Hello lovely BCB readers. Josh is a bit under the weather today, so you will have to accept me as a substitute for OTC. Provided he’s feeling a bit better later you can hopefully expect the return of Minor League Wrap either late this evening or early tomorrow morning. Thanks for your understanding!
I won’t dive too much into the details, because I have some links below that handle that for me, but a news story you’re likely to be hearing a lot about this coming week is the reveal of the “Yankees letter” which is a letter from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
The letter basically details MLB knowledge of the Yankees technology violations in the 2015 and 2016 seasons (before the big fuss around the Astros scandal). Overall, according to the ESPN article, “Manfred informed the Yankees that MLB’s investigation found that the team’s players watched the monitors in 2015 and 2016 to discern pitch-sequence information that was then relayed to baserunners in the hope that they could communicate this to the batter.”
The Yankees were, at the time, fined $100,000 and the fines went to Hurricane Irma relief. However, they did manage to avoid the same public outcry and sentiment that went to the Astros following their own scandal only a few years later (though it’s worth noting that following the Yankees letter but before the Astros scandal a memo was sent out to all MLB teams regarding sign-stealing.)
It’s worth reading through the finer points of the findings, not to point blame at anyone, but to see a genesis from “everyone does it and no one talks about it” to where we are now in a post-Astros baseball landscape. There are a few more articles in the links below about the letter.
But first... puppies.
- The only Pirate I would LIKE to see 19 times a season.
Hi, Bucco Nation! I’m your new Pirates Pup. Follow along as I train to be a furever friend for a veteran. pic.twitter.com/Y9kPQAUzA7— (@PiratesPup) April 25, 2022
- Andrew Marchand shares that Jason Benetti will be the play-by-play announcer for Sunday games on Peacock, which kind of makes me wish I could get Peacock in Canada.
- Speaking of Canada, Lukas Weese shines a spotlight on the return of baseball to Vancouver. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Ben Clemens wonders if bullpens are constraining team offense.
- Trevor Bauer is suing the woman who filed assault charges against him. (AP) (editor’s note: be advised the linked article does contain graphic descriptions of assault, if you feel that will make you uncomfortable please do not read the article)
- Tom Vourtsis brings me one of my favorite baseball things: dads holding babies and catching foul balls. This dad didn’t even miss a beat in feeding his baby and snagging the foul one-handed. Hero.
- Not even sure what bunts vs. dingers look like at my day job.
"At Your Job Today... Don't Bunt When the U.S. Needs Home Runs." Created by the War Production Board during World War II, c. 1942-1943. From U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Unknown artist. pic.twitter.com/nquWhfon3d— SABRIconography (@SABRIconography) April 26, 2022
- If you’re at all curious about that “Yankees Letter,” Andy Martino has posted the entire thing, along with a breakdown of what it does and doesn’t include if you just want the highlights.
- Evan Drellich is also here to address the Yankees letter and more specifically what it reveals about Rob Manfred. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Barry Svrluga looks at the MASN deal and the long shadow it has cast over the Nationals.
- From a major league no-hitter to a pickleball champ, Kent Mercker is going to have a Wikipedia page for the ages. Story by Matt Monagan.
- Eno Saris and Ken Rosenthal wonder why home runs are down and balls aren’t flying as far. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The infield shift will be on the way out next year, so it seems like teams are making the most of it in 2022, according to Emma Baccellieri.
- His name is Byron Buxton, and he murders baseballs. Story by Luke Hooper.
- Ask and ye shall receive. At least if you’re a fan asking Travis Demeritte for a home run. Article by Mark Bowman.
- This is a less than ideal way to end a game (unless you’re the Twins):
This may the dumbest possible ending to a baseball game and I needed the laugh badly pic.twitter.com/WebnQaeYl6— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) April 27, 2022
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.