There’s no scheduled Cincinnati Reds game today, and that means that there was no Strat-O-Matic simulation. Within that article we usually have some news and notes from around the baseball world, but today there’s not a place to put them and there were certainly a few things worth sharing today.
Reds planning on Eugenio Suarez, Nick Senzel to be ready to go
Before the season was shut down in mid-March, there were questions as to whether or not Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez would be ready to go when the season began after both had shoulder surgeries during the offseason. Senzel was playing in games, but was still being eased back into things. Suarez had begun swinging and fielding, but hadn’t quite reached game status yet. President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams recently told Mark Sheldon of Reds.com that they are planning on both being ready to go.
Both of them have been making excellent progress,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “As always with rehab, there are periods of progress and then times to back off. Overall, we believe both have benefited from the extra downtime.
“We are planning on full go for both.”
If there’s any sort of possible silver lining somewhere, this could be it. It’s bought a little bit of time for the Reds to get back two starting caliber players who may have missed some time, and perhaps even if they returned on time, not quite been at 100% – and now, assuming we get games this summer, should be ready to roll once the games begin.
What happens if MLB’s health plan fails?
While there’s a lot of focus lately on what is in the Major League Baseball plan as far as how they want things to run to try and keep as many people safe as possible if and when they resume play, NBC Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra wonders what would happen if the plan fails and or falls apart?
What happens if they agree on a plan that seems good at the outset but which doesn’t hold together in practice? Would MLB and the players be willing and able, in such a case, to change things on the fly? Would they be willing to pull the plug on the season altogether if things go really bad, or would inertia take over. Would they, as everyone is baseball is so intent on saying, play through it?
I say this with a pretty good appreciation that, historically, baseball does not turn on a dime and does not tend to admit or address its mistakes until seasons end or leadership changes. When they implement a rule change and it doesn’t work out, they tend to wait until the offseason to address it. When they make start big initiatives that don’t go well they tend to claim in real time that everything is fine and leave the reflection and admissions of mistakes for a later date.
It’s an interesting question, and one that for now doesn’t really have an answer. Even within the plan there are still more than a few questions that don’t have answers. As we all look forward it seems obvious that the answers we want simply can’t all be had right now – we’re in unprecedented times in this country, at least in the modern time. We’re trying to make decisions with the best information we have, but that information is changing daily.
The players union released a statement earlier today and has stated that they plan to give their feedback to Major League Baseball on their health and safety plan today.
The Major League Baseball Players Association intends to respond to MLB’s 67-page health-and-safety operations draft today, an MLBPA official tells ESPN. The union declined to publicly offer specifics on the substance of the response but said in a statement: pic.twitter.com/BZaMQTvtwa
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 21, 2020
MLB expected to make offer to the MLBPA soon
Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that MLB is likely to submit an actual economic proposal to the MLBPA next week.
Players are expecting MLB’s economic proposal by early next week. If it’s for a 50-50 revenue sharing split that’s all but sure to be shot down by players. Meanwhile, MLB seems equally opposed to paying prorated player salaries over the proposed 82 games. Compromising needed.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 21, 2020
For as much talk as there’s been about how “such-and-such side needs to compromise”, Major League Baseball still hasn’t actually told the players what the deal they expect to be accepted is. We’re all simply dealing on rumors of what it is. While it’s likely that those rumors are true – they got leaked for a very specific purpose (psst: it’s working, too, because the players are already looking like “the bad guys” to the general public) – there’s no actual offer on the table yet.
With that all said…..
As I was working on this, Heyman shared this tweet with the world:
Players union in internal memo says it is “livid” over so-called smoking gun MLB email becoming public in NY Post and is an attempt by MLB at “railroading” players. Union memo also noted it requested paperwork from MLB it has yet to receive March 13. So tension persists.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 21, 2020
There’s a lot of opinions, even from those in the law field, about that “smoking gun” email and whether it’s actually of any sort of value – but everyone I’ve read has basically seemed to come to the conclusion that it’s most certainly not a “smoking gun”, mostly because it’s simply an email between two MLB employees talking about what a third party supposedly said. But that part about MLB not yet responding to a request from the MLBPA about paperwork from what is now 10 weeks ago – that’s a pretty big deal.
Big changes proposed for college baseball
Over at D1Baseball.com, Kendall Rogers wrote about proposed changes by a panel of Power Five conference coaches to division 1 college baseball. There’s a whole lot to it, so please click the link and give it a read if you’re a college baseball fan. Some of the more catchy-headline parts include the season starting later than usual, and the tournament and College World Series starting in mid-July. That would be weird to work out because the draft for Major League Baseball takes place in the second week of June, and would either mean MLB would have to push the draft back, or force players to basically leave school and not play in the College World Series, or not sign as the signing date for players would come before the event was completed.