MLB News and Notes: Making Steady Progress

“Slow and steady wins the race” appears to be the philosophy when it comes to reaching an agreement on restarting the 2020 MLB season. Every day, a little more news trickles out about getting us back to baseball. Let’s get caught up on all of that and everything else noteworthy from the baseball world.

Opening Up

There is good news for baseball fans as the league plans to allow as many teams as possible to play in their home stadiums this season. Within the past couple of days, governors from California, Texas, and New York have all indicated that pro sports will be ready to resume in their states, albeit without fans in attendance. Together, those three states account for nine MLB teams, which is a big step in the right direction.

California was becoming a concern, but Governor Gavin Newsom says the “first week or so of June” is a reasonable timeline for sports in that state. With Florida and Arizona already declaring themselves ready for sports to return, it looks like a significant amount of MLB teams will have the green light for playing at their home stadium when play resumes.

No More Fighting

One important aspect of social distancing during baseball games is to avoid fighting. MLB has given the players a 67-page proposal that includes ways to limit personal contact with other players. Part of the proposal makes fighting prohibited.

Of course, it’s not like it was otherwise encouraged before the pandemic. The proposal calls for severe discipline for players who make physical contact with anyone outside of a normal baseball play.

Obviously, this makes sense from a player safety standpoint. If anyone involved in a physical altercation on the field were to test positive for COVID-19, it could have severe consequences on the season.

One More Year

One man making waves this week was 46-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colon. Despite not pitching in the majors at all last season, Colon says he’d like to pitch one more year before calling it a career.

While he promotes his recently-released autobiography, Colon is simply reminding teams that he’s available and willing to pitch, saying: “If any major league team wants an old man, I’m available!” Colon says his preference would be a return to the Mets, although he would pitch for any team that wants him.

Some Good News

After a few days of being hospitalized because of coronavirus, former MLB manager Art Howe was released from a Houston hospital on Sunday. Howe described his hospital stay as “a long five days” but says he’s recovered enough to return home, where he’ll be isolated for at least another week. The 73-year-old is still feeling some of the effects of the virus but is happy to be continuing his recovery at home.

Unspeakable Tragedy

Sadly, Diamondbacks outfielder Starling Marte announced the death of his wife, Noelia, on Monday. Noelia had reportedly broken her ankle and was waiting to undergo surgery in a hospital when she unexpectedly suffered a heart attack.

The couple had two kids. In his Instagram post announcing Noelia’s death, Marte called it “a moment of great sorrow.”

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