Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of my Baseball Bites. Each week we’ll touch on what’s going on in the Grand Ole’ game, the Good the Bad and the Ugly. No holds barred and I welcome your comments. I only ask that we keep it clean – no personal attacks. Unlike what’s going on in our country, let’s try and have a dialogue that is HEALTHY and respectful of opinions. LET’S DO THIS!
- I’ve never been more excited to see pre-season baseball. Normally I don’t pay attention to box scores in March; I typically focus on how the Prospects are doing, who’s dealing with injuries and what the battles are for the final roster spots. This year is obviously different, given the circumstances. Sports fans in general and Baseball fans in particular have been waiting for this weekend, because boy are we tired of watching replays of past postseason games and looking at silly polls (pick three!) on Twitter!
- After several hiccups, it looks like MLB has the testing and analysis issue behind them. Several teams were behind the curve getting players on the field waiting on results in the early goings of Spring Training 2.0 (aka Summer Camp) creating a disadvantage for those teams. Only time will tell if that has an impact on the season, but thankfully those issues were short lived. Even more encouraging, MLB’s “monitoring” phase has yielded only six positive results out of 10,548 samples (0.05%). Give credit to the players and staff for successfully implementing the protocols (social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands) necessary in avoiding (for now) a league-wide outbreak.
- Another positive consequence of the results: those players privately on the fence about “opting out” in case of an outbreak must be feeling better about sticking it out, at least for now. I’m sure such high profile players like the Angel’s Mike Trout and the Nats’ Sean Doolittle are still concerned, but you haven’t heard much out of them for a while.
- Watching games on MLB.TV without fans was a little strange at first, but I’m already used to it. I don’t tune in to watch the fans anyway, so I’m not missing much. Even the piped in crowd noise is almost unnoticeable.
- On the other hand, what’s with the Houston Astros lack of audio during their intra-squad games? The team blames “music licensing agreements” for the eerie silence, whatever that means. Google offers no help to explain this (imagine that!)
- Finally, and although no one is realistically predicting we actually finish the season and crown a WS champion, I consider the experiment so far a resounding success! MLB and its players tried their best to de-rail this season with their pettiness and posturing and we most likely will still face a grievance filed by both sides claiming failure to negotiate in good faith by the other side. Further, the nasty negotiations that got us to this point do not bode well the prospects of avoiding a work stoppage in 2022, when the current CBA expires. Yes, the BUSINESS of PROFESSIONAL Baseball is in trouble (don’t forget the mess in the Minor Leagues). But the GAME of Baseball is BACK!
I CANNOT WAIT! PLAY BALL!
I welcome your comments: