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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Baseball Impact

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Welcome to "Opening Day: The Coronavirus Say No."  Latest:

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According to ESPN's Kiley McDaniel, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have the framework of an agreement in place regarding the 2020 MLB Draft.

McDaniel hears that the plan could be finalized sometime Thursday, which was supposed to be Opening Day in baseball. The 2020 MLB Draft will likely only be 10 rounds, and possibly as short as five rounds, and it will be rescheduled to take place in July rather than June. The two sides are also working out the parameters of service time, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reporting Wednesday that major league players are expected be granted a full year of service no matter how many games the 2020 schedule includes.

Source: Kiley McDaniel on Twitter                      Mar 26, 2020, 11:00 AM ET

 Also in another blurb they said that "when" (me: "if") the season starts and they throw all these extra double headers into the schedule that Manfred has NOT ruled out changing the rules so double header games would be only 7 innings long instead of 9.

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10 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Welcome to "Opening Day: The Coronavirus Say No."  Latest:

 Also in another blurb they said that "when" (me: "if") the season starts and they throw all these extra double headers into the schedule that Manfred has NOT ruled out changing the rules so double header games would be only 7 innings long instead of 9.

Gross 🤮

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I can only GUESS if this happens they might throw in the discussions they have been having about starting tied games each inning they are still tied with a guy on second base.  Or maybe adopt NHL rules and allow ties.

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If they play 7 inning games, sorry that's not baseball, I'd rather have them cancel the season, it would ruin fantasy baseball, if there are so many games being played  as DH's and 7 innings, then why would you draft any starters? Chances of them getting a quality start or win are slim. They will pitch 3-4 innings trying then turn it over to the pen trying to cram in games, not to mention the everyday players trying to play 9 games in 7 days. The amount of injuries will be endless.

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Just now, The Big Bat Theory said:

I can only GUESS if this happens they might throw in the discussions they have been having about starting tied games each inning they are still tied with a guy on second base.  Or maybe adopt NHL rules and allow ties.

NHL doesn't have ties anymore, they have OT and a shootout.

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Just now, azeri98 said:

NHL doesn't have ties anymore, they have OT and a shootout.

Thanks.  Shows last time I watched hockey, hah.  Hey maybe they can settle ties in MLB this season (if there is a season) with a mini home run derby.  😆

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1 hour ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Hey maybe they can settle ties in MLB this season (if there is a season) with a mini home run derby.  😆

I'm not gonna lie, that would be extremely entertaining while also completely asinine.

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2 hours ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

I can only GUESS if this happens they might throw in the discussions they have been having about starting tied games each inning they are still tied with a guy on second base.  Or maybe adopt NHL rules and allow ties.

 

Interestingly, ties already technically exist.  The Pirates and someone else had a tie game a few years ago.

I actually wouldn't hate a rule change where games ended in a tie after the 12th inning, or something like that.  I'd prefer that over the "runner on 2nd" idea.

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On ESPN last night, Manfred said "if it ain't 9 innings, it ain't baseball" just sayin'.

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From a fantasy perspective, I wouldn't mind some shake ups in the rules and scheduling.  It would be fun to figure out how to adjust and develop new strats.

That's just me.  I feel the same way about 5x5 standard leagues. The differences in strategy from one player to the next are so small, it's more about who does the most research and who puts in the most time in season and of course blind luck.  I like games where you have your strat, I have mine and we see who wins.  

Kind of like how back in the day it was fun to watch poker on TV because you had all these different types of players, whereas now it's just a contest to see who can copy a strat spit out by a computer the most effectively.  

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Posted (edited)

I'm not a fan of the 7 inning thing from a fan perspective, but for fantasy it would be interesting to adjust. Bottom line, we will all have to make some adjustment. There's no way it will be business as usual. Please apply the same rationale in league rule discussions as considerations on the COVID-19 virus to society; that is, protect the weakest amongst your leagues. There are going to be countless scenarios that are unfair to one team or another, so try to use common sense.

For starting pitching, I don't view this as too much of a change. It's unlikely teams will go to 4 man rotations and use starters more frequently, if anything teams will employ a 6th starter or a bullpen day for doubleheaders. Teams might still use starters the same, hoping to get 6 innings out of a starter with a lead and turn it over to the closer. This makes a win much easier for the starter with a lights out closer. I think most teams that can pitch a bullpen game in the 2nd tilt will do so, and teams that lack the bullpen depth to employ the opener strategy will still lean on their starters to keep guys fresh. Guys who do get used as the bulk pitcher in a bullpen game again have a Iittle extra appeal for wins. It would make leagues that count complete games and shutouts very interesting/frustrating, as you'd potentially have guys throwing 7 inning shutouts all year long. Anyway, I like that we're hearing when, not if, but I'm not in a rush until things have really settled down.

Edited by Richard Kimble

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1 hour ago, Br0kenB said:

On ESPN last night, Manfred said "if it ain't 9 innings, it ain't baseball" just sayin'.

Then he ALSO said in an interview yesterday that 7 inning games for double header days could be a viable option.  He is making it up as it goes along.

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The 7 inning thing was a Bud Black idea which should tell you all you need to know about the idea.

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27 minutes ago, kidtwentytwo said:

The 7 inning thing was a Bud Black idea which should tell you all you need to know about the idea.

Further proof that The 7 inning thing is at least 35 years old.

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i can see it now.... 7 inn, 10 run rule after 5, max runs scored 5 per inn,

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Well an agreement on the financial stuff and drafts and free agency/service time stuff:

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Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have come to an agreement on a deal involving pay and service-time issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passan reports that the players have already voted on the new deal, and that MLB owners are expected to ratify the agreement on Friday. As Passan also points out, it's an excellent sign that whenever the games are ready to be played again there won't be any type of stoppage in regards to compensation and service-time. In the deal, the players will be advanced $170 million for the months of April and May, and if the season is canceled, that money will be kept by the players. Salaries for the remainder of the year will be pro-rated based on the length of the 2020 campaign. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the money will be split between four groups of players: those with guaranteed contracts and those in three different levels of split contracts between majors and minors. In regards to the draft and the International Free Agent class, baseball has the option to limit the draft to five rounds instead of the usual 40, and can also delay the IFA signings until January of 2021. All players who are impending free agents will still get a year of service time regardless of how many games are played -- or not played -- so players like Mookie Betts and Trevor Bauer will still become free to sign with new clubs in November. While the MLBPA and MLB have come to an agreement on those issues, Rosenthal notes that there's still no agreement on where spring training would take place or on roster size. 

Source: Jeff Passan on Twitter                                 Mar 26, 2020, 8:43 PM ET

As a Boston fan who LOVED the Betts trade to get back some good future players before all this happened?  Well you can guess I am loving it even more.  Can you imagine the season either being cancelled or only playing a part of one without Chris Sale and still with Mookie and not getting anything for him at all and having him leave after only a few months on a team going nowhere in 2020?

Now if I was a Dodgers fan I might not have loved the deal as much now.

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3 hours ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Well an agreement on the financial stuff and drafts and free agency/service time stuff:

As a Boston fan who LOVED the Betts trade to get back some good future players before all this happened?  Well you can guess I am loving it even more.  Can you imagine the season either being cancelled or only playing a part of one without Chris Sale and still with Mookie and not getting anything for him at all and having him leave after only a few months on a team going nowhere in 2020?

Now if I was a Dodgers fan I might not have loved the deal as much now.

Its not like this helps the Red Sox.  Sure they got lucky and now no one can really question whether it was the right decision or not, but its not like it helps Boston in anyway.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, MrBrown said:

Its not like this helps the Red Sox.  Sure they got lucky and now no one can really question whether it was the right decision or not, but its not like it helps Boston in anyway.

How does it not help?  Verdugo is under team control for a few years and looks like a Dwight Evans / Trot Nixon type for right field -- 20 homer type with line-drive doubles in the mix and a wicked throwing gun -- which is a big step up compared to anyone down on the farm to take over in right.  Jeter Downs is now the top prospect in the farm system and looks like a Dustin Pedroia type with a bit more power and a wee bit less speed than Pedroia Prime who can take over 2B in about a year.  And Conner Wong is an interesting throw-in.  A hitting catcher that can play in the infield as a utility player when not catching.  I personally like the return a lot.

You just don't like the fact that the only Jeter around playing now is with the Red Sox organization, hah.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory

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Tons of baseball updates in Rotoworld blurbs today.  I'll do them in separate posts so they don't merge into mush and anyone wanting to reply to one won't have to quote a big long post in return.  First:

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Major League Baseball owners have voted unanimously to ratify the deal with the Players Association.

The agreement was first reported Thursday after being approved by the players and now it's official after the owners gave it the go-ahead. Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites. The players will be advanced $170 million for the months of April and May and the money can be kept if the season is canceled, service time will be pro-rated and the international signing period can be pushed back from July to January. Additionally, the Draft has been shortened to five rounds and picks will only receive $100,000 of their bonuses in 2020.

Source: Joel Sherman on Twitter                     Mar 27, 2020, 12:31 PM ET

So both sides agree to listen to medicine and science first last and foremost it seems.

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Next update is as I guessed earlier here:

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that rosters are expected to expand to 29 players for the first month of the season once games begin.

It makes sense to give teams extra players early on in order to protect pitchers that aren't likely to be fully stretched out yet. It sounds as if rosters will go back to 26 players after the first month. That if they play at all this season, of course.

Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter                    Mar 27, 2020, 9:23 AM ET

This would also mean no super long time wasted on a second spring training period.  Just a week or two to limber up before the season starts once -- and IF -- the go ahead to re-start is given.

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Finally:

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Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Major League Baseball is considering expanding from 10 to 14 playoff teams for this season.

It's just one of many scenarios that is being kicked around, as Heyman notes that "almost anything is on the table" as the league tries to figure out how to navigate a shortened schedule (if there's a schedule at all, of course). It seems counterintuitive to have more playoff teams in a season where you're playing fewer games, but it would also be a way for MLB to recoup some lost revenue. Heyman notes that the possibility of additional playoff teams has been proposed for subsequent years, as well, but "this could be the time to experiment." The possibility of a neutral-site, warm-weather World Series is also on the table since the playoffs are likely to extend well into November.

Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter   Mar 27, 2020, 8:45 AM ET

Yep if this season is played at all there will definitely be asterisks all over the place as in baseball (and all sports) is an entertainment business first and foremost.  Business means revenue.  Entertainment means put on a show even if a weird one as opposed to following traditional norms for the sake of tradition.

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I don't even think you have to be that cynical about it.  The asterisk was going to be there even if smaller, more incremental tweaks were made.  Once you do that, you may as well go whole hog and use it as a playground for things that might increase fan interest.  I care about the traditions, but any opportunity for 2020 to be a traditional season went by the wayside weeks ago, so let's do what helps the sport grow and bring in some new fans.

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50 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

I don't even think you have to be that cynical about it.  The asterisk was going to be there even if smaller, more incremental tweaks were made.  Once you do that, you may as well go whole hog and use it as a playground for things that might increase fan interest.  I care about the traditions, but any opportunity for 2020 to be a traditional season went by the wayside weeks ago, so let's do what helps the sport grow and bring in some new fans.

I wasn't being cynical actually. Just put down "tradition" because I had no other word for why they wouldn't do what they are doing this year.

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1 hour ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Tons of baseball updates in Rotoworld blurbs today.  I'll do them in separate posts so they don't merge into mush and anyone wanting to reply to one won't have to quote a big long post in return.  First:

So both sides agree to listen to medicine and science first last and foremost it seems.


see everyone next season 

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So certainly minor on the scale of importance right now, but thinking of some of the players and how this affects their legacy. Remembering that Fred McGriff finished with 493 HRs, 7 short of the “magic number” that likely would’ve made  him a lock for the voters. And really it was the strike/lockout that cost him. There are guys right around 30 that could probably use one more peak season on their resume. A guy like Altuve comes to mind. He may miss out on that opportunity.

Then the young stars, Soto, Acuña, etc. How much will they miss out on “the youngest player to ever do ________.” Or simply doing their own resume building.

This sucks for a lot of reasons, but I feel for the guys who put everything into this, and how losing this season could affect how they’re remembered. 

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