Try singing "Take me out to the ballgame" when washing hands.

Do something nice for your baseball soul.
Took me about 30 seconds, and it's way better than "Happy Birthday" twice. 


"Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that MLB plans to process upward of 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, according to a draft of the league's health-and-safety manual.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic also reported details of the manual. The plan calls to separate people into tiers, with Tier One including players, on-field personnel and medical personnel and Tier Two consisting of other "essential" employees, like front office staff. These two groups would be tested for the coronavirus multiple times a week, as well as their families. Interestingly, MLB plans to "offer free diagnostic and antibody/serology testing" for healthcare workers and first responders in MLB cities as a public service. "

This is going to be full of surprises. Young players who don't feel that bad may be angry that they can't  play.  A team may loose several players at once. They'll need a taxi squad that doesn't practice with the main team. Even the best plan can't prepare teams for every possibility. 

i would be surprised to see this go start-to-finish without some kind of stupid drama.  it's not that covid is gonna kill a gazillion people while they bleed from their eyes or's that it's so easy to pass it others.  if you find one guy positive, chances are pretty high he's taking down a handful of others with him even if they're all good to go in a couple weeks and feel fine during that downtime.

these guys are going home and mixing with the public, they're not going into some workplace-only shelter for a few months while they entertain staff, too...

They plan on testing 10.000 per week? I thought we were short of tests. 

i can't speak for this or all of the US, but my state govt level safety committee reports kinda shape up like this...and this aggregated view stated below is my own...

we're still technically short for how all pieces of the testing scheme interact with each other on whole, but it's catching up and should be rolling smoothly for a task like this (seems to be a dedicated lab for all MLB) by the time the season is proposed to start.

it's no shock that we (united states) got started WAY late into the game, but the last major hurdle (swabs) is moving smoothly(ish) now.  lab delays, reagent delays, packaging delays, logisitics/distribution delays, which test/machines/etc to use...these early notable roadblocks are mostly managable now.

basically, it's not a huge stretch to see this as a realistic goal for 1-1.5 months from now.  we might even have a cheap swab-less spit test like South Korea's been using for a quite a while by then.

Depends on who you are.

the "slow opening" seems to be starting up this weekend and into next week for a variety of clubs...whether it's the ballpark or training facitlies.  most all of the player access seems to be limited to those on the 40-man and nothing mandatory.

nothing for the cubs yet (that i've heard about).  chicago is still a bit "hot" but AZ is open for sports...

"Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers will keep their baseball operations staff intact for all of 2020.

There will be no furloughs and only top executives in the organization will take pay cuts."

2020 has officially crossed the line now...making me like the brewers...

seriously though, it's about time some of these 100s-millionaire to billionaire owners acted like this.

brewers, wsox, cards, and twins have all promised full pay for employees through june+ (and maybe longer when revisited)

i would expect the same from the cubs billionaire ownership, but so far they seem far more interested in political power investment rather than human welfare investment

add the bjays to the list...

whatever works to get people paid.

I wish I felt better about the possibility of baseball this year. All those details - it just seems like something's not going to work. And to me the worst thing that could happen is they get started and 2 weeks later have to shut it down, then try to start it up again. 
Baseball's role this summer is meant to uplift, and that scenario feels soul-crushing.
Maybe they ought to have a backup plan where they do one 7-game series in August or early September. PIck representatives from each team to make up 2 teams, like all-star teams only more players to rotate in. Draw straws to pick one ballpark, draw straws to pick managers. Play 7 and call it a summer.
Feels more controllable. And in a weird way it feels like it's more about baseball for fans, rather than baseball for money (which I'm already sick of reading about).

i still don't understand how any of this retains momentum if a team has an outbreak...

it seems like that would put a pause on things not only effecting the team with the outbreak, but the schedule and future opponents...and past opponents who recently played the team with an outbreak...

if it gets started, hopefully it can roll to end without going off the rails.  it all seems so fragile with a lot of moving pieces.

I love baseball as much as anyone, but I cant see this working. Put the 2020 season on the shelf and plan for 2021. 

HAGSAG: I've been following this all spring and I fully agree.  Let's not risk the health of these ballplayers.  Let's plan for 2021 an be done with 2020.  I know that whole game will be changed next year but it's already morphing now.  Just start with a clean slate.  I don't want scientists watching baseball when they should be working on a vaccine.

June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best,  a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.

This isn't 1994 (it's worse), but even that strike-shortened season, which ended on August 11th,  still gives White Sox fans a deep ache about what could have been a possible championship season (they were 21 games over .500, with prime years of Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, and Blackjack McDowell plus strong support of Tim Raines and Ozzie Guillen, Wilson Alvarez and Alex Fernandez).

For those who don't want a dose of politics, stop reading here.

This is a real, once in a century Pandemic, A new (novel) virus that the world's physicians are learning about but have no medications yet that definitely work, so only basic tools of masks and distancing can be helpful. Nearly 100K Americans have died in less than 3 months, but our President doesn't give a shit about those who have gotten infected or will get infected or already died. Every death touches a wider family and an often larger circle of friends and community. One of my good friends, a wonderful, hardworking cardiologist in his early 50's got sick from CV and was in the ICU here in Chicago but thankfully survived. He's still on home oxygen.

The President is a science denier (among a litany of horrific traits), leading America in a Pandemic. He is a horrible role model (and always has been). Americans and the politicians that behave based on partisan politics and who discount medical knowledge in a pandemic get what they deserve. Unfortunately, not all of us deserve this or want this to unfold the Trump way.  His encouraging this careless behavior is not reasonable when it affects those who want to protect themselves, their loved ones, or their community. 

though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...

nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore.  just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.

Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!

Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace. 


That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.

Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.

A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*

maybe everyone would be in more of a trickle down mood with more high end earner tax cuts.  we should try that.  has anyone tried that?  oh, we've tried that.  well, let's give them more and see if that works.

yeah, they're not running a charity, but these kinds of moves are ass.  there are no shareholders to answer to, nor heat to be taken from them over a few months of additional revenue loss.

"The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.

So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.

contract rights are retained by the team.

in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.

"in normal times..."

It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.

Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.

Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more wealthy, how owners see that as good for anything involved in the game (including their almighty profit) is insane. People want to see players. Players ARE baseball. No one really gives a damn about the owners. Making fans dislike players turns fans away from the game.

i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.

"Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

I blame Pete Ricketts

after dragging their feet, the cubs commit to paying their minor leaguers through june.

i'm a bit dissapointed they're not going to pay the last 2 months.  yeah, they're not the worst owners (in fact, the "through june" thing is common), but they can do better for their baseball household.

cubs release brock stewart (AAA Rule 5 pick) and carlos asuaje (middle IF'r)...both older AAA/MLB-replacement-part types.

per mlbtr, supposedly the Cubs have released 30 minor leaguers although Stewart and Asuaje are the only two names so far.

Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.

Bat-signal seen in the Mesa skyline...AZ Phil, time to don the mask and cape.

Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.

“Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated,” 

Boras pointed to debt financing in the purchase of the team in 2009 and the subsequent renovations of Wrigley Field and development near the ballpark.

“Throughout this process, they will be able to claim that they never had any profits because those profits went to pay off their loans,” Boras wrote. “However, the end result is that the Ricketts will own improved assets that significantly increases the value of the Cubs — value that is not shared with the players.”

Either way, Boras suggested teams’ losses are irrelevant. He wrote that owners taking out loans to buy teams or fund renovations “in normal times … is a smart financial decision.”

Of course, these are not normal times. But Boras pointed out it’s not the players’ fault the owners made those investments, so bailing them out shouldn’t be an option.

“Players should stand strong because players are not the ones who advised owners to borrow money to purchase their franchises and players are not the ones who have benefited from the recent record revenues and profits,”

that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.  the cubs aren't the only team out there paying off "creatively financed" loans, either.

he chose the cubs.

It'll be more over when Kris leaves. Or whenever the same thing happens to another of his clients.

He isn't wrong though...

i don't blame the ownership/font office for doing what they did with bryant.  it was just kinda bad timing that bryant was the client that boras was finally "i'm sick of this" over.  the cubs were warned that boras was going to make a stand and it dragged on so long there has to be some kind of toll on the boras/cubs relationship.

also, it seems rather transparent that "kris bryant money" is most likely going to be thrown at baez as a team anchor.  bryant is due for the OF (probably soon), and baez should be good middle IF for quite a while even if his hitting gets a bit erratic...and he's really popular (sells a lot of merch).

The billionaires vs the millionaires. The beauty of the game is not the business of the game. 

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  • bradsbeard 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Great info. Thanks! 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: What happens on 12/2 is each club submits what's called a "Central Tender Letter" to the MLB LRD listing which unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) are being tendered a contract and which unsigned players are not being tendered a contract. 

    The CTL is sufficient as far as providing proof of contract tender.  

    For players being tendered contracts, the CTL must list the club's MLB salary offer, a minor league split salary offer (if the club so chooses), and performance bonuses (if any) the club is offering to the player.


  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    theo walked away from a big payday for an executive in his last season as a cub without having another job scoped out...and according to him he's not even looking one.

    something tells me this isn't going to be a fun off-season for cubs fans.

    the state of the cubs household aside, i wouldn't exactly be shocked to see theo with the mets, though he's supposedly not on their radar at the moment.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have been at the forefront of tone-deaf owners in terms of financial hardship during the pandemic. "The game isn't as profitable as most people think"


  • tim815 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    The decision on the amount comes later.


  • bradsbeard 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    At the point when the team makes the initial contract tender, do they have to offer a specific salary, and if so is that the same number the team takes into arbitration? Or does the specific number the teams files at for arbitration happen at a later date?


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: A player who is signed to a contract that does not include a minor league split salary is paid his full MLB salary while optioned or after being outrighted to a minor league club.

    So if a player goes to arbitration and is awarded (let's say) a $2.5M salary by the arb panel, the contract will not include a minor league split salary or performance bonuses, and if the player is sent to the minors he is paid the full $2.5M while in the minors.


  • Hagsag 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Maybe Trump can give them a loan.


  • crunch 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    it's not exactly looking good when the cubs brass is complaining about "losing 100m in revenue" when a huge chunk of that seems to include Hotel Zachary.  it looks like the entire "entertainment complex" is the cubs as far as the Ricketts are concerned...and the team might have to suffer a bit because they couldn't fully realize profits last year.  they've publically stated that the big incoming tax credits from the city they're going to realize for stadium work won't help the cubs payroll.


  • jdrnym 5 days 1 hour ago (view)

    If a player doesn't have a split salary in his contract, how much is he making when in the minors (or how is that salary determined)?


  • crunch 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    we want kyle schwarber to not be mark trumbo so badly...

    either way, the NL having or not having the DH needs to be figured out pretty quickly for a lot of off-season sanity.


  • crunch 6 days 10 hours ago (view)

    minor league hitting coordinator chris valaika moves up assistant hitting instructor for the big league team.

    looks like a.iapoce's job is safe.


  • Cubster 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Jed Hoyer gets a new 5 yr contract that runs through 2025 season. 


  • Cubster 6 days 15 hours ago (view)

    BA's list of 19 prospects who impressed at Instructs. One Cub:

    Chase Strumpf, 2B, Cubs


  • Jackstraw 1 week 10 hours ago (view)

    Waiting for Ryan Pace to be available.  He should be a week from tomorrow.


  • crunch 1 week 10 hours ago (view)

    i haven't even heard a rumor...which is interesting since "virtual" winter meetings start in a couple weeks.

    surprised dan kantrovitz hasn't been named "interim GM" or something...which makes me wonder how wide of a net they're casting to fill the position.  he was snagged from the A's and was an assistant GM there (and director of scouting for STL).