- Per Tampa Bay Times ($), the Rays have announced that they will be cutting pay of many administrative personnel, furloughing some staff, and ending their internship program. This makes them an exception among MLB teams, most of which have pledged to retain staff through May. Furloughed employees will continue to receive health insurance benefits.
- Ah, Ji-man, we miss you too! Choi sends his regards from South Korea. ($)
- Lovely personal essay from Florida native Trey Mancini. I recommend grabbing a tissue before you start reading.
- We’re number 9! The Athletic ranked expansion team inaugural season uniforms, and (Devil) Rays are middle of the pack. But you know what’s great? The article links back to Adam Sanford’s paean to those D-Rays rainbow jerseys.
- Neil deMause reports on the various ways sports franchise owners are benefitting from federal COVID-19 related spending. In some cases teams are taking advantage of the Payroll Protection Program for small businesses, which, deMause notes, is legitimate if they follow the rules, although the “first-come-first-served” nature of the program means that the success of some of these very wealthy clubs in accessing the money has pushed out smaller, more marginal businesses. But that’s the fault of the folks who designed the program. For many team owners, however, the big subsidy money comes in the form of handouts and tax breaks they can get for their non-sports investments.
- The 2020 MLB season — would we? Could we? Jeff Passan considers all the angles. (There are a lot). Bob Nightengale reports that the latest idea is resuming play midsummer with three 10-team divisions.
- But by far the best prediction of the 2020 season is this one:
Hearing MLB actively considering proposal to launch 850 players on a one-way mission to colonize Mars into a TV-friendly baseball gulag and play a full 162-game season or until the biosphere fails. Potential hangups include blackout restrictions, low gravity, MLBPA reservations.— Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) April 28, 2020
- Tricia Whitaker catches up with Blake Snell:
Rays noteworthy players and seasons
I know I have usually added a flashback to a noteworthy Rays player when I’ve done a Catwalk column, but this week I’m in back to back Microsoft Teams meetings forever, so I haven’t been able to put that feature together. But I should be able to get back to that next week, so if there is a player you’d like to read about in a future column you can let me know in the comments.