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Spring Training Newsbeat

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Coronavirus: MLB debating playing games at spring training ballparks without fans, per report

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Spring training was canceled altogether and 2020 Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and that remains subject to change as the situation develops.

MLB, along with the MLBPA, has discussed a variety of scenarios for the 2020 regular and postseason, including doubleheaders and extending the season into October. Now, MLB is considering playing in empty spring training ballparks in Florida and Arizona, with no fans and all while quarantining players. From Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

“MLB is prioritizing public health as it examines all possibilities, sources say. The season, at least initially, could be played in Florida or more likely Arizona, where spring training parks are more concentrated. But the logistics of quarantining 30 teams in one area would be extremely complex and potentially controversial, sources say, requiring local, state and federal government cooperation and resources that might be necessary to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”

As Rosenthal notes, the Premier League is reportedly is discussing quarantining its teams in parts of England and finishing its season with televised games from empty stadiums. The NBA is also discussing a similar concept with a truncated playoff tournament in Las Vegas.

 

QLE Posted: April 05, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, behind closed doors, neutral site games, spring training

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

O’s slugger Davis expects return to spring form after return

BALTIMORE (AP) — Following three straight frustrating seasons that led him to consider retirement, Chris Davis was in the midst of an outstanding spring training when Major League Baseball came to a halt because of the deadly coronavirus.

Now, as the slugger strives to find ways to keep his three daughters amused while confined to his house, Davis remains confident that he’s poised to return to the form he displayed before signing a much-publicized and subsequently criticized seven-year, $161 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

Davis got that deal after winning his second home run title in 2015. He hasn’t been the same since then.

Davis has seen his long ball production dwindle in each of the last three years, down to a paltry 12 in 2019. He finished with batting averages of .215, .168 and .179 over that span while totaling a whopping 526 strikeouts. He closed the 2018 season without a hit in his last 21 at-bats and extended the streak to a record-setting 0 for 54 before finally breaking through last April.

At a time like this, I can’t blame him for wanting to hold onto this sentiment…..

 

QLE Posted: April 01, 2020 at 01:41 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, hope springs eternal, spring training

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Red Sox minor leaguer tests positive for virus, complex shut

BOSTON (AP) — A minor league player for the Boston Red Sox has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the team to close down its training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.

The Red Sox made the announcement Tuesday, a day after the positive diagnosis. The team didn’t identify the player, but said he was doing well.

Earlier this month, the New York Yankees said two of its minor leaguers had the virus. Those were the first two players affiliated with a big league organization known to test positive.

Major League Baseball has postponed opening day until at least mid-May because of the virus outbreak.

 

QLE Posted: March 25, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, minor leaguers, red sox, spring training

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Today in Baseball History: Dodgers commit to Dodgertown

On this day in 1951, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed a 21-year lease with the city of Vero Beach, Florida, for use of their spring training facilities there. The facility would become known as Dodgertown, the most storied spring training facility in baseball history.

Dodgertown owed its existence to Bud Holman, a Kentucky-born Cadillac dealer who had set up shop in tiny Vero Beach, Florida in 1925. In 1929 he and a few other local businessmen established the Vero Beach Airport. Within six years he would manage to convince Eastern Air Lines to make it into a fueling stop and to obtain direct air mail service for the community. At the time, Vero Beach would be the smallest U.S. city to have such service. By the time of World War II, the airport and Vero Beach would become a military community and naval housing would be established. The U.S. Naval Air Station, Vero Beach, Florida was commissioned on November 24, 1942 to provide a Navy and Marine flight training base. In 1946 the Navy gave the facility back to the city of Vero Beach, and Bud Holman and the city leaders needed to find something to do with that land.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Dodgers had been training in a number of places. In 1947 they actually trained in Havana, Cuba, partially because they got a great offer to do so, partially so Rickey could keep the fact that he had invited Jackie Robinson to big league camp as far from the public eye as possible. He was not quite ready to let that news break wide. It’d break wide pretty soon, of course, and as the 1947 season wore on, Rickey and the Dodgers had to figure out where they’d go for the following year’s spring training. They had a decent offer on the table from some interests in the Dominican Republic, but nothing was set in stone. Rickey preferred to come back to the United States the following February, and he wanted a big, self-contained place. The Dodgers had over two dozen minor league teams at the time, and Rickey wanted everyone to train in one location if possible.

Holman heard of the Dodgers’ interest in a big U.S. location and put himself and Vero Beach on Rickey’s radar. Rickey sent an underling — future Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi — to Florida to scout Vero Beach and some other places. He’d never make it to the other places thanks to Holman’s sales pitch and, more importantly, the fact that they had a self-contained facility with housing, mess halls, and a private airstrip. It was everything the Dodgers wanted. All they had to do was build the actual baseball diamonds. In December of 1947 the Dodgers and the City of Vero Beach reach a five-year lease agreement for the former U.S Naval Air Station and renamed the property “Dodger Town.” It’d be shortened to one word over time.

The story of a spring-training facility.

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, dodgertown, history, spring training

Monday, March 23, 2020

Jays’ Shapiro expects 4-week spring training before season

TORONTO (AP) — With no sign of when training camps can resume, Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro says he thinks Major League Baseball would need at least a month of workouts and exhibition games before regular season play can begin.

Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Knowing that so many players are not even having any access to throwing at all or hitting at all, but most importantly just throwing, and probably limited access to just training and exercise, it’s hard to imagine we could get ready in less than four weeks,” Shapiro said in a teleconference with Toronto reporters.

Shapiro cautioned that training camps aren’t likely to reopen for some time yet.

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mark shapiro, spring training

 

 

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