We have a really short news day today. There’s only one story with a just a couple of links.
- Ryan Zimmerman, the first draft choice in Nationals history, announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the majors, all with Washington. Except for sitting out the 2020 season, Zimmerman has played for the Nats in every season since they moved to Washington.
- Emma Baccellieri writes that Zimmerman retires as something of a rarity these days—a “Franchise-defining” player. He will always be known among DC baseball fans as “Mr. National.”
- The Nationals posted this video tribute the Zimmerman.
Thank you to our 1st pick in team history.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) February 15, 2022
Thank you to a father, husband, brother and son.
Thank you to the heart and soul of our franchise.
Thank you, Mr. Walk-Off.
Thank you, World Series Champion Ryan Zimmerman.
, . . pic.twitter.com/Xn5cJMaX36
And that’s it. There’s no more baseball news. Everything has just been quiet and peaceful. Everything is good, so you can all just go home now. Have a good day and think about your best memories of Ryan Zimmerman.
Head on home. There’s nothing more to see here.
You’re still here? Why? Go home!
OK, you all know I was lying about that. There’s lots of baseball news and it’s pretty much all bad.
- Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers have an update on where we are in the negotiations over ending the lockout. They’ve got some important details, but the bottom line is that this is nowhere near ending at the moment.
- Michael Baumann has a much more detailed article on where the owners and players now stand in bargaining. Baumann now thinks it would take a miracle for the season to start on time and that it could even be until mid-summer before a deal is struck.
- Jay Jaffe also offers his take on the state of the current talks and explains why it is the owners who are refusing to bargain in good faith and they are the ones to blame here.
- Bill Shaikin looks at the effect the lockout is having on the Arizona communities of the Cactus League and how many of them are getting stuck with the bill while Spring Training doesn’t happen.
- Hannah Keyser looks at commissioner Rob Manfred’s (false) comment that the owners could make more money in the stock market and why the commissioner would tell a whopper like that.
- Tim Dierkes looks back at past MLB strikes and what they might tell us about this one.
- Matt Snyder explains why MLB doesn’t need a salary cap.
- Sara Sanchez already wrote a very good article on this story, but in case you missed it, Jeff Passan notes that MLB has tried to get the MLBPA to agree to limit the number of minor leaguers each team has to as few as 150.
- On that:
Multiple MLB teams described yo me the 180 player limit last year as one that caused difficulties (especially in having enough pitching early in the season). A 150 player limit (as potentially proposed) would seem to make roster management extremely difficult. https://t.co/Dn6Hzzwly8— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) February 15, 2022
- On the subject of minor leaguers, Brittany Ghiroli spoke to 20 minor league ballplayers about how tough it is for minor leaguers to live in poverty over the offseason, when they don’t even get paid the tiny salary that they get in the regular season. (The Athletic sub. req.) One player couldn’t even go see a doctor because he didn’t have the money for the co-pay.
- Agent Scott Boras offered his thoughts on how the minor leagues might be fixed.
- “Career minor leaguer” Mark Appel has some thoughts (while admitting he’s not a normal minor leaguer).
Career minor leaguer here.— Mark Appel (@markappel26) February 15, 2022
My thoughts on minor league baseball’s problems and potential solutions:
- Matt Harvey took the stand yesterday in the trial of Eric Kay, the former Angels employee who is charged with supplying the drugs that killed pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Harvey admitted to extensive drug use of his own and that he had shared drugs with Skaggs, but not the ones that killed him. Former Angel C.J. Cron also testified that he received illegal drugs from Kay.
- A Chicago ticket broker was sentenced to 1 1⁄2 years in federal prison for his role in the sale of fraudulently-obtained White Sox tickets.
- This should probably be its own story, but it doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t already know at this point. It’s just another point of view. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel announces his Top 100 prospects for 2022. (ESPN+ sub. req.) Brennen Davis is the only Cubs prospect on the list and he’s at listed at number 28.
- Dan Szymborski projects how the models say Japanese slugger Seiya Suzuki will perform in MLB.
- Mike Axisa has ten players who could benefit from a change of scenery.
- I don’t normally post fantasy baseball stories, but this one has real world implications. Tristan Cockcroft looks at some players who are likely to get a lot more playing time because of the DH coming to the National League. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Joon Lee offers his list of the 20 best uniforms in MLB history.
- Rays minor leaguer Tyler Zombro is planning to report to Spring Training this week, just eight months after a line drive to his head nearly killed him. Zombro says he’s medically cleared to pitch and he plans to do just that.
- Dan Hayes has the story of the very busy retirement of All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter. (The Athletic sub. req.) Hunter has built a very extensive collection of business and he’s no silent investor.
- Keegan Matheson looks back at how the Blue Jays repeated as World Series champions in 1993.
- Michael Clair has the story of Conrado “Connie” Marrero, the Cuban ballplayer who made his major league debut at the age of 39 and lived to be 105 years old.
- Clair also has seven “weird” baseball movies.
- And finally, Cody Stavenhagen has the story of the con man who went to Spring Training with the Detroit Tigers in 1971 claiming to be Houston Oilers wide receiver Jerry LeVias. (The Athletic sub. req.) If you’re one for con stories, this is the one for you.
End the lockout, commissioner Manfred.