Since the pandemic hit I have been unable to see most of my family and many of my friends. It’s terrible! But my mood is bright today because at least I got to see Tyler Glasnow return to the field. Glasnow had been missing from camp, and upon his return he told reporters that he had indeed tested positive for COVID-19 ($)when he first reported back to the Rays. Fortunately he was nearly asymptomatic and was able to rejoin the team after quarantining for fourteen days and testing negative for the virus. He was able to stay in shape, apparently, because he threw 50 pitches in a simulated game.
I have two reactions to this MLB piece on the best rotations in baseball. 1. Stop hyping our team, you will bring on the evil eye! 2. What, you think the Nationals rotation has us beat?
If baseball is to make it to Opening Day and beyond, all those involved will need to follow a very long list of new rules. There are new rules about the roster; new rules about conduct on the field (no spitting please!) and even rules applying to players and staff off the field, (no restaurants on road trips). Marc Topkin has a list ($)
And who knows what other issues will come up? Like this:
Ed Sedar just mentioned something new: Base coaches might have to amend their signs because so many of them involve touching the face. Every time you think you considered everything in COVID-ball, something new comes up.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 14, 2020
Players aren’t the only ones who have to give some thought to the risks and rewards of participating in the 2020 season.
Sources: 11 Major League umpires have opted out or decided not to participate. Some are said to have family members who are ill.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 14, 2020
I was hoping they would use this weird one-third season as a further test of an automated strike zone. After all, the clutch of umpire, catcher and batter at the plate is one of the few times we see real “crowding” on a baseball field. Eliminate one of those three and the chances of passing along an infection is reduced. Have a home plate umpire for other calls at the plate who stands 6 feet back; he can still see foul tips and hit by pitches, and he can move up for plays at the plate.
Fangraphs is giving us power rankings for each position; today is third base. Rays have more quantity than quality at that position, but landing middle of the pack isn’t bad.
Yasiel Puig is reportedly signing with the Atlanta Braves.
I haven’t had a chance to listen yet but this conversation with players and reporters about the crazy upcoming season should be fun.
Many teams are streaming their intrasquad games, but so far all we’ve gotten from the Rays is a radio broadcast. If getting a whole crew together is too difficult, just stream the video footage from which they sometimes pull clips to tweet. We are all hungry to see a little actual baseball.