Happy Monday, everybody. We are midway through May, and as we work towards a possible re-opening of Major League Baseball we are seeing a “working draft” of the league’s safety guidelines making the rounds. While the players and other involved parties consider the plan and what baseball might look like this year, we wait patiently to see if will actually happen.
While we do that, here’s some stuff to read.
A daunting return
Jeff Passan of ESPN.com gives us a bit of a rundown of the plan to re-open baseball. What strikes Jeff, more than anything, is the the size of it.
It’s the immensity of it all, the right-there-on-paper, brass-tacks accounting of what it looks like to bring back a professional sport in the middle of a global pandemic. It is a logistical clamber, a moonshot requiring the buy-in of parties with multivariate endgames.
The pla, and all of its details, outlining procedures on whether one can take an Uber or how far apart players stand during the national anthem, will be subject to review by a variety of folks. First crack goes to the players, who need to decide just how palatable all of this is. Passan gives a great walk through of what a day in the life of an average player might look like under this plan, and it is daunting. The amount of tests dedicated to this program alone is enough to make you pause and wonder if resources might be better distributed elsewhere.
As for player reactions to the plan, it seems to be a bit of a shock.
For much of Saturday, the rhetoric among the MLBPA rank-and-file registered as a mélange of intrigue, confusion and realism. Players who had communicated with some of the highest-ranking player officials at the union came into the weekend expecting the sorts of rules MLB suggested but still reeled at reading them in print and hearing them spoken aloud.
The one thing we do know: If baseball comes back this year, it looks something like this.
Mize to the occassion
With the the future of baseball still relatively uncertain, Evan Woodbery of MLive opines on what the Tigers might do with young hurler Casey Mize. For the most part, it looks like 2020 is shaping up to be a lost season, but Woodbery sees it as an opportunity to start Mize with the big club and have him hit the ground running. Woodbery looks at a variety of pros and cons, such as shortened usage time vs. burning service time, and the chance at a surprising contribution to an unexpected surge compared to a pushing a pitcher who might not be ready.
It’s something to think about, and I’m sure I am not alone in saying it would be a hell of a lot of fun to see Mize on the opening day roster, whenever that day is.
Fighting the past
Bill Dow, writing for The Detroit Free Press has an insightful look into the complicated and cloudy history of Ty Cobb and his purported racism. A lot has been said about one of the greatest players in the history of the game, the veracity of it has been unclear for some time.
Lynn Henning of The Detroit News walks us down the most recent section of memory lane in an effort to highlight what a complete crapshoot the MLB draft often is. With that understanding in mind, there is an emphasis for the Tigers to not miss as much as they have in the past. They need more Justin Verlanders and fewer Kenny Baughs. In a deep dive into how the Tigers have fared compared to the rest of the league, Henning concludes with what all of us are thinking: in this year’s draft, the Tigers will target bats, and they can’t afford to miss.
Around the horn
A 2010 MLB draft re-do that land Nick Castellanos with the Milwaukee Brewers with the 14th overall pick. Twelve must-see straight steals of home plate. The Tigers’ decision to keep Jordan Zimmermann this winter will cost him millions. MLB.com ranks every ballpark’s greatest moment, and for some reason they went with Armando Galarraga’s not quite perfect game over the Magglio Ordoñez home run.