Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on Saturday that Major League Baseball barely tested for performance enhancing drugs during the 2020 season. He reported that during the shutdown period there was no testing – which isn’t surprising if we’re all being honest with each other. But once the season began, testing was “down considerably”, with many players only being tested one time during the 60-game season, and in some cases it happening in the final week of the season.
MLB Owners want expanded playoffs for a DH
Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that the players want the designated hitter to return to the National League. But the owners aren’t signing off on it until they get something that they want in return. What is it that they want? They want more teams to make the playoffs.
For teams in the National League, they have to hope this is resolved rather quickly. Free agency has already begun. Teams are trying to build for the 2021 season. It makes it tougher to build a team if you don’t know how the rules are going to apply for your team.
Minor League restructuring is coming
Following what would have been the end of the 2020 minor league season, had it taken place, the agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball that governed how the two organizations interacted with each other ended. MLB used their power to basically take over the organization and will now be running the show.
Part of that is the elimination of about 40 teams and the rookie levels between the complex level that is played during the summer at the spring training sites, and the Low-A level. But another part of the plan was to move around teams and leagues to make for less travel. There’s long been a rumor that the Florida State League would be moving from an Advanced-A League to a Low-A League, while the Midwest League would be moving from a Low-A League to an Advanced-A League.
At least part of that seemed to become official yesterday when the New York Yankees announced that their team in the Florida State League, the Tampa Tarpons, would become their new Low-A affiliate. While nothing is official yet with the Cincinnati Reds and who their affiliates will be in 2021, if they were to keep their same four affiliates in full-season baseball leagues it would mean that Daytona would become the Low-A team, while Dayton would become with Advanced-A team.
Justin Turner goes unpunished for returning to the field
If you watched the final game of the World Series you saw Justin Turner removed from the game in the 8th inning. Shortly after you learned that it happened because he had tested positive for COVID-19. Shortly after that you saw Turner back on the field, celebrating with his teammates – at times without a mask on. Yes, we all know that he was with his teammates during the game. His teammates were not the only people on the field after the game.
If you are confused as to how that was allowed, join the club. Major League Baseball security reportedly told him he wasn’t allowed. The Dodgers staff apparently told him that he was. The entire situation was mishandled from the very beginning. Prior to that game, every time a player around Major League Baseball had an inconclusive test, which Turner had and MLB found out about in the 2nd inning, it was treated as a positive test until confirmed otherwise. This was in the protocols agreed upon by MLB and the MLBPA. Baseball’s brass chose not to treat this particular incident as such.
Baseball had gone nearly two months without a positive test. The “bubble” was working. Until it wasn’t. Perhaps the people making the decisions during game 6 were simply hoping the test would come back negative and no one would be any wiser about what happened. That didn’t happen.
After about a week, Rob Manfred “investigated” what happened and decided that Turner, nor the Dodgers, would be punished.