Welcome to another week of no baseball. Get used to it. Except that there will be college and minor league baseball. And Japanese and Korean baseball. So there are options.
- Some of today’s material was covered by Al on Friday, but it’s important enough to bring it to your attention one more time. Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers outline where we are in the labor negotiations after the MLB Players Association rejected the owners offer for federal mediation. They also explain what federal mediation is and why the players did not want it.
- Evan Drellich covers much of the same territory about mediation and the players’ position, but you’ll need a subscription to The Athletic to read it.
- Over at True Blue LA, there’s a deep dive into the financial position of the owners and why they may be entering the negotiations with a weaker hand than many assume.
- Tom Verducci reports that Opening Day is not looking like it is going to increase the pressure for the two sides to come to an agreement that many thought it was going to be. Verducci believes the start of the season is in serious jeopardy.
- Dayn Perry details why it is in the players best interests to cut the amount of revenue-sharing money between the owners.
- Some of the leaked proposals have had some pre-arbitration compensation tied to a player’s WAR—or wins above replacement value. Jack Baer explains why the people who created the various versions of WAR are not in favor of this development.
- Joel Sherman reports that MLB has told the teams that they may not move up the time of minor league Spring Training if MLB Spring Training does not start on time.
- There’s this:
MLB owners meet Tuesday-Thursday in Orlando, where they will regroup. The union expectation is a new MLB offer will come soon, and presumably that happens after the owners convene. It’s obviously getting late with spring training originally scheduled to start 10 days from today.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 6, 2022
- Mike Axisa examines where the Rays and the Athletics are at the moment in their quest for new stadiums.
- John Romano reports that the Rays may be getting some good news as one of their most-preferred sites for a new ballpark, a little-used private airfield in St. Petersburg, may now be available for redevelopment. Of course, it’s a long way from a site going from “not available” to “available” to actually getting a ballpark built there, as Romano notes.
- Bob Nightengale notes that the discrimination lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores against the NFL also highlights how poor a job that MLB is doing in hiring Black candidates for managing and general manager positions.
- Umpire Joe West officially announced his retirement after a record 5,460 games. MLB also announced the hiring of three new umpires, including the first Puerto Rico-born umpire in Roberto Ortiz.
- Although he hasn’t played in MLB since 2018, first baseman Adrián González announced his retirement as well. González did play in the Mexican League and for Mexico in the Tokyo Olympics last year.
- Longtime Angels broadcaster José Mota announced that he was leaving the Angels after two decades. Mota is clearly one of the most-versatile broadcasters in the game, having done play-by-play, color commentary, pre- and post-game work (on radio and television) and on-the-field reporting in both English and Spanish. He’s also known as the English-language voice of Vladimir Guerrero Sr., even translating Guerrero’s speech at Cooperstown.
- Mota is expected to join the Dodgers broadcast team. José’s father Manny has worked for the Dodgers for over 50 years as a player, coach, instructor, scout or broadcaster.
- Mota reflected on his time with the Angels and why he thought it was time to leave. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Once the lockout ends . . .
The Yankees are expected to take a run at Freddie Freeman, who they love. Though 1B isn’t their real need, they’d love to fit one of the game’s best lefty hitters into their lineup. With the Braves not quickly wrapping up their star, all are options are on the table for Freeman.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2022
- A discussion on where free agent shortstops Carlos Correa and Trevor Story sign after the lockout ends.
- Alex Pavlovic examines the plusses and minuses of the Giants signing outfielder Nick Castellanos.
- The Twins have signed infielder Tim Beckham to a minor-league deal.
- Ken Rosenthal profiles the relationship between Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings and his dad, former Illinois State, Vanderbilt and Pitt men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings. (The Athletic sub. req.) Kevin pitches batting practice to Jacob and two other Nashville-area major leaguers during the off-season.
- Cesar Brisio writes about the experience Jackie Robinson had starting off his historic 1947 season in Spring Training in Havana, Cuba. Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe and Roy Partlow were also in Cuba with Robinson.
- Peter Gammons remembers the late Mudcat Grant as a man who never backed down from anything. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- David Laurila takes note of the campaign to get Fred McGriff into the Hall of Fame and notes that Carlos Delgado should also be considered for baseball’s highest honor.
- MLB.com continues its quest to write about anything but current players with their list of the greatest player on each team not in the Hall of Fame. Not to downplay Bobby Grich, who should be in Cooperstown, but any answer to the question “Who is the greatest Angels player not in the Hall?” that doesn’t answer “Mike Trout” is suspicious.
- Half of a Honus Wagner baseball card sold for $475,960.
- A card of Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez sold for $474,000, which only indicates to me that some people just have too much money.
- Thomas Harrigan remembers the greatest moments at old Yankee Stadium on Babe Ruth’s 126th birthday on Sunday.
- And finally, this seems rather sinister to me:
I remember a Winter Meetings lunch when Bud Black looked around in amazement that we were all left-handed. Bryan Price too https://t.co/IWcdCzaaj1— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) February 6, 2022
End the lockout, Manfred. Let’s play ball.