Compared to the 2020 abbreviated season, things have been pretty good in 2021 as far as cancelled games due to players being on the COVID-related IL. Thankfully we haven’t seen any games or series cancelled this week, but we have seen an ongoing trend with Yankees players testing positive, something that the resurging club certainly doesn’t want to see continue.
This most recent bout of positives impacted former Cub and new Yankee Anthony Rizzo, as well as Gerrit Cole, Gary Sanchez, and Jordan Montgomery. This on top of other players who have tested positive since the All-Star break like Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela.
The Yankees had a sluggish start to the season and made some bold moves at the deadline to acquire Joey Gallo from the Rangers and Rizzo from the Cubs. They’ve seen their luck turn around in recent weeks and are certainly hoping the tests won’t dampen the progress they’ve made.
Here are a few stories on the recent positives:
- ESPN offers an overview of the current situation.
- Max Goodman speaks to the Yankees ongoing COVID troubles.
- Benjamin Hoffman recalls Rizzo’s vaccine hesitancy earlier this year, as Rizzo becomes the most recent Yankee to test positive.
Now on to the rest of the links!
- In her new Substack newsletter, Molly Knight looks at the unexpected decline of Cody Bellinger.
- Joon Lee shares how baseball fans are being united by the strange and wonderful phenomenon that is the cup snake.
- Some clubs are going to have to hustle if they want to boost their postseason chances. Will Leitch assesses the postseason urgency for 16 different teams.
- Jake Mintz of Cespedes Family BBQ fame is biking 1200 miles for charity, and Stephen J. Nesbitt looks at the origin of the trek. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Justin Choi explores how the Blue Jays are currently the right kind of aggressive.
- Anthony Castrovince brings us the history of just how the pitcher’s mound got established at 60 feet 6 inches.
- The story of the weekend was certainly the outcry about a Rockies fan who was believed to have yelled a racial slur at Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, who is Black. Now, in an unusual turn of events, the Rockies are saying the man was actually yelling for Rockies mascot Dinger, reports Ben Pickman.
- Lewis Brinson, however, has said that even after reviewing the evidence he believes he heard the slur, but is “open” to the explanation.
- Bad year (after year, after year) to be an O’s fan.
The Orioles on pace to lose 106 games this season--and in their previous two full seasons, they lost 115 and 108 games, in 2018 and 2019. This is unprecedented in AL history. When the players' union cites non-competitive behavior, the Orioles could be Exhibit A. It's just wrong.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 10, 2021
- Evan Longoria thinks that this season’s Giants team looks an awful lot like the 2008 Rays, shares Dalton Johnson.
- Go to college! Well, as it turns out, for a lot of former MLB stars like Troy Tulowitzki, going to college is precisely what they do once they’re done in the majors. Story by Peter Gammons. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The Era Committee for admittance to the Hall of Fame is going to have an opportunity to induct some important Negro Leagues players, writes Jay Jaffe.
- In a related story, William Weinbaum looks at how the Hall of Fame initially stumbled when it decided to bring Satchel Paige to the halls of Cooperstown.
- Anthony Castrovince, doubly shared on today’s roundup, looks at the real players behind the phenomenon of Field of Dreams.
- Richard Deitch looks at the unique broadcast planned for the big “Field of Dreams” game. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- In my most recent story at FanGraphs I explore why baseball fans love players who are statistically “bad.”
- Brandiose, a sports marketing company, is at the center of this story about minor league teams finding massive success in their branding. Story by Marcus Gilmer.
- On the note of minor league baseball, however, Rob Arthur shares that there has been a crash in attendance at minor league games. (Baseball Prospectus Premium required.)
- Matt Martell looks at fan injuries at the ballpark, and what might happen to change them.
- Ella Bruning is my new favorite player.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.