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Coronavirus Newsbeat

Monday, January 11, 2021

MLB 2021` fan plan: No mandate for vaccines or COVID-19 tests

Major League Baseball does not plan to mandate that fans provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result before entering a ballpark this year.

In a memo sent to teams Monday and obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the league outlined what it called its “minimum health and safety standards” for the 2021 season. The league noted that state and local authorities could mandate more restrictive standards and that all policies are subject to change as the public health situation in the United States changes.

The league completed its 2020 regular season without fans in attendance, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Monday’s memo was intended to help clubs plan “safely welcoming fans back to ballparks in 2021.”

In the memo, the league said teams could decide whether to require proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, and/or temperature checks but that MLB did not intend to mandate any of those steps. During the 2020 postseason, when MLB admitted a limited number of fans for the World Series and National League championship series in Arlington, Texas, the league did not require temperature checks.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2021 at 11:44 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

MLB threatens harsh discipline for teams violating facility access protocols before spring training

Major League Baseball sent a detailed memo to its 30 teams Monday restricting access to their facilities and limiting voluntary workouts before the start of spring training, according to a copy of the document obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

While Cleveland and several major league teams planned to open their spring-training facilities this week to their players and staff for voluntary workouts, MLB sent the memo to every team’s front office with strict regulations, threatening harsh disciplinary measures to any team violating the procedures.

“We have been informed that some clubs intend to increase the number of players at their Spring Training facilities in January and February prior to the commencement of spring training,’’ the memo reads. “As you are all aware, COVID-19 is surging in the United States, and conditions may worsen after the holiday season. We have not yet received firm guidance from our medical experts on whether it is safe to conduct organized workouts in Club facilities under current conditions, and the protocols that would be required to conduct such workouts safely.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:54 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Thursday, December 31, 2020

MLB says players will receive COVID-19 vaccine when ‘public health officials deem it appropriate’

Here’s the statement MLB gave Drellich:

“Like the NBA, Major League Baseball and its clubs will work with public health authorities on issues related to the availability and timing of vaccinations for players and other employees,” MLB said in a statement to The Athletic. “Vaccinations will only be made available to players when public health officials deem it appropriate.”

Earlier this month the National Basketball Association advised teams vaccinations will be “consistent with the timing and prioritization set by applicable public health guidelines.” It was recently reported the National Hockey League was planning to privately purchase the vaccine prior to their upcoming season, though that report was shot down soon thereafter.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 10:47 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Saturday, December 19, 2020

How will MLB handle clubhouse divisions over COVID-19 vaccine as baseball seeks return to normalcy?

The legality of employers insisting on COVID-19 vaccinations is a complicated issue that will continue to develop as it becomes increasingly relevant in the coming months. Because the vaccine was released with an “emergency use authorization,” it defies precedent. And even with the eventual full FDA approval, it would need to be considered a business necessity.

As it pertains to baseball, a vaccine mandate would almost certainly have to be negotiated with the MLB Players Association (one manager compared it hypothetically to the existing joint drug agreement) and it is highly unlikely the union would agree to make it mandatory.

“It’s hard. If somebody disagrees and doesn’t want to do it, I don’t know what protocols we’re going to have in place,” Hinch said. “I know we want a safe environment, I know we want the fans back in the stands. I know we want something to feel normal again, which is baseball in the summer with freedom to move around and leave the hotel and go to the ballpark whenever we want and live a baseball life that we’ve lived our whole lives.

“Part of that is going to be a responsibility to learn about the vaccine and the important safety protocols and follow them to the best of your ability.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:57 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Major League Baseball, union at odds on whether start of 2021 season should be delayed

Major League Baseball executives and owners, wanting players to be vaccinated before arriving to spring training, would like the 2021 season to be delayed until May, even if it means shortening the season to 140 or fewer games.

The Major League Baseball Players Association, believing it proved a year ago that teams can safely adapt to protocols, wants the season to start on time, playing all 162 games with full pay.

And here we are, with just two months before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for spring training, and no one has any idea what will happen.

COVID-19 cases are raging across the country this winter, but the vaccine is starting to be distributed, giving hope that by mid-summer, most everyone will have access to the immunization.

Yet, the issue that could further erode the trust between the two groups is whether owners take the stance that the season should be delayed until every player and staff member gets the vaccine.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2020 at 12:00 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, labor issues

Sunday, December 06, 2020

MLB teams sue insurance providers over billions in losses during pandemic

Every Major League Baseball team has joined the commissioner’s office and the league’s digital and streaming services in a lawsuit against their insurers over financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the lawsuit, dated Oct. 16 and obtained by CNN, the plaintiffs argued they bought “top-shelf All Risks Policies” to protect against losses such as those caused by the pandemic.

“Baseball paid millions of dollars in premiums year after year because it deliberately bought broad, more protective coverage” the lawsuit states, but the insurance companies “have very publicly refused to live up to their contractual obligation to pay what they promised.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, November 16, 2020

Minor League Teams Strike Out On COVID-19 Loss Coverage

U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes granted a bid to dismiss the case by National Casualty Co., Scottsdale Indemnity Co. and Scottsdale Insurance Co., saying that while the teams, led by Chattanooga Professional Baseball LLC, tried to argue there were other causes for their loss, those causes all stem from the virus.

The policies all contain language saying that the Nationwide units will not cover loss or damage resulting from any virus, the judge said. And while the teams had argued in October that their losses stem from government shutdown orders, Judge Rayes said the virus is ultimately the cause.

“Plaintiffs’ amended complaint does not allege any fact supporting an alternative theory for the issuance of the government orders,” the judge wrote. “There is no allegation in the complaint that absent the pandemic, the government would have been prompted to issue stay-at-home orders or otherwise inhibit access to the ballparks.”

The complaint specifically blames the virus for the government orders, the judge added, saying the teams have not argued that the exclusion is unambiguous.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, minor league

Friday, November 06, 2020

MLB does not punish Dodgers’ Justin Turner for celebrating after positive coronavirus test

Major League Baseball on Friday announced that it will not discipline Justin Turner for his decision to return to the field to celebrate the Dodgers winning the World Series after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The league said the decision was made following an investigation. MLB initially placed blame solely on Turner the day after the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays for their first championship in 32 years, stating that “it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others.”

The league struck a different tone Friday, citing different factors that helped lead to Turner going onto the field for an extended period of time, including the league’s own missteps.

“Finally, Major League Baseball could have handled the situation more effectively. For example, in retrospect, a security person should have been assigned to monitor Mr. Turner when he was asked to isolate, and Mr. Turner should have been transported from the stadium to the hotel more promptly.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 06, 2020 at 03:31 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, justin turner

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Justin Turner of Los Angeles Dodgers pulled from World Series after positive COVID-19 test

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 and was pulled from the team’s Game 6 World Series-clinching win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas.

Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed the positive test after the game, telling Fox: “It’s a bittersweet night for us.”

Turner was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before coming out of the game in the eighth ainning. The team did not give a reason for his exit when he left.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 12:22 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, justin turner

Friday, October 23, 2020

Social distancing limited Covid-19 spread for Major League Baseball teams

To try to limit outbreaks this year, MLB took precautions, including holding games without fans, and banning high-fives, fist bumps and spitting among players. The enhanced team health and safety protocols reduced the time opposite team members would interact with each other and their interaction was mostly outdoors.

“Though one outbreak might not be representative of all scenarios faced by MLB, by mid October 2020, only 91 of 169,143 samples (0.05%) from 21 different teams returned positive test results,” the research team wrote. “No other Covid-19 outbreaks have spread to opposing MLB team members.”

Social distancing, playing games outside, mask measures, and other MLB health and safety protocols seemed to work, although the measures were “not infallible” and containing the disease with isolation and quarantine is important to limit the spread, the researchers concluded.

CDC Report: Mitigating a COVID-19 Outbreak Among Major League Baseball Players — United States, 2020


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 23, 2020 at 09:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, October 12, 2020

Inside MLB’s plan to have fans in the stands starting with NLCS opener

For months, as it became clear that Globe Life would host neutral-site postseason games in this oddest of seasons, the Rangers had been planning for this moment, which will take place Monday at 8 p.m. ET, when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and as many as 11,500 fans patronize the stadium. The Rangers teamed with MLB on a protocol that would rely on three tenets: mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing. As a precaution against those who might be tempted to run afoul of an assigned-seat rule, Rangers employees folded up more than 30,000 seat bottoms and used 5-foot-long zip ties to adhere them to their seat backs.

Fans over the age of 2—except for those with a medical condition or disability that precludes their use—will be required to wear masks over their noses and mouths. Around 200 employees will roam the stadium to enforce compliance, said Rob Matwick, the Rangers’ executive vice president of ballpark operations. While fans can remove the masks to eat or drink, those seen not wearing them will be given two warnings before being ejected from the game if caught maskless a third time.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 05:56 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

MLB Allowing Fans in Arlington Is Unsafe–and Unsurprising

Georgia Tech created a tool that estimates, given community spread, the likelihood that a gathering of a given number of people will include someone carrying COVID-19. In Tarrant County, where Globe Life Field is located, the chance that someone at a gathering of 10,000 has the virus is more than 99%. The chance that someone at a gathering of 10 has it is 22%. Hope the bathroom lines are short!

Kathleen Bachynski is a PhD in epidemiology who wrote a dissertation and a book on youth football and now teaches at Muhlenberg College. She believes that MLB became too comfortable after it snuffed out its early outbreaks. No one is rooting for the league to fail and for people to become sick. But sometimes we draw the wrong message from success.

“The way we think about risk is, if something goes O.K. once, that means it’s O.K.,” she says. “But not every risky choice results in a bad outcome. You might not wear your seatbelt one day and not get in a car crash. That doesn’t mean it’s O.K. not to wear your seatbelt. People might take the fact that they got away with it as evidence that it’s O.K. to do the same thing.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2020 at 04:26 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, October 05, 2020

Why MLB has a brain drain problem in front offices; and how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated it

A former front office type, who had been a senior member of an analytics department, recently recalled when he decided to leave the baseball industry. It was right after he returned home from spring training, which had been shuttered in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I started preparing my résumé that weekend,” he said. “I got home and was like, ‘I’m going to dust off the old thing.’” By the time the season started nearly four months later, he had escaped to an industry situated on firmer ground than that under Major League Baseball’s cleats.

He’s one of countless individuals who departed the industry this summer. Some exits, like his, were voluntary; many were not, and were instead the result of sweeping layoffs. Even now, as the expanded playoffs continue, teams continue making cuts to their scouting and player development staffs. The upcoming winter is not expected to be kind. Teams will be steeling themselves for the second of potentially three compromised seasons in a row: two because of the pandemic, one because of a work stoppage. In 10 years’ time this stretch could be viewed as the beginning of a transformative period for the industry, and specifically for front offices.

Since the beginning of August, CBS Sports has broached the possibility of a brain drain in baseball with a dozen individuals who either work in or worked in the industry before leaving this year. These individuals hail from various backgrounds and occupy different front-office roles, be it scout, analyst, or fancier titles. In theory, a consensus on anything should be unlikely; in practice, they agree on this much: if the brain drain is underway, the coronavirus isn’t the only catalyst behind it.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 10:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, coronavirus

Thursday, October 01, 2020

MLB promised free COVID-19 testing for essential workers. We’re still waiting

Tucked away in Major League Baseball’s 113-page manual for playing through the coronavirus pandemic is a subtle assurance from the league and its owners to the public that baseball in 2020 would offset whatever resource drain might result from the business of baseball.

As Section 2.1.5, titled “Voluntary Testing of Household Members and First Responders” read: “MLB will offer free diagnostic/PCR and antibody/serology testing for…healthcare workers or other first responders in the Clubs’ home cities as a public service.”

MLB would clean up after itself, in other words, supplying free tests aimed at the workers cheered on by clanging pots and pans, in lieu of standing ovations at Yankee Stadium or Wrigley Field. Even if these tests might exclude other “essential workers,” and if the manual barely defined how MLB planned to set any of this into motion, it was something.

Or it would have been something, if it had happened. Exactly three months after the manual was shown to the public, and two months after Opening Day, MLB is only now beginning to return its attention to promises made in June.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2020 at 09:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

MLB allowing limited number of fans for NLCS, World Series in Arlington, Texas

Fans can take themselves out to the ballgame for the first time this season during the National League Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game. That is about 28% of the 40,518-capacity, retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers, which opened this year adjacent to old Globe Life Park, the team’s open-air home from 1994 through 2019.

The World Series is being played at a neutral site for the first time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be played at one stadium for the first time since the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Browns at Sportsman’s Park in 1944.

Some of the seats will be included in presales for Rangers season-ticket holders on Friday and subscribers on Monday, and others are set aside for MLB and players.
Tickets are priced at $40-250 for the NLCS and $75-450 for the World Series, and 10,550 seats in the regular sections of the ballpark and 950 in suites will be sold in “pods” of four contiguous seats.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 10:28 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, world series

Thursday, September 24, 2020

How empty ballparks would have changed MLB history—and could alter games this October

A baseball hit at a typical home run trajectory travels farther in warmer air, physicist Alan Nathan has shown. A change in temperature of one degree Fahrenheit affects the distance of a batted ball by about four inches, which means a half-degree would matter for two inches, a quarter of a degree for one inch—and baseball, we all know, is a game of inches. In the biggest moments, it’s often a game of even less than that.

Would 2,500 space heaters running nonstop for 3 hours, 46 minutes and 13 seconds have a collective effect on air temperature in a partially enclosed outdoor stadium by one degree Fahrenheit? “It seems plausible to me,” Nathan tells us. “I can’t say that I know with any authori-”

Let’s stop you right there, Nathan. Plausible is enough for us. If humans’ bioenergy could power the machine city in The Matrix, we believe it can power a baseball. It’s an indirect power, not exactly propelling baseballs so much as freeing them to travel more easily through less dense air. And when David Freese hit a baseball to deep right field in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, we can believe that the 47,325 Cardinals fans weren’t just wishing that it would carry slightly beyond the reach of Nelson Cruz, but they were actually causing it.

All hail the fan. All hail the crowd.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 08:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rob Manfred exclusive: Commissioner says MLB plans to have fans at NLCS, World Series

And now, with the postseason beginning Sept. 29, with an expanded 16-team format that Manfred has no interest in continuing under its current structure, there will be fans to provide authentic crowd noise, beginning with the NLCS on Oct. 12 at 40,300-seat Globe Life Field.

“We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas,’’ said Manfred, with a ticket sales announcement expected soon. “One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game.’’

Manfred would like the postseason to be expanded from 10 teams in the past to 14 in the future, which was discussed last winter, but not 16. The team with the best record in each league would receive a first-round bye, under MLB’s proposal, while the other two division winners in each league would choose their first-round opponent in the best-of-three-series.

“Look, 16 teams, was a really good solution for the unique environment we had in 2020,’’ Manfred said. “But I want to be clear, when I talked about the expanded playoffs going forward before COVID ever hit, we never talked about 16 teams as a permanent solution. We never talked about more than 14 teams. Those plans addressed marginalizing the value of winning the division, and preserving the competitiveness through the regular season.

“The expanded playoffs cover a vast waterfront, but what we discussed was a very different format than we’re seeing now.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2020 at 03:32 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, expanded playoffs, rob manfred

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

MLB playoff contenders to enter quarantine before season ends

So the plan that was hammered out requires all contending clubs — even those at home — to move to a hotel in the last week of the regular season. All players on the 40-man roster and IL will be asked to join that quarantine because once it begins, clubs can no longer summon a player from the alternate site to join the 28-man roster — it will only be those who are in the quarantine.

As teams are eliminated from playoff contention, players on those clubs can leave the hotels if they desire.

The expanded 16-team playoffs will have the best-of-three first round played exclusively in the higher seed’s home stadium. The Division Series and League Championship Series will be played in bubble-like scenarios. The NL playoffs will be contested in Houston and Arlington, Texas at the stadiums of the Astros and Rangers. The AL playoffs will be contested in San Diego and Los Angeles and at the stadiums of the Padres and Dodgers.

The World Series will be played at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2020 at 11:38 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he hopes fans will be able to attend LCS and World Series games

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fans have not been permitted to attend any regular-season games to date, but Manfred is optimistic that could change by the time the LCS and World Series are played. As Evan Drellich of The Athletic notes, while speaking remotely to the Hofstra business school on Monday, Manfred said the following:

“I’m hopeful that the World Series and the LCS we will have limited fan capacity. I think it’s important for us to start back down the road. Obviously it’ll be limited numbers, socially distanced, protection provided for the fans in terms of temperature checks and the like. Kind of the pods like you saw in some of the NFL games. We’ll probably use that same theory. But I do think it’s important as we look forward to 2021 to get back to the idea that live sports, they’re generally outdoors, at least our games. And it’s something that we can get back to.”

Obviously, MLB owners have strong incentives to get paying customers back in the ballparks as soon as possible. By having no fans in attendance, clubs are missing out on ticket, concession, and parking revenues, and even in an era in which most team revenues are derived from local and national media contracts those are important streams.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2020 at 10:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, postseason

Monday, September 14, 2020

Alex Dickerson talks false positives and false reports

On Sunday, the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres played a doubleheader. They did that because a false positive result on a coronavirus test of a Giants player postponed Friday’s and Saturday’s games.

Alex Dickerson was that player, and multiple tests afterwards — including one at a hospital — proved that he did not, in fact, have the coronavirus.

But that all came after a few reporters had already leaked who the Giants player was, and even “reported” some rumors about irresponsible, protocol-breaking behavior by Dickerson that led to contracting the virus (that, again, he didn’t actually contract).

On Sunday, Dickerson opened up with the media. He confirmed that he was the positive test, and expressed a lot of hurt that the baseless rumors had been printed and perpetuated. Dickerson is presumably a responsible human, and has a wife who is 39 weeks pregnant. He’s been taking the pandemic, and the spread of the virus, very seriously (which is more than a certain member of the Padres who he faced on Sunday can say…).

Dickerson pointed out how harmful it has been to his family, due to the cruel snowballing nature of social media.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2020 at 03:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex dickerson, coronavirus, giants

Friday, September 11, 2020

‘I could have walked away’: Charley Steiner broadcasting Dodger games from his living room during pandemic

Steiner decided he would opt out of the season, just like 22 players throughout the game, including Dodgers veteran starter David Price, unknowing whether he’d ever be back.

“I was prepared to say this is the end of the line,’’ Steiner said. “And if it was the end of the line, it was the pandemic that took me. I could have walked away. I was prepared to walk away into the sunset.

“Then, I get this reprieve from the governor.’’

If Steiner wasn’t going to the broadcast booth, Dodgers executive vice president Lon Rosen decided to bring the broadcast booth to him. Steiner immediately signed off on the idea.

“I feel like an astronaut orbiting the earth,’’ Steiner said. “You know there’s stuff going on down there because I can see it on my control pattern. Really, this could be the wave of the future.

“What do you get being at the ballpark now? You don’t see the players. Can’t talk to anybody. There are no fans. So as long as there is technology, this is great.

“Besides, there are no lines at the urinal at my house.’’


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2020 at 11:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, charlie steiner, coronavirus, dodgers

Players should embrace MLB bubble rules to get to the finish line: Sherman

As The Athletic first reported, MLB proposed three options for family to join the players:

Quarantine from near the end of the season through the wild card, then join players in the Division Series via team or private charters.
A one-week quarantine before entering the League Championship bubbles.
No quarantine and the ability to attend games and interact with family at a social distance.

or teams like the Dodgers, who are cited even by competitors as among those organizations that have gone above and beyond the protocols to stay safe, I understand why their players feel like they do not have to do more to compete in the playoffs.

But consider again that MLB has not had a case in 19 of the past 20 days. What about that 20th? One case, as we have learned, is enough to shut down a team for at least five days. If that occurs in the postseason, MLB would have the devilish decision: Do you boot that team from the playoffs or insist that it brings the players who have been training at its alternate site to play the games. Could you imagine the Plan B Dodgers stepping in to try to win the team’s first World Series since 1988?

That is why the best practices must be applied to try to avoid even one October case.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2020 at 09:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Red Sox don’t deserve No. 1 pick in draft, and here’s hoping Rob Manfred doesn’t give it to them

Considering the owners barely wanted to play this 60-game lice infestation of a season to begin with, it hardly seems fair to award the top pick based solely on 2020. That’s especially true of the Red Sox, who have reached deep into the recesses of baseball-reference for pitchers like Mike Kickham, Robinson Leyer, Mitchell Godfrey, Andrew Triggs, and James Conyers, and yes, I made two of those names up, and no, I don’t expect you to know which.

Even accepting that no one anticipated Eduardo Rodriguez missing the season to a COVID-related heart condition, the Red Sox never approached this season with anything resembling a will to win. Ownership tied the hands of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom all winter, which is how Martin Perez and Jose Peraza end up being the big splashes in free agency.

The entire purpose of the last 11 months has been to cut salary, primarily by trading Mookie Betts and David Price. Had J.D. Martinez opted out, he’d be gone, too. Trying to compete in 2020 never entered the equation.

And yet the Red Sox could be rewarded for it. Manfred, baseball’s commissioner, holds the power to order the 2021 draft however he sees fit, but he’s yet to reveal his intentions. If the order is based simply on 2020 record, the 12-25 Red Sox would currently pick third behind the 10-24 Pirates and 12-25 Angels, losing a tiebreaker with L.A. thanks to a better 2019 record.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2020 at 02:17 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, draft, red sox

Sunday, September 06, 2020

What’s Behind MLB’s Fake Crowd Noise? A Conductor With an iPad

“You’re a conductor of sorts,” says Oakland A’s executive producer for ballpark entertainment Amelia Schimmel. “You’re controlling a symphony.”

The crowd noise is crucial to producing an environment that seems, if not normal, then at least normal-ish. It’s important for the players, who aren’t used to performing in dead silence. It’s important for the managers, who don’t want their conversations overheard in the opposing dugout. And it’s important for the broadcasters, who want to create a familiar experience for those watching at home. But normal-ish crowd noise is difficult to approximate—a sea of sound that changes with each pitch.

Think about all the sounds you hear at the ballpark, says Seattle Mariners senior director of productions Ben Mertens. Each game starts with a typical crowd murmur that works as background noise for the whole evening. But even a feature as basic as that murmur is variable—it’s slightly louder when the home team is at bat, and even louder if the game is particularly close, or in the later innings. The stadium crew is constantly adjusting this background noise. And then they get into the work of producing reactions to specific plays.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2020 at 12:23 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Marlins’ Isan Diaz cleared to return for 2020 MLB season after initially opting opt during COVID-19 outbreak

Miami Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz will be returning to play the remainder of the 2020 Major League Baseball season after he originally opted out of the shortened campaign. MLB and the MLB Players Association reportedly came to an agreement to allow Diaz to rejoin the Marlins, according to Craig Mish of SportsGrid.

After the Marlins suffered a team-wide coronavirus outbreak within the first week of the 2020 season that saw 18 players test positive, Diaz announced Aug. 1 on Instagram that he would be opting out of the season’s final two months. “This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with the virus, and see how quickly it spreads,” Diaz wrote at the time.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 02, 2020 at 09:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, isan diaz, marlins

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