It’s hard to believe that May has arrived, and still there’s no baseball. However, there is still plenty of baseball news going around, giving us hope that games will be played at some point this summer. Let’s catch up on the top stories from the past couple of days.
Finding a Target
The latest reports about when the MLB season will get underway have the season kicking off in early July. Insider Jon Heyman reports that spring training would last three weeks, with players having the option of showing up two weeks before that.
Rosters would likely be expanded with teams perhaps keeping a taxi squad as well, as there is growing doubt about the minor leagues being able to play a season in 2020. It’s also been suggested that teams could use their home ballparks for spring training, which could help save money.
However, it’s all going to come down to testing. MLB will be diligent about testing and monitoring players and staff, but they don’t want to take away from public testing, so baseball will only return once the country has widespread testing that’s available to everyone.
Not Going to Cooperstown
In an unprecedented but expected move, the Hall of Fame has canceled this year’s induction ceremony due to the pandemic. Not since 1960 has there been no induction ceremony at Cooperstown. Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller were set to enter the Hall this year.
With Jeter getting into Cooperstown, a record crowd was expected to attend the ceremony. However, the four inductees will now wait until the summer of 2021, although there are no slam-dunk candidates who are locks to join them as part of the class of 2021.
Not Coming Back
In an article he wrote for the Players’ Tribune, Orioles slugger Trey Mancini said it’s unlikely that he’ll play in 2020, even if there’s a season. Mancini underwent surgery to remove a malignant growth on his colon after being diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.
His surgery, oddly enough, came on the same day that MLB suspended spring training and delayed its season. His prognosis is good, but he’s just now beginning chemotherapy treatments, which will likely prevent him from returning to the field.
In the article, Mancini writes about the oddity of undergoing chemo at a time when hospitals are focused on treating coronavirus. While he doesn’t think he’ll take the field in 2020, he and his doctors are optimistic about his long-term recovery and his chances to play in 2021.
The pandemic and the delayed start of the season might have cost the Cardinals their franchise catcher. St. Louis backstop Yadier Molina says the pandemic has changed his mindset regarding his future.
Initially, Molina said that if he didn’t re-sign with the Cardinals when his contract runs out after the 2020 season that he would likely retire. However, he now says he’d like to play two more years and would test the free-agent market if he and the Cardinals don’t agree to an extension.
He says his preference is to remain in St. Louis, but that the pandemic has reminded him of how much he wants to keep playing, so there’s a chance he could test free agency next winter.
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