It has been a difficult week in many ways, and a quiet week by and large for baseball, so I’m going to take a break from big themed topics for the intro and before we jump into all the links, I wanted to share what might be the single greatest piece of baseball art I have ever seen.
Now before I share this, a note on the person sharing it, because it matters. Todd Radom, who posted this tweet, designed the most recent Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros logos, along with a slew of specialty player patches. He also designed the 1968 throwback-themed season tickets for the 2018 Detroit Tigers season.
Which is where this incredible post comes in.
The apotheosis of Spring Training artwork, conclusively achieved 52 years ago by the Detroit Tigers. pic.twitter.com/cjrd7LwSu4— Todd Radom (@ToddRadom) March 16, 2021
While I couldn’t find details on the artist, I did also find this incredible media guide, which makes me want to uncover as much 1969 Tigers merchandise as possible.
Now below we get into some more modern insights, which look at the key stories out of spring training and some predictions for the season to come.
- Whatever your stance on pace of play changes, Tom Verducci thinks the time is now to fix things.
- Paul Hoynes shares that the Cleveland baseball team will know by mid-year what the status of their pending name change is.
- Daniel Norris has struggled during her time with the Tigers, and Cody Stavehagen explores Norris’s desire to prove he’s not a disappointment. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jesse Rogers explores how iPad video in the dugout might help hone players during the games.
- Ben Clemens brings us bold predictions for the National League and the American League.
- Likewise Jeff Passan has some insights and predictions for the upcoming season.
- Here are six spring training stats that could maybe, potentially, actually matter, according to Eno Sarris. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Something looks a little different at Marlins Park.
No more fish tanks at Marlins Park anymore pic.twitter.com/BKgGqYgYPH— Mike Cugno (@MikeCugnoCBS4) March 18, 2021
- Not everyone cares about the Astros cheating scandal. According to Michael Shapiro, Miguel Cabrera is unbothered by the scandal.
- The recent release of the book 100 Miles of Baseball a husband-wife road trip story, has the couple making the rounds in media, and Holly M. Wendt shares her interview with the pair.
- Will Leitch has high hopes that these six teams will be better than they were last season.
- Joon Lee brings us a look at the next big thing in bat companies, Victus Sports, who are providing bats to the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr and Clint Frazier.
- Baseball careers have a limited lifespan, and Jayson Stark talks to some pitchers who are preparing for their final season.
- Ben Lindbergh brings us the search for the perfect literal pitching machine and how teams are hoping to level the practice playing field.
- Davy Andrews, Daniel R. Epstein, and Roger Cormier continue their incredible series exploring the teams who lost their affiliate, this time with the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
- Zach Meisel has the historical exploration of Shorty Gallagher who had a one-season career with Cleveland in 1901. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- This is an incredible generational pair of photos.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.