs under his bed incase anyone ever broke into his home.
- Jay Jaffe looks at the move that takes old friend of the Cubs Albert Almora Jr. to a new home with the Mets.
- A new way to hide pitch signals? (Don’t worry, he’s kidding, it’s just hilarious.)
in-game video is back in a format that won’t let hitters steal signs so i’ve got an early look at the format pic.twitter.com/zF0Fwcy1lF— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) February 9, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.