MLB News and Notes: More Optimism For A Season

In a perfect world, the MLB season would be a month old by now. Kind of funny to think about, right? Obviously, we don’t yet have games, but there is still plenty of news from the baseball world over the past few days to catch up on, so let’s get to it.

Sign of Hope

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has become the latest person to express optimism that the 2020 MLB season will get started at some point. Rizzo said on a conference call that much like Commissioner Rob Manfred, he’s “upbeat” about baseball being played in 2020.

“The most important thing is to do it in the right way and the safest manner we can. But I believe that we will have baseball,” said Rizzo.

Just a Scare

Long-time Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is back home after a scare earlier this week. Scully fell on Tuesday at his Los Angeles home and needed to be hospitalized.

During his hospitalization, the 92-year-old joked on Twitter that he “won’t be doing anymore head-first sliding.” He was released from the hospital on Saturday and said he’s resting at home and looking forward to there being baseball at some point. Scully retired in 2016 and remains one of the most iconic broadcasters in baseball history.

Back in the Fold

The delayed start to the season could end up benefiting the Yankees and starting pitcher James Paxton. The lefty was set to miss the early part of the season after undergoing surgery on his spine in early February.

However, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said this week that Paxton’s recovery and rehab have “gone pretty smoothly for him.” Paxton has already thrown a handful of bullpen sessions, and the Yankees are now expecting him to be ready for the start of the season, which will give New York’s rotation a big boost after losing Luis Severino to Tommy John surgery during the spring.

Not on the Cape

There is still hope for the MLB season in 2020, but the same can’t be said for the famous Cape Cod League. The league has officially pulled the plug on its 2020 season because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the league said that given the current guidelines from the CDC, “it would be impossible to guarantee the safety of players, coaches, umpires, host families, volunteers and fans during this unprecedented health crisis.”

The summer league is known for giving some of the top college players in the country a platform for playing during the summer. The Cape Cod says that 300 of its former players were in the big leagues last season.

Finding a Model

If we have baseball this season, it could happen in empty stadiums, which is what’s currently happening in Taiwan’s five-team league right now. Granted, Taiwan has far fewer cases than the U.S., but the league has been able to go ahead with the season without fans, giving teams a creative license to replicate normal stadium conditions.

Some teams are placing placards of fans in stadiums while others are using robots banging drums or cheerleaders to help create a little noise in the otherwise empty stadiums.

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