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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

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Letters from the Battlefield – February 25, 2020

Since we have Ken Burns on the mind:

Camp Jupiter, Florida

February 25, 2020

Dearest Mother,

I apologize for not writing sooner. I was inspired to write to you after reading the letters a former Captain, named Andrew Luck, wrote to his mother. I hope these letters find you well.

We arrived in the fields in Florida a few weeks ago for training for approximately three or four fortnights before heading out with our individual units for battle around this great nation. Of course the battery members arrived prior to the lot of us, outside of Major Zack Greinke, from the Houston unit, who rode in under the cover of darkness well after the rest of the unit. However, the grand majority of our soldiers are excited for the battles to come. The men exude bravado, but I wonder if they harbor any fear as well. I know I do.


QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 01:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: humor, spring training

Saturday, March 14, 2020

MLB Players Sent Home from Spring Training Camps Because of Coronavirus Concerns

Major League Baseball decided to send players home from spring training camps Friday after an agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, it is possible some players could opt to stay, but no formal workouts will be held amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB announced Thursday that it was suspending all spring training games and pushing back the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks. Opening Day had been scheduled for March 26.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia added that while players are being “encouraged” to go home, they are not being “ordered” to do so by MLB.


QLE Posted: March 14, 2020 at 12:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, spring training

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Last Day of Baseball

On Thursday afternoon, Tampa Bay outfielder Randy Arozarena tested the limits of the term “defensive indifference.”

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and his team down by four runs in a spring training game—which had been declared the last of its professional kind for the immediate future due to global pandemic—Arozarena took second base. No one tried to catch him.

To watch spring training on Thursday was to see baseball in an odd liminal space. Grapefruit League teams took the field for 1:05 p.m. starts amid claims that MLB would soon suspend all game activity. But the official announcement did not come until shortly after 3 p.m., with confirmation that the ongoing contests would be the last ones for now, followed by cancellations for the rest of spring training and a two-week delay for Opening Day. Which left six games, playing until the end, and a tense question: How do you watch baseball with no confirmation on when there will be more baseball to watch?

A fair answer, of course, is that you don’t; you take the obvious reminder of how much is at stake here beyond baseball, beyond sports, and you look for some more productive activity. Another fair answer is that you watch critically, questioning why this call took so long and whether it will come with protective measures for those who stand to be hit particularly hard, such as stadium workers. And yet another fair answer is that you just… watch.

A few words on the sudden end of spring training, and what it means from the perspective of watching the games.


QLE Posted: March 13, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, spring training

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Spring Training Stats Only Almost Mean Nothing

All winter long we wait for spring to arrive so that baseball may begin again. And then once it starts and our precious stat columns begin being filled in Florida and Arizona, we spend most of the preseason assuring each other that none of it matters: The success is a mirage, achieved against a lower caliber of pitching, and the struggles are the result of experimentation and readjustments.

No need to panic. No need to celebrate. Let’s all just sit here in the sun and be happy that baseball has returned, while making sure to maintain an appropriate emotional response to afternoons full of practice games. Stat farming, percentage calculating, theory formulating, tantrum throwing, sadness having; that’s all for the regular season, as the nightly pace of baseball wears us down to the nub.

Here in spring training, we’re safe from such things. Unless! We cross that arbitrary threshold that we’ll say is right about now. Context is important in the preseason, if nothing else is, and in the case of two veterans, their spring performance has made the regular season in front of them a little more interesting.

Let’s just say it: Chris Davis looks amazing. And to echo what’s probably being said in his own head, who even cares why? Davis has to muscle his way out of a deep, deep hole into which the Orioles threw a base salary of $23 million last season as part of his seven-year, $161 million deal that will see him make over $1 million a year through 2037.

In certain regards, the same points could be made about minor league statistics, at least in the sense that their meaning is far different than it is at the MLB level.


QLE Posted: March 12, 2020 at 01:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, didi gregorius, spring training, statistics

Monday, March 09, 2020

Astros pull Justin Verlander from second spring start with sore triceps

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was pulled from his spring training start against the New York Mets after two innings Sunday because of triceps soreness, the team said.

Verlander had been scheduled to pitch four innings but felt discomfort during the second inning and was sent for testing.

“We don’t know if he is hurt,” manager Dusty Baker told reporters. “Like I said, it’s precautionary. I was surprised his velocity was down a tick from the last time, but you know Verlander can dial it up when he gets ready. We didn’t see anything. I was quite surprised when [pitching coach Brent Strom] came over and told me he had to come out of the game.”

So it begins…..


QLE Posted: March 09, 2020 at 12:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, spring training, triceps

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Before injury exam, Munoz left team without notice and flew home, so Cardinals released him

JUPITER, Fla. — In a bizarre twist to the Cardinals’ competition for a spot on the bench, Yairo Munoz bolted the team without notice, flew home to the Dominican Republic, and left the Cardinals unsure when, or if, he would return.

So they made the decision for him Saturday morning.

The Cardinals gave Munoz, their utility infielder the previous two years, his unconditional release, allowing him to become a free agent. It is unclear where that leaves Munoz as far as interest from other teams because he went AWOL before he had a hamstring injury examined by the Cardinals. The move leaves the Cardinals with an open spot on the 40-man roster, and it gives an open avenue for players like Tommy Edman, Brad Miller, and prospect Edmundo Sosa to secure or compete for roles on the 26-man roster.

Manager Mike Shildt called Munoz’s departure and lack of communication with the team “baffling.”

Well, you don’t see something like this every day…..


QLE Posted: March 08, 2020 at 12:38 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican republic, releases, spring training, yairo munoz

Trey Mancini To Undergo Non-Baseball Medical Procedure

Trey Mancini has left Orioles camp and is set to undergo a medical procedure unrelated to baseball, reports Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. While manager Brandon Hyde shared as much with the media today, the Orioles have refrained from commenting further out of respect for Mancini’s privacy.

So while further details are unknown, Hyde added that Mancini would “miss some time” as a result of the procedure. As for a more precise timetable, we’ll have to wait and see. And with Opening Day just about three weeks away, Mancini’s status for the beginning of the season is up in the air, but concerns about roster construction seem secondary to Mancini’s overall health at this point.

From a baseball perspective, there’s arguably no player more critical to the Orioles’ roster than Mancini. He serves as the linchpin to an offense that scored the fifth-fewest runs in the American League last year, so removing him from the middle of the order could send the O’s offense into disarray. By all accounts, he’s regarded as a leader in the Baltimore clubhouse and has emerged as the undisputed face of the team.


QLE Posted: March 08, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: medical, spring training, trey mancini

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Joey Bart’s ejection shows where Giants’ top prospect must improve

Joey Bart lost the battle between two former Giants first-round draft picks Friday, and then he lost his spot in the lineup.

After taking what was a very questionable called third strike against Brewers pitcher Phil Bickford—San Francisco’s 2015 first-round pick—in the ninth inning of a tied spring training game Friday, Bart was unable to contain his frustration and let home plate umpire Ryan Blakney hear it. Before Giants manager Gabe Kapler could intervene, Blakney sent Bart to the showers.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying on Kapler’s part. He just wasn’t able to get there in time.

“I just had a conversation with [Blakney] about why not get my attention?” Kapler told reporters after the 5-5 tie. “I was trying to get his attention and have a conversation so that Joey didn’t have to be a part of that.”


QLE Posted: March 07, 2020 at 01:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: ejections, joey bart, spring training

Ian Happ Learned What Kind of Hitter He Is

It’s tough to imagine how the final few weeks of the 2019 regular season could have gone worse for the Chicago Cubs. Just two games back in the National League Central division on September 17, the team finished the year by losing 10 of its final 12 games, plunging not only out of the division race but out of the Wild Card hunt as well. It was a nightmarish run for the Cubs, but for one player on the team, that stretch represented the height of his season. Ian Happ, the young switch-hitting utility player, made 39 plate appearances in the final 14 games of the season and hit an astonishing .405/.436/1.000, crushing six homers and four doubles in that span. In the Cubs’ only two victories of that stretch, Happ went a combined 6-for-10 with three homers and two doubles.

It’s appropriate that it was Happ who enjoyed this success to close the season; it seemed like no one else on the team needed to finish the year on a high note as much as he did. He was the one who, just one year prior, had such a poor finish to the season that despite being one of the most exciting young players on his team, he went into the following spring training fighting for a job. Over the final two months of 2018, Happ hit just .192/.298/.333, with a wRC+ of just 72. Those two months tanked what had been a promising campaign, and had carryover effects well into the following year. In 56 spring training plate appearances in 2019, he ran on base and slugging percentages both south of .200.

This spring, it seems to be a different story, at least so far. Now carrying on his success, not struggles, from a previous season, Happ did this on Monday

Did he, or is this another case of Small Sample Size Playhouse at work?



QLE Posted: March 07, 2020 at 01:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: batting, ian happ, spring training

Chipper Jones had a little trouble getting into the Braves spring training facility

I’m going to be honest with you: I am horrible at identifying baseball players when they’re not in uniform. Absolutely awful.

I was once at a hotel where a baseball team was staying once and a bunch of them were down in the bar. I knew they were ballplayers and I knew what team they were on but I could not put names to most of the faces apart from a couple of super obvious cases. Ballplayers — except for the super famous ones — all sorta look alike to me, at least when they’re wearing street clothes.

Which is to say that I have no small amount of sympathy for the security guy at CoolToday Park, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves, who was somehow unable to identify the second most famous living Atlanta Brave, Chipper Jones

A level of sympathy I’m inclined to agree with, given some of the stories I have…..


QLE Posted: March 07, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, chipper jones, spring training

Tim Tebow is among the Mets’ first wave of spring training cuts

Tim Tebow’s fourth time in big-league camp concluded on Friday, as the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was among the club’s first wave of spring cuts, according to

Tebow, 32 and entering his fourth full professional season, appeared in 10 games prior to being reassigned. In those appearances, he racked up 13 at-bats and hit .154/.389/.385 with a home run and nearly as many walks (four) as strikeouts (six). Tebow’s home run, which came off Detroit Tigers right-hander Alex Wilson, was his first he’d hit in any big-league camp.

For those unaccustomed with the at-times complex jargon of baseball transactions, Friday’s reassignment doesn’t carry great significance. Tebow was never going to make the big-league club out of camp, and he isn’t on the 40-man roster, meaning he cannot be “optioned.” All this move signifies is that he’ll be preparing for the season on the minor-league side of things.



Friday, March 06, 2020

Coronavirus Concern Keeping South Korea’s Kia Tigers in Florida

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When the Kia Tigers got to the ballpark one day last week, a coworker put a gun to their heads.

36.5° Celsius, the non-contact digital thermometer reported. Normal. Every player on the team was within healthy range. The testing was strictly precautionary—no one seemed sick—but amid the global coronavirus pandemic, you can’t blame them for wanting to be sure.

The Tigers, based in Gwangju, South Korea, are the most successful team in Korean professional baseball history, with 11 championships. Last July, they made plans to spend spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. But now that the coronavirus has taken hold at home, they are stuck here.

It’s “a difficult situation,” said Tigers manager Matt Williams, who skippered the Washington Nationals for two years and spent the last two seasons as bench coach for the Oakland A’s.


QLE Posted: March 06, 2020 at 12:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, kia tigers, korean baseball, spring training

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Explaining Yapson Gomez’s weird windup on display at Giants spring training

Every pitcher has their own unique windup, but most are pretty typical.

A few pitchers stand out from the crowd. Guys like Dontrelle Willis with his leg kick, Pat Neshek who pitches like Marge Simpson or Johnny Cueto who does a little shimmy before throwing. The list goes on, and Giants prospect Yapson Gomez can be added to that list.

Gomez made his spring training debut for the Giants on Tuesday, pitching against the Rangers in the fifth inning. Gomez was solid, recording two strikeouts in a scoreless inning. But we’re here to talk about his insane windup.

In a baseball world of increased conformity in style, it’s always a good thing to see people breaking from the norms.


QLE Posted: March 05, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, windup, yapson gomez

Monday, March 02, 2020

Not yet 21, Angels prospect Jo Adell keeps ascending

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A sprint down the line and a laser throw home hinted at the promise of Jo Adell. Two strikeouts against veteran Colorado Rockies pitchers on Sunday underscored the learning curve the Los Angeles Angels’ top prospect embraces.

“I’m just working hard every day to try and play in the big leagues anywhere I can,” said the 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-handed hitter.

Picked 10th overall in the 2017 draft, Adell has a combined .273 batting average with a .351 on-base percentage and .444 slugging percentage in three minor league seasons. He played 21 games in Triple-A last season and hit .321.

In his second spring training, he is soaking up the wisdom from veteran outfielders, including three-time AL MVP Mike Trout.


QLE Posted: March 02, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jo adell, spring training

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Chris Davis turns back the clock, hits another home run in spring training game

Yes its just Spring Training, but Chris Davis is on fire.

The Orioles defeated the Marlins Saturday 12-6, largely in part to this three-run shot over right center field by “Crush:”

This has become a constant theme in Sarasota, as Davis is now 5-for-6 with 3 HR and 4 BB this spring. Of his 11 plate appearances he’s reached base nine times and tallied two singles as well.

How long this lasts in the regular season, on the other hand….


QLE Posted: March 01, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, home runs, spring training

Cubs’ Darvish yields HR to 1st batter of spring, settles in

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Yu Darvish’s spring training debut began exactly the way he predicted.

First pitch, home run.

Orlando Arcia connected right away, launching a drive over the fence in left center field, prompting the Chicago Cubs right-hander to rapidly snap his glove open and closed, imploring the plate umpire to give him another ball.

“I knew that he was going to swing, and also this is first game, so I want to throw a fastball, a get-me-over fastball for a strike,” Darvish said. “So I was thinking last night if Arcia is the leading (off), he’s going to hit the homer. So it happened.’’


QLE Posted: March 01, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, yu darvish

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Why The Red Sox Don’t Give Radar Readings at Spring Training

But if you’re headed to JetBlue Park for any games in the next week or so don’t expect to get a read-out on velocity. The Red Sox are purposely trying to make their pitchers forget such things exist.

“We don’t,” said Roenicke when asked about the Red Sox not publicizing radar gun readings at home games. “You guys all see what pitchers do later on. They throw a pitch, then it’s rub here and the eye is right on the radar. Right now that’s not a good thing. So I think as much as we can stay, and I realize the fans want that radar up there, we’ll get it up there when Bushy feels like, ok, they’re beyond the point, we can start putting it up there. But yeah, it’s there. It’s real. You see it in every big league game. A pitcher comes into the game, he throws that first pitch, and those eyes are right up on the radar. When they don’t see what they are used to seeing, maybe if a guy is 95 and all of a sudden he looks up there and sees 92, he’s like, ‘Whoa.’ Whether he’s going to throw harder on that next pitch or what, it makes a difference.”

I think this is a good idea.  Frankly I’d do it at my minor league affiliates too.

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 29, 2020 at 07:43 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, spring training, velocity

Working the count; 30-somethings grinding to extend careers

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Jarrod Dyson kept waiting for the phone to ring. As December faded and the hot stove cooled, one thought kept running through the free agent outfielder’s mind.

“You mean to tell me I can’t help nobody win?” said Dyson, who stole 30 bases for Arizona in 2019 before hitting the open market last fall.

Dyson’s won plenty. He offers the World Series ring he earned while playing for the Kansas City Royals in 2015 as proof. He appeared in 130 games at age 34 last season for a Diamondbacks team that hung around the playoff picture until the final week of the season. He’s been part of a rebuilding projects and raucous October celebrations. Now in the final innings of a decade-long career, he wouldn’t mind another shot at a playoff run.

Yet the only palatable job offer Dyson received came from Pittsburgh. The Pirates are in need of a stopgap in center field after dealing Gold Glover Starling Marte to Arizona last month. So Dyson signed for one year and $2 million. Sure he considered holding out for a chance to catch on with a team that’s not hitting reset following a last-place finish in the NL Central in 2019.

A consideration of the various players at the start of spring training who are trying to hold on for one season more.


QLE Posted: February 29, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: grinding, jarrod dyson, spring training, the aging process, veterans

Friday, February 28, 2020

Embracing the Romance of Spring Training

Spring training invites romance. It’s the basis of the seasonal vocabulary, all rebirth and growth and optimism. But this invitation is incidental: Spring training, if it is going to be at all enjoyable, requires romance.

If you are not romantic about the idea of grown men performing basic stretches in workout shorts, it will be insufferable. If you are not romantic about oddly positioned photography from beat writers at a distance, it will mean nothing. If you are not romantic about games with a steady stream of substitutions for players you’ve never seen, there is no reason to watch. Without romance, spring training is dull at best and ridiculous at worst.

Which is the point. The romance is the key. It’s the answer to the question of why someone should bother to watch; it’s the best answer that baseball has for this, February is better here than April or July or even October. No one needs much of an answer for those months. There’s not even much of a question. It’s all self-explanatory: Someone watches MLB in-season because they want to see a win, or because they think the game will be good, or because they’re with other people who are watching. There is no mystery.

But February is different. You cannot watch for a win, because a win does not mean anything, because none of this means much of anything. You cannot watch a good game. (There are no “good” games.) You cannot reliably watch for a particular player; if he’s in the starting lineup, he’ll be out soon, and even when he’s in, it’s in an unfamiliar context, with different incentives and motivations. You cannot watch because you’re with other people who are watching, because you’re probably alone at your desk and it’s probably 2 p.m. on a Tuesday. You can watch because you care. You can watch because you’re romantic about it. The question matters, for once, and the answer is fundamentally satisfying.

A few thoughts on what spring training means, and why it has its continued appeal.


QLE Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: romance, spring training

Agent highlights injustice of spring training for minor leaguers

On Wednesday evening, agent Joshua Kusnick…. tweeted about an injustice one of his clients, a minor league player, is facing at spring training. He wrote:

“Have an milb client who showed up 2 weeks ago
He isnt being paid because spring training didnt start for milb 10 dollars a day per diem.
They have a 1200 deposit for the hotel. The player. Making 6k a year.
Player has no choice in staying at hotel Pays own way to field!
No gas reimbursement. If player has a car he must stay at hotel
This is insanity. Someone has to change this”



QLE Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, spring training, the price of everything

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