In a parallel universe where everything is exactly the same as this one except that there was no coronavirus, the Orioles would have played in 60 regular season games by now. Instead, well, you know. We are where we are, which for most of us is at home and seldom anywhere else.
The week to come is probably going to prove to be a crucial one in determining whether there’s going to be any MLB season at all in 2020. If the semi-settled schedule of a resumption of spring training on June 10 is to happen, there needs to be a deal in the next few days. As to whether that occurs, that’s up to the owners to walk back from some of their greedy goals in their first proposal to players.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and other national baseball reporters, the players presented a counter proposal on Sunday afternoon. Key aspects of the player proposal are a 114-game season beginning on June 30, two years of an expanded playoff, and salary deferments if the 2020 postseason ends up being canceled. There would also be the right for players to opt out of playing in 2020 if they or a close family member are in a high risk group for COVID-19.
That’s far off from what we were talking about from the owners last week.
In the meantime, there are assorted imaginary versions of the Orioles to occupy at least a tiny bit of attention. The Orioles of the Baseball Reference Out of the Park Baseball simulation were shut out yesterday by the Blue Jays, 3-0. They got just three hits, always a tough way to win. The team is now 23-37.
If you need more OOTP 2020 Orioles in your life, check back on Camden Chat a little later today for an update bringing our simulation to the present day, including the MLB debut of Ryan Mountcastle. It was time, so it happened.
The last two and a half months have had daily reminders that there are problems in the world that are bigger than the fortunes of anyone’s favorite sports team. A lot of that has been about COVID-19, an ongoing concern that we can hope stays on the downward swing.
Over the last week or so, in the aftermath of a Minneapolis police officer killing George Floyd by keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck, protests against police brutality have been going on nationwide. If there had been any scheduled baseball games, they probably would have been disrupted in a number of cities.
I saw a few tweets from O’s starter Asher Wojciechowski that I thought struck the right note:
I will listen to your experiences, I will speak when I witness injustice, I will amplify the messages of the black community so your thoughts and ideas are heard in your own voice. I will educate myself. I am with you. I am your ally. (2/3)— Asher Wojciechowski (@AsherWojo) May 30, 2020
I don’t have any great answer for the problems that are at the root of what sparked these ongoing protests, but I think if more people with advantages in life were willing to be as introspective as Wojciechowski is here, society might have a better chance of stopping the injustices that have led to the protests.
Around the blogO’sphere
More of what we’re missing without the majors (School of Roch)
Roch has a list of some of the things the rebuilding Orioles didn’t get to find out over the last couple of months. Hopefully the lost time doesn’t hurt anybody.
Orioles to pay minor leaguers, staff through June (Orioles.com)
If you missed the news late last week, the Orioles have joined the teams committing to paying their staff and minor league players through at least the end of this month. That’s a big contrast to a team like the Angels, who furloughed some scouts even before next week’s draft, with more to come after the draft.
Drafting second overall: Why five top players will - or won’t - be an Oriole (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly runs down things as he sees them for who the Orioles are going to take with the #2 pick, though there’s still a week-plus for things to change.
Kurkjian’s baseball fix: How Tippy Martinez once picked off the side (ESPN)
Tim Kurkjian took the opportunity of yesterday being Tippy Martinez’s 70th birthday to remind everyone of the time Martinez picked off three runners in one inning. “I get asked about it almost every day,” Martinez said.
Hanser Alberto provides a few hitting tips (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles Twitter account posted a video of Hanser showing off some hitting drills for the masses. His hitting ability certainly helped him against lefties last year.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1975, the Orioles were on the wrong end of a no-hitter pitched by Nolan Ryan. This was the 100th win of Ryan’s career and his fourth no-hitter, tying what was then Sandy Koufax’s record for most no-hitters in an MLB career.
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2019 reliever Tayler Scott, and Maryland native 1955-57 pitcher Ray Moore. Moore passed away in 1995 at age 68.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Gunpowder Plot discoverer Robert Cecil (1563), Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833), actor Andy Griffith (1926), actress Marilyn Monroe (1926), model Heidi Klum (1973), singer-songwriter Alanis Morisette (1974), Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson (1979), actress Amy Schumer (1981), and actor Tom Holland (1996).
On this day in history...
In 1495, a Scottish monk named John Cor made a record of making a batch of whisky, the first known historical reference to Scotch.
In 1794, over 70 ships of the British and French navies battled in the “Glorious First of June,” the largest naval battle of the French Revolutionary Wars. Both sides claimed victory in the aftermath, with the French successfully defending a grain convoy from the United States and the British capturing or sinking seven French ships of the line.
In 1918, during World War I, American marines and German soldiers clashed in the beginning of the Battle of Belleau Wood, which by the end of the month would see the Germans expelled from the forest and a new legend in marine lore begun.
In 1974, the journal Emergency Medicine published an article on the Heimlich maneuver, used for rescue of choking victims.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 1. Have a safe Monday.