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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where MLB put forward another bad plan to start the season

The baseball powers that be really want to start the season, but this pesky virus just won’t let them.

2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Major League Baseball really wants to have a season of some kind. According to ESPN, there is a current plan being kicked around that would have regular season games by the Fourth of July. Understandably, this plan would put forward a different type aesthetic than baseball games of the past. Here are some of the bullet points:

  • Players would be tested “regularly,” but not necessarily daily.
  • Only people that test positive will be quarantined. So, if a player tests positive they would be out for two weeks, but their teammates could continue to play, risking the chance of spreading the virus.
  • MLB does not want to take supplies and tests away from medical providers, but that seems fairly impossible considering this pandemic is ongoing.
  • MLB did not consult all relevant governments or health officials prior to releasing this plan, but they plan to shortly and then revise this plan. On that same note, advice from the White House was described as “confusing” and, at times, “in conflict with health officials.”
  • Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is specifically quoted in the story, explaining that the state owns Camden Yards (and M&T Bank Stadium), so MLB cannot use the venues without their go ahead. As of now, Hogan has not made a determination on professional sports in the state.

Basically, this proposal is just the latest version of the lead test balloons that the league has sent out. Every time a new one is released, it inevitably compares MLB to situations in Korea or Taiwan, where baseball is back, albeit with some noticeable changes.

Without getting too deep into the weeds, let’s just say that there are differences between the situation in those countries and what the United States is experiencing. The U.S. has the most reported cases in the world, and there is little indication that the virus has been contained within out communities. It feels like that should be the priority rather than starting sports again simply because owners are getting itchy over losing some of their money.

Links & Notes

O’s icons Zoom in for Brooks’ birthday -
Brooks Robinson’s birthday was a few days ago now, but Brooks is a guy that deserves to be celebrated just about every day.

Limited clarity to a proposed 2020 season - School of Roch
Clubs want to start games again in a month’s time, but no one has any idea what the fallout would be. It may hurt financially, but the easier thing to do for stability may be a complete cancellation of the season.

Some of the reasons to play a season - Steve Mewlewski
Look, if MLB can insure relative safety for players, and also combat the labor issues that arise when you talk about reducing salaries and personal freedoms then sure play the season. But those are humongous “If’s” that, as of yet, have not been rectified.

The Biggest Losers in a Seasonless Season - FanGraphs
Missing an entire season isn’t ideal for any franchise. Contenders lose a year of their “window” with current players and rebuilds use valuable time for prospects to develop. There is an argument for each being worse. I’m not sure on which side of the fence I fall. In this piece, the idea is that teams with the most valuable players currently in a contract year are about to have a bad time.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former catcher Ramon Hernandez turns 44 today. The 15-year MLB vet spent three seasons with the Orioles (2006-2008), compiling a .264/.328/.427 batting line to go with 47 home runs during his time with the O’s. He would be traded following the 2008 season to the Reds in exchange for outfielder Ryan Freel, infielder Justin Turner and minor leaguer Brandon Waring.

Left-handed pitcher Gordon Dillard is 56. The California native only appeared in two games for the O’s, both in 1988. He was dealt, along with Ken Howell, to the Phillies that off-season for Phil Bradley.

Finally, it is the 57th birthday of southpaw David Wells. The hefty lefty played in 21 big league seasons, spanning from 1987 through 2007, and suited up for nine different clubs. His time with the Orioles was relatively short. He arrived in Baltimore prior to the 1996 season by way of a trade from the Reds. As an Oriole he threw 224.1 innings, compiled a 5.14 ERA, 97 ERA+ and won 11 games. He departed via free agency for the Yankees the next year.

2011 - The Orioles fall victim to the Nationals best offensive game since the franchise relocated from Montreal to Washington D.C. The Nats knock in 17 runs, thanks in large part to six home runs. Jayson Werth’s two bombs and Danny Espinosa’s six RBI headline the onslaught.

2014 - Chris Davis doubles his season home run total with a three-homer performance as the Orioles beat the Pirates 9-2.