Good morning, Birdland!
Baseball is, in fact, going to happen in 2020. In a Tuesday press release, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that a 60-game season will get started on either July 23rd or 24th. MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to health and safety protocols, and the schedule will mostly be made up of division games and inter-league games against teams that are closest on a map.
The press release still leaves some questions unanswered, specifically this one line: “The vast majority of Major League Clubs are expected to conduct training at the ballparks in their primary home cities.” Clearly, MLB wants to cut down on travel, and that may require teams to be more closely clustered together. Considering the Orioles are already quite close to D.C., the Pennsylvania teams and the clubs in New York, I would imagine they will be staying put, but things can change.
The fact that baseball will have a season has me excited! It’s going to be weird and different, but it will be baseball. However, I do worry that players will not take the health guidelines seriously enough. Too many active positive tests could bring the league back to a halt.
Here are a few other things that were not mentioned in the release, but have recently been reported on by various writers: The 2020 season is going to feature a 60-man roster for Spring Training, which is due to start July 1, and a 30-man active roster during the regular season. Every team will have the DH, regardless of league. The major league transaction freeze will end this week. The trade deadline will take place on August 31st. There will be a COVID-19 inactive list that is separate from the injured list. And there is talk of a Nashville squad of free agents who would be paid by the league to stay in shape and be ready should a team have a need.
Links & Notes
Taking another quizzical look at the Orioles and baseball - School of Roch
If you need a little laugh, Roch’s got you covered with a semi-serious quiz on the happenings of the 2020 season.
Closing in on a baseball season - Steve Melewski
I am gonna go against the grain and say that the public arguments between players and owners on a 2020 season are not going to have any lasting impact on the game of baseball. This year has been weird for all of us. Did we expect a huge corporation like Major League Baseball to know exactly how to navigate when you take away a huge portion of its revenue? And did we expect players to just bend to the wills of their billionaire bosses? There are so many more important things happening than one sport getting off the ground. We may not forget, but it won’t change our mind on buying a ticket or not in the future. Public health and safety, however, will have a big impact on that decision.
Former Oriole Adam Jones launches first HR in Japan - Yahoo! Sports
Adam Jones’s Orix Buffaloes are off to a rough 1-3 start on the season, but Cap10 smacked a dong, so that’s worth celebrating.
What a 60-game regular season means for the Orioles’ prospects - NBC Sports
While there has not been any official word, I would imagine that there will not be a minor league season in 2020. However, the O’s could include some of their young talent in the 60-man spring training rosters to keep them in the loop.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Just one former Oriole celebrates a birthday today. It’s former pitcher Doug Jones, who played just one season with the O’s. In 1995, he appeared in 52 games, earned 22 saves and posted a 5.01 ERA in 46.2 innings.
According to Baseball Reference, nothing particularly interesting has happened to the Orioles on this date in history. Instead, here are some events from elsewhere in the world:
1916 - Mary Pickford becomes the first female star to sign a million-dollar contract.
1922 - The American Professional Football Association is renamed the National Football League.
1939 - Siam is renamed Thailand by their prime minister.
2010 - In the first round at Wimbledon, John Isner of the United States defeats Nicolas Mahut of Franche in the longest match in professional tennis history.