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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Minor leaguers, college players get creative to stay ready

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Andre Nnebe hollers over the breeze coming off the bay behind home plate and announces to the group, “First pitch, 2:10!”

The Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer thanks college catcher Eamonn Lance for showing up because now there can be live batting practice, something Nnebe hasn’t done since the coronavirus put a sudden halt on sports.

“You saved the day,” Nnebe tells Lance.

For this informal simulated game last week at a noted high school field, the catcher isn’t the only player wearing a mask. Nnebe stands in wearing a protective face covering, and same with the guy waiting in the on-deck circle.

Another piece for those curious about how current events affect players on levels other than MLB.

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, minor leaguers, players

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

MLB players say pay shouldn’t be cut if empty ballparks

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball players are upset over the prospect teams may seek additional pay cuts if games are played in empty ballparks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Their anger was stoked last week when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was told by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon that the union would have to agree to lower salaries if games are played without fans.

A March 26 deal between the sides stated “the Office of the Commissioner and Players Association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.” The union points to another passage covering salaries in which players agree to give up 1/162nd of base pay for each regular season game lost.

“Players recently reached an agreement with Major League Baseball that outlines economic terms for resumption of play, which included significant salary adjustments and a number of other compromises. That negotiation is over,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement Monday.

Something to pay attention to, given what comes up in the coming year…..

 

QLE Posted: April 21, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: behind closed doors, dollah dollah bills, y'all, players

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: Who’s the best-lookin’ ballplayer of all time

The man who brought you Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers once again swims to the shallowest of depths and asks you to objectify the men of the National Pastime. He asks: who is the best-lookin’ baseball player of all time.

It’s subjective, obviously. And given how people tend to favor recency in such matters due to more familiar fashion/hairstyles/etc, it will probably skew more recent, but I ask you to do what you can to think outside the temporal box, utilize Google to the best of your ability, and look back at baseball history a bit if you can.

Don Mossi need not apply.

 

QLE Posted: April 14, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: handsome, players, questions

Saturday, April 11, 2020

MLB players to compete in a streaming MLB The Show league

We can’t watch baseball — well, current baseball — but we will soon be able to watch baseball players competing against one another in fake baseball. Fresh off the press release machine:

“Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced today the creation of the MLB The Show Players League, the first-ever competitive MLB The Show league solely featuring Major League players. Thirty players have agreed to represent their Major League Clubs and play each other in this inaugural online event to engage fans around the world and raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada.”

League play begins tonight at 9PM when Blake Snell of the Rays — who made the news the last we saw playing video games — plays Amir Garrett of the Reds. The stream will be available here. There will be multiple platforms, actually, from that one on Twitch to YouTube and, I suspect, MLB.com or some other places. To keep up to date with where and when games are being played, follow the Twitter accounts for @MLB, @MLB_PLAYERS, @MLBTheShow and the competing players.

So, any of you want to watch?

 

QLE Posted: April 11, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb the show, players

Thursday, April 09, 2020

If 2020 season is canceled, which players would be hurt the most?

An example of the analysis offered:

Players chasing milestones, especially those towards the end of their careers, would be stymied by a lost season. Tigers DH and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is the first one that comes to mind. He is 23 home runs short of joining the 500 home run club. Though he hasn’t hit more than 16 in a year since 2016, he would likely have at least hit a few this year and would have had an easier time getting there in 2021. He turns 37 years old in 10 days. Cabrera may be under contract through 2023, but it is not clear that his age and his health would allow him to play regularly such that he would be able to reach 500 home runs if the 2020 season were to be canceled. (Cabrera is also 185 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.)

Mike Trout has 285 home runs for his career. It’s almost a given that he would get to 300 and beyond in 2020. He is currently one of only 13 players with at least 250 home runs through his age-27 season. The only players with more: Álex Rodríguez (345), Jimmie Foxx (302), Eddie Mathews (299), and Ken Griffey Jr. (294). Trout likely would have also reached 1,000 runs for his career, as he is currently at 903. Losing a full season could really make a difference where he winds up on the all-time leaderboards at the end of his career.

Veteran catcher Yadier Molina will be a free agent at season’s end, though he and the Cardinals have expressed interest in a contract extension. He turns 38 this summer and is 37 hits shy of 2,000 for his career. Even if this season never happens, Molina will likely join the 2,000 hit club in 2021 whether or not he signs a multi-year extension. Molina is also 84 RBI shy of 1,000 and 21 doubles shy of 400.

So, is there anyone you’d include who the article didn’t?

QLE Posted: April 09, 2020 at 01:26 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, milestones, players

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

How MLB players are reacting to potential quarantined season in Arizona

Major League Baseball was the talk of the sports world Tuesday after reports of a potential quarantined season staged entirely in Arizona surfaced.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported that league and players’ union were focused on a plan that would see all 30 teams gather in Arizona to play out the 2020 season in empty stadiums. If the league and players come to an agreement, it could allow baseball to return as early as May.

Of course, there are many hurdles that will have to be cleared before that can become a reality. However, ESPN’s report suggests one of the biggest has already been cleared. Sources tell Passan that several high-ranking federal public health officials support the plan and believe the league could safely pull it off amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now the eyes and ears of baseball fans are turning to the players to gauge their reaction to what would be a season unlike any other in sports history.

A collection of perspectives on the latest proposal for baseball this season.

QLE Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, arizona, brett anderson, nolan arenado, players

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Who Would You Build an MLB Team Around in the 2020s?

As we’ve written in this space before, baseball is a young man’s game more than ever. Players are coming up from the minors sooner and they’re coming up as better players than the twentysomething (or teenagers) of eras past.

So with a new decade in front of us, which major league player would you want to build you team of the 2020s around?

Note to self: Review the nominees in 2030, to see how the decade went for them.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: Which player do you love to hate?

Today’s question is about hate. Well, maybe not HATE hate. I’m not looking for actual bile here. I’m not looking for you to name awful people — criminals or suspected criminals — or anything like that. No, I’m wanting to keep it on-the-field for that kind of “hate” one develops for a player for purely baseball reasons.

Maybe it’s because the guy is kinda dirty or snotty or something. Maybe it’s because you just don’t like the cut of his jib. Maybe — probably — it’s because he absolutely wears out the pitchers or hitters of the team you happen to root for and you have developed an ire for the dude because of it.

I don’t think I have anyone who fits that bill today. I’m not the sort of fan who gets as wound up in that kind of thing as I used to, I suppose. If a guy is a jerk I consider him content for this website more than I consider him my enemy, and content is good for a guy in my line of work. If a guy wears out the team I root for, well, I’m old enough now to realize that baseball primes are short and that, before too long, he’ll age and be humbled and then be out of the game and won’t be that kind of problem for me anymore. I’m a few generations of ballplayers into my baseball fandom so I realize now that you can wait ’em out.

That wasn’t always the case, of course. When I was a kid the stars of the day seemed permanent and the star who I absolutely loathed was George Brett.

All right, who fits that category for you?

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: love to hate, players, questions

Sunday, March 29, 2020

MLB final pitch could be closer to Christmas than Halloween

And now, a counter-point to Mr. Kershaw:

NEW YORK (AP) — If the final pitch of the 2020 baseball season comes closer to Christmas than Halloween, that’s fine with the players.

Major League Baseball owners ratified a 17-page agreement with the union on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with players willing to extend the season as long as needed to cover as close to a full schedule as possible.

Even if it involves neutral sites in warm-weather cities and domes. Even if it involves playing in empty ballparks. Even if it involves lots of day-night doubleheaders.

And if it means expanding the playoffs from 10 teams, fine.

Weirdo that I am, neutral-site games excite me- however, some of my ideas as for where to hold them might not be where MLB is planning to go…..

QLE Posted: March 29, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: christmas, doubleheaders, neutral site games, players

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Astros stars letting others take blame for player-driven sign-stealing scheme

When A.J. Hinch took a baseball bat to at least one of those television monitors, as one source said he did, maybe this was the day he had in mind.

This was the day he stood alone.

He’d been in the end overrun by his players and members of his own coaching staff and who knows who else, along with his own ambitiousness. That is his to bear.

The Houston Astros went dark one day. Hinch was the man on the top step. He stuck to the shadows like the rest of them, celebrated its bounty like the rest of them, surrendered when the lights came up and was punished for it.

So, what do we make of this line of analysis?

 

QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, astros, dirty rotten cheaters, players

 

 

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