Open Discussion: Week of April 27th

I hope everyone is well and continuing to practice social distancing.  I am in the 7th week of self-quarantine.  I haven’t been outside in over two weeks.  I’m not going out for the foreseeable future.  I’ve been under the weather again. 

A added Glee to my TV show rotation.  I avoided it was first broadcast, but I have liked Jane Lynch’s characters over the years.  Thought I would give it a look.  May not get past the first season.

Speaking of first seasons, I binge watched Breaking Bad a year ago.  As much as I liked the show, I don’t know how it survived its first season.

Saw you all talking about baseball movies last week.  I’m not going to enter the discussion about the best baseball movies.  But, I would like to suggest a baseball documentary.  I found it very interesting and informative.  It’s titled “The Battered Bastards of Baseball”.  It’s the story of the Portland Mavericks, an independent baseball franchise in the Northwest League back in the 70s.  It’s a refreshing story.  It ends with MLB being the bad guy, no surprise.

In organization news, Reading’s Kirsten Karbach has moved on.  She accepted a position with Pitch In For Baseball & Softball.  It’s a global, non-profit organization that collects and redistributes baseball and softball equipment to kids in need.  Please join me in wishing her well.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.

Key Dates:

  • March 17, 2020 – Start date for minor league spring training games
  • March 2020 – Americas Qualifier in Arizona (2020 Olympics qualifier)
  • March 23, 2020 – Final spring training home game v. Rays
  • March 26, 2020 – Phillies’ opening day at Miami, active roster reduced to 26 players
  • March/April 2020 – At-Large Qualifier in Taiwan (2020 Olympics qualifier)
  • April 2, 2020 – Phillies’ home opener v. Milwaukee
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative restart of spring training
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative opening of 2020 MLB season
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative opening of MiLB season
  • June 10-12, 2021 – Amateur draft in Omaha, NE
  • June 15, 2020 – International amateur signing period closes
  • July 2, 2020 – International amateur signing period opens
  • July 10, 2020 – Deadline for drafted players to sign, except for players who have exhausted college eligibility
  • July 14,2020  – All-Star Game at Los Angeles
  • July 31, 2020 – Last day during the season to trade a player
  • August 31, 2020 – Last day to be contracted to an organization and be eligible for postseason roster
  • September 1, 2020 — Active rosters expand to 28 players

The rosters and lists are up to date as of April 26th … 382 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
No activity since April 2nd.

103 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 27th

  1. Died last week:

    Steve Dalkowski was one of the fastest pitchers in organized baseball history with a fastball thought to be over 100 miles per hours. Known for having trouble controlling the strike zone, he was the inspiration for the character “Nuke LaLoosh” in the movie Bull Durham

  2. The Bastards is a terrific piece, I didn’t recall any of that happening. Another friend recommended it to me a few weeks back.
    It’s a shame Kirsten left, I think she has a bright future. Good luck to her in her future.
    Watching the Eagles draft I again realized how much I missed baseball and the Phillies. So sad….
    Stay safe all.

  3. When Kirsten was with the Threshers a few years back, whenever I asked about any player she always responded with detailed and well thought out information.
    Good luck to Kirsten in her new career move and all her endeavors.

  4. Speaking of baseball movies or docs, I also loved the touching film “Bang the Drum Slowly” starring Michael Moriarty as a head strong pitcher who insists that the catcher (Robert DeNiro) who has a terminal illness, is secured a roster spot by including him in his contract as his designated C. My favorite scene is when a made up card game called TEGWAR (The Exciting Game Without Any Rules) is taught to one of the assistant coaches to his humorous frustration. Classic comedy in what is otherwise a tear jerker.

    1. 8mark, Bang the Drum Slowly might be the best baseball movie ever in terms of serious drama and quality of acting.

      Bull Durham obviously was among the most fun.

      The Natural was the worst in terms of taking a great — and dark — novel and trivializing in. My opinion of the movie probably would have been higher had I not read the book, which was a great one.

      The good news: We might not have to be talking movies and binge viewing for long as the world looks like it is ready to slowly unlimber and open up. Anyone want to bet MLB baseball by the 4th of July?

      1. Forgot about Bull Durham, Frank. Very entertaining. I especially liked Robert Wuhl as the pitching coach.

        As for the Natural, it was beautiful to watch, but highly melodramatic. Most baseball movies have had difficulty authenticating on field action. Very few actors can pull off the athletic part. Thanks for the heads up about the original novel. I’ll have to look for it.

        1. 8mark,

          There is a Phillies angle to The Natural. It was inspired by the shooting of Eddie Waitkus.

          If you read the book, be prepared for it to be a downer, not Disney-like.

      2. Frank,
        From my childhood days, a fun movie… .when television was in its infancy, every year around March or April, before baseball would start, they would show the movie “It Happens Every Spring” with Ray Milland as the college chemistry professor who develops a chemical that prevents wood from hitting the baseball….and he becomes a famous pitcher.

        1. Romus, Not a movie, but the Twilight Zone episode of a robot pitching for the woefully last place Hoboken Zephyrs was a classic. If you recall, the robot was so good nobody could hit him. Then, the powers that be said he couldn’t pitch because he wasn’t a man. But if he had a heart, would he be a man, his inventor asked. They agreed. He installed a heart, and the pitcher, now imbued with empathy, couldn’t get anybody out. He let them all hit off of him.

    2. That movie had a nice story but it had the worst baseball playing actors ever. Very unbaseball like.

      1. One of the baseball movies where the actor showed legitimate baseball skills was Major League with Charlie Sheen as Ricky Vaughn . Though I do not gravitate or care for his lifestyle, he does have baseball talent. Was a southern California HS star pitcher and shortstop on his Santa Monica HS team…..I guess baseball consumed him, along with acting, since once the baseball season was over in his senior year, he was kicked out of school for not showing up prior to June graduation.

  5. Hope you are all well.
    I’m still missing baseball … but … as I posted last week, I was thoroughly enamored with the NFL’s “virtual” draft. We got to see things never witnessed at any other draft before. Here are my top 5 moments:

    #5 Henry Ruggs playing it casual

    #4 The moment ESPN switched over to Bill Belichick’s kitchen

    1. #3 Gotta wonder what Cee Dee Lamb is hiding on his phone

      #2 The moment Howie Roseman made the Eagles’ second round pick

      1. #1 The situation at Mike Vrabel’s house

        One other thing to reccomend: The Gentlemen. We rented it this weekend. I think it was supposed to currently still be in theaters, but with COVID-19 … we rented it (just six dollars). Two thumbs up (in a big way) for me.

        1. I tried watching this a month ago. I couldn’t get through it and bailed early. Expected more from this cast. I’ll try again on your recommendation.

          1. I enjoyed it. My wife did keep asking me, “What did he say?” so using closed caption might help.

    2. Seeing this makes me laugh. It reminds of the dog meme with the caption “I have no idea what I’m doing”.

  6. Had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with Kristen. She baseball smart, new the players and brought humor and insight on her view of the game and players she watch grow up in MILB. Wish her well and and will miss her on MILB gAMES

    1. It seems to me that with all the financial and payroll implications, we’ll be hearing a firm plan from MLB by mid-May. It would almost certainly be contingent on the COVID-19’s continued regression, data wise. It could also be laid out as a staged schedule. No fans for at least 6 weeks, for example. Then maybe playing locations will be reset for late summer, segueing into a playoff tourney leading up to Thanksgiving in warmer climes. Some fans who put their vacation plans on hold may decide to travel in October and November, when big series would be held. Of course, 2020 will be one BIG asterisk, both for stats and being set alone as a year of experimentation for MLB and the players union to figure out the next CBA and how baseball will be formulated and structured moving forward.

    2. I read the article and thought it was very thorough and fair… Listed all the hurdles and wrenches in the process that could still derail the season. Yet as I’ve been writing since late March, way too much money at stake for both sides to not exhaust all avenues to see if MLB baseball can be safely played in 2020..

    1. rocco……here are a few Phillies players playing over there.
      Dave Buchanan, Aaron Altherr, Ricardo Pinto, and Ben Lively….as for Darin Ruf and Tommy Joseph, not sure they resigned to go back over.

        1. Ok….too bad the season came to a halt in March….he probably was set to be playing again back in the majors this year.

  7.’s Jonathan Mayo had a mock draft this morning. Has us getting a HS OF named Hassell. Local kid SP, Bitsko goes 1 pick earlier. Crochet, Cecconi, and Cavalli still on the Board. I still think a College SP is our pick. I know Crochet was injured pre-shutdown, and I don’t know his status, but if he is healthy and available, two big ifs, I take him.

    1. matt13….agree….Phillies need a power lefty In their rotation…I think Joe G likes to have one or two.
      And you also stay safe and well.

  8. Robert Redford was 48 when he played Roy Hobbs. It was hard to watch him portraying an eighteen year old in the beginning of the film. The book was great and very dark and Hobbs was not a very nice man. In the book, he was right handed and played left field. Redford, a lefty, played Hobbs as a right fielder.

    The Phillies took a hit in the Jackie Robinson film “42”. The long painful scene where manager Ben Chapman played by Alan Tudyk was especially difficult to watch. Chapman, then the Phillies manager, stood outside the dugout and assaulted Robinson with every racial slur known to mankind. Hated to watch it.

    1. ciada,

      And yes, not to give the ending of The Natural away to anyone who intends to read the book, but it wasn’t the Disneyesque feel-good of the movie.

      As or Ben Chapman, my guess is that real life was worse than the movie. However, Chapman was forced to make nice and do a publicity photograph with Robinson. They both held a bat, but with their respective hands at each end, no touching.

  9. It was ciada! Not bright spot in the Phils’ history. No one has said it was not accurate, however. Pee Wee Reese went over to the Phils’ dugout and told Chapman “you know he can’t fight back. Come out here and say something to someone who can!” It was a galvanizing moment for the whole Dodgers’ squad. I heard that story just a week ago on the Sonny Hill show. He had a Robinson biographer on the show.

    1. From Allen Barra on that incident between Chapman and Robinson:
      “Is it true,” I wanted to know, “that you said those things to Jackie Robinson? You know, the names, the words, that everyone said you used?”
      “Heck, yeah,” Chapman said with a loud guffaw. “Sure I did. Everyone used those kind of words back then. Heck, we said the same things to Joe DiMaggio and Hank Greenberg.”

      I was puzzled. “You mean you called DiMaggio a ….?”
      “We tried to rattle him by saying, ‘Hey, Dago’ or ‘Hey, Wop.'”

      What about Greenberg? “Oh, we called him ‘Kike.’ It was all part of the game back then. You said anything you had to say to get an edge. Believe me, being a southerner, I took a lot of abuse myself when I first played in New York. If you couldn’t take it, it was a case of if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

      In one of the most intense scenes in the film 42, the story of Jackie Robinson that first season when he broke the color barrier, Chapman’s abuse of Robinson is recreated with chilling effect. What hit me like a fastball to the side of the head, though, was the next scene where reporters grill Chapman (played by Alan Tudyk): The movie Chapman defends his behavior in almost exactly the same way the real Ben Chapman did to me.
      It was then I realized that for more than three decades Chapman must have been telling reporters the same things he had told me.

      Over the years, retired players and sportswriters I’ve talked to have confirmed that, yes, baseball banter was pretty harsh back then and ethnic slurs and insults were a big part of Depression-era and post-World War II baseball. They did say those things to DiMaggio and Greenberg, and, yes, a lot of northern players did harass southern boys mercilessly. (Sample: Ed Walsh, born and raised in Pennsylvania, loved to yell at. Georgia-born Ty Cobb, “Cobb, I hear you’re from Royston, where men are men and sheep are nervous!”)

      But as Lester Rodney—”Press Box Red,” who wrote about sports for the Communist paper The Daily Worker—once told me, “That Chapman, he was something special. He could taunt with a viciousness that would have made Ty Cobb blush.” As Rodney pointed out, DiMaggio and Greenberg could give it right back, but Robinson wasn’t allowed to: “Jackie had promised Branch Rickey that in his first season he wouldn’t fight back.”

        1. And while we’re recalling the dark, no pun intended, history of the Phillies, let’s remember they were the last National League team to integrate. That might have had something to do with ownership. The Carpenter family was from segregated Delaware.

          When, as a kid, we moved from Phoenixville, PA, to Claymont, DE, i was stunned to live in a segregated community. The Claymont School District had been integrated a year or two before we got there, but the rest of northern Delaware was segregated. Of course, as I got older, I recognized that Phoenixville was segregated, too, just informally as opposed to by law. White kids would go on dates to the Colonial movie theater on Friday nights, black kids would go Saturday nights, for example.

          Definitely a different world back then.

          Still, the Phillies did no credit to themselves or our society by dragging their feet on integration.

          1. SWFL Frank – and others – I am a diehard Jackie Robinson fan – he is more than a baseball player, he is an American hero. During the virus quarantine I have read “Only the Ball Was White,” about the Negro Leagues which has little to say about Jackie but much to say about the history of so many players our country allowed to be segregated from baseball society. I firmly believe that any of the records set prior to full integration of MLB are simply irrelevant. With the introduction of integration we witnessed many African American players becoming the preeminent players in both leagues – one only wonders what might have been had we seen that earlier. I still think the vast majority of the very best players to EVER play were African Americans.

            Now that notwithstanding – Chapman was a bigoted monster – too ignorant from his lack of education and upbringing. But the Phillies had others who were also monsters – Harry “the Hat” Walker was a bigot and there were others that ostensibly prevented the team from becoming integrated. So while suffering from inept financially deficient management (pre Carpenters) the team also became crippled by its stance on integration. No – it is not something we can be proud of in our team, rather ashamed am I.

            1. RU,


              BTW, I think baseball would benefit by adopting a date later than 1900 for record purposes. The fact is that the game played in 1899 was no different than the game played in 1900. The only difference was he arrival of the American League.

              I’ve long thought that 1920 and the arrival of the live ball era is a better dividing line between old-time and modern baseball. But I also would consider using 1950 as a time when MLB was more integrated. Years from now, someone might look back and choose an even later date — a time when pitching staffs went to five starters, a third of MLB players were international and when Sabremetrics began to rule.

  10. The proposed 3 10-team divisions would be as follows:




    I haven’t yet read how the playoffs/post season tournament would work. But I’m all ears.

    1. How about a 13-team playoff format. Three division winners plus the 10 best records regardless of division. Division winners get a first round bye, 10 wild card teams play 1, 3, or 5 game series, reducing field to eight teams. Division winners and 5 advancing teams play 5-7 game series, 4 winners advance to 7-game series, 2 winners play in 2020 world series.

      1. 43% of all teams in the post-season? To me, that suggests that the “championship season” isn’t really so much a competition as just an exhibition season – it’s about the money. A club that finished with the 13th-best record in a 30-team league can get lucky and win the World Series? Makes the regular season meaningless as anything but passive entertainment for the folks on the couches, and money in the bank for the owners.

        IMHO, the regular season should mean something. Winning a division should mean something more than just “better odds in a wide-open post-season tournament.” But I guess in today’s world, between the lust for more post-season money and the short attention-span of so many people, it’s pointless to pine for a time when a six-month season actually mattered.

        1. dreater, 100 percent agree. Maybe 110 percent. You know, like the effort athletes say they put out.

  11. I’m pretty confident that we’ll be following some form of baseball activity, likely spring training, possibly exhibition/intrasquad games, by Memorial Day. Father’s Day is June 21. From what I’m reading, that’s a plausible date for a start to whatever format is decided upon. If not, July 4th. Let’s continue to protect the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Let’s get out and live! Play ball!

  12. Looking at some recent mock drafts today. A few of them have the Phillies taking Arkansas OF Heston Kjerstad, raw lefty power bat, avg speed, lots of swing and miss.

    Hinkie, what say ye?

    1. 8mark … Heston Kjerstad would be a very good outcome for the Phillies at 1-15. However, I don’t think it’s likely he’ll last that long. Last year, Hunter Bishop was picked at 1-10. Bishop went that high based solely on one season of excellence at ASU. Bishop hadn’t done much in either his freshman or sophomore seasons.
      Kjerstad, on the other hand, has been an offensive juggernaut since the day he stepped on campus at Arkansas (and the SEC has much better pitching than the PAC-12). He also padded his resume last summer as the top offensive performer for the US National Collegiate Team.
      Then again … This year’s draft class is much better/deeper that the 2019 group, so I guess it’s not entirely impossible for Kjerstad to slide to the Phillies, but that would be in a best case scenario. I just wouldn’t count on that happening.

  13. I think for much of the MiLB teams 2020 is a goner. I hope I’m wrong… Yet I can’t see the MLB starting back up without allowing teams a pretty sizeable reserve of minor league players in-waiting for the inevitable injuries and the need to keep those players sharp… Would this entail an expanded AAA and AA team rosters or just one giant team at one location (Lehigh Valley, Reading or Clearwater?) Wait n’ see.

    1. If the MLB does NOT play a season…truncated as it may be…..then they will need to make a decision on free agents after this year…JTR and Betts for two.
      And unfortunately for the players….I do not see them going into free agency.
      MLB has already granted them service time….however do not see how ;consideration’ is accomplished thru basic contract law …the other elements are there…..but ‘consideration’ is not.
      MLBPA can challenge all they want in court….but cannot see courts ruling in their favor.
      So players like JTR and Betts stay on their current teams thru 2021…..if only this season has to be cancelled in its entirety.

      1. I highly doubt this will be a consideration issue – the amount of consideration needed to make a contract stick is de minimus (i.e. tiny) – this will not be a failure of consideration case as far as I can tell.

        1. Consideration or the mutuality of obligation….player has not must perform in his skilled capacity or competence In the 2020 season.
          Their assumption that could be made was due to an act of God.
          Owners, for their part, have already acquiesce and given them service time, which is beneficial to their pension plans.
          So it would behoove the players to get some semblance of a season.
          I really do not see MLB letting free agents exercise their free agency rights in Nov 2920, if a season is not played out.

          1. Romus … I was pretty sure it had been reported MLB and the MLBPA agreement reached last month allowed FA’s to hit the open market this winter, whether there was a partial 2020 season or no season at all. I went back to research it. I found this from MLB Trade Rumors.

            The story includes this: “The service time portion of this pact is especially welcome news for many who are due to become free agents next winter. The likes of Mookie Betts, J.T. Realmuto and George Springer will all remain in position to reach free agency then even if a season does not take place. Meanwhile, pre-arbitration players (including names like Matt Chapman and Gleyber Torres) will stay on track to go through the arb process for the first time.”

            1. Ultimately, this is an issue of what the CBA says and any agreements relating to the CBA. I also recall that the MLB and the MLBPA agreed that players can hit FA in 2021 regardless of whether there is a 2020 season. If so, I don’t see any reason why that agreement wouldn’t be enforceable.

            2. Hinkie….the service time issue ‘was welcomed news’ as they reported……however did they actually address the fact they will be allowed to become free agents…….if no baseball is played at all in 2020?
              Giving the players service time was a carrot extended by MLB and the owners.

              Now this becomes a moot point if they have a truncated season as I mentioned earlier.

            3. “The service time portion of this pact is especially welcome news for many who are due to become free agents next winter. The likes of Mookie Betts, J.T. Realmuto and George Springer will all remain in position to reach free agency….then even if a season does not take place. ……”

              I just do not see the owners rolling over on this…they will want compensation of some sort.

            4. Romus … from what I understand, JTR, Mookie Betts, Georde Springer, James Paxton, Robbie Ray, etc will be FA’s this winter whether there is a season or not this summer.

            5. It’s already been agreed to. The MLBPA allowed the owners to screw over amateur players looking to drafted this summer or next in return for the current players getting service time and reaching free agency on time.

            6. Probably a moot point since they will likely play at some point.
              As it stands now there are approx. 180 players that will reach free agency this Nov. So every team is affected at some level. About 1/3 or the players have different sorts of options attached to their current contract……club, mutual, or player.

  14. Actually, Jim, I view this Bohm/Boras representation as a good thing for the Phillies. Boras has historically had 1-2 teams that he represented with several players and he always wanted those teams to do well record wise. I always viewed Boras as a Nationals asset when he represented several of their players. In fact I remember many suggesting he was really their GM. Don’t know about you but I almost prefer Boras as the Phillies GM to Klentak!

    1. Boras will likely have little affect as Bohm’s agent for several years. Bohm will remain under contract for 2-3 years before entering 3-4 years of arbitration (super-two). Arbitration is pretty much “agentless” as the arbiter decides between the 2 salary submissions and historical/positional data. Boras doesn’t do extensions, so there won’t be any extension discussions. So, that’s 6 years of control before Bohm and Boras reach free agency.

      1. Jim…..similar to Rhys….though Boras waited to Rhys was already debuted in MLB before signing him on.
        Bohm would have probably made his debut this year sometime, under normal circumstances….but who knows now if that will happen.
        I do think with Stott, Bryce Harper has probably been mentoring his Las Vegas buddy along…and Boras was the natural choice

      2. They signed Kingery, a deal for Bohm would not surprise me either, buying out those arb years.

    2. I never view Scott Boras representing a player to be a “good” thing for the team. Boras will obey his client’s directives (just as he did with Harper), but otherwise, he is there to get the most money for his client possible and he is very good at it. He does not encourage long term deals before his clients hit free agency, which is how teams best save money. So, yes, he has a good relationship with the owner and it’s not a disaster if a client is represented by Boras it is generally not a good thing for the team although, since a smart team effective has 7 years of control (6 full years and up to another near full year), it won’t be a big issue anytime soon.

  15. I read some Tweets last night from Baseball America and JJ Cooper cleaning up a story from a writer who in the past has contributed to BA claiming hi-level agents of prospects are hearing from the MLB/MiLB that the minor league season will not be taking place in 2020. High level prospects would train at the teams ST sites and have intra-squad games but that would be it.. Later on in the night BA and Cooper tweeted no such official notification had come from the MLB/MiLB to agents and the minor league season was still being discussed. I’ve kind of thought this was the most likely eventual scenario.. There is no money driver to start the minor league season like the MLB. This would be horrible for all of the MiLB teams. The financial carnage to teams and towns would be huge. I do think the MLB needs to up their communication better with the players and public. The information void is creating rumors, false stories and a ton of frustration… I liken it to sitting on a tarmac with the pilots telling us a gate will open shortly for us to de-plane and hours go by and we hear nothing from the pilots…

  16. Big, big question for the Phillies….with MLB rosters expanding to ??? and the limited minor league operations based likely in spring training sites where they can accommodate only so many players, will Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard be on the opening day roster, whenever that is?

  17. Read an article on Drew Storen. I hope he helps us. Maybe I am a sucker for stories like this one, but when a guy takes time away from his family to work on re-tooling his game after surgery, I root for him. It is time that we caught a break with one of the veteran BP arms we give a shot to. I know very little about Driveline, but I applaud Storen for the effort. I would like to see it pay off, and result in helping us.

  18. I’d say 3 division champions get in, plus all 3 second place teams get in, then two wildcard games to give you the last two teams.

    The team with the best record picks their opponent, then the second best division champ picks their opponent, then the same for the third, and then the two teams not picked play each other. This Division Series round would be best of 5, the division champs get all 5 games at home, the other series goes 2-3 like they did back in the 70s.

    Then the LCS’s would be 2-3-2 best of 7, and same for the World Series. The only flaw in this approach I see is that it doesn’t guarantee an AL vs NL World Series.

  19. Draft is scheduled for a little less than. 6 weeks from now…MLBPA has put a wrench into the works it appears:

    “…..MLB’s proposal for a revised and shortened 2020 draft has been rejected by the MLB PA, sources told Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic. … the league proposed shortening the draft from 40 rounds to 10. While the MLBPA previously accepted the shortened draft, there were other restrictions included in the proposal that the union found unacceptable….MLB’s plan called for picks in the first five rounds to maintain their slot values as in a normal 40-round draft. However, slot values in Rounds 6 through 10 would have been set at 50% of Rounds 1 through 5, and would have also had a hard cap on signing bonuses at each pick’s slot value. Additionally, the league proposed limiting how much money could be given to undrafted free agents…. Under their proposal, each team would have only been allowed to sign a maximum of five undrafted free agents to a $20,000 bonus, the highest allowable amount an undrafted player can receive. Teams could then sign as many undrafted players as they liked to bonuses of $5,000 or lower. The 2020 MLB Draft is still scheduled to be held virtually June 10. It was supposed to take place in Omaha, Nebraska, but was moved online due to COVID-19”

  20. The shorter the possible season gets, the more unlikely I think it is that the Phils will give up a season of control on Howard and Bohm. I know many of you think the opposite, that the shorter season is a reason to use them from the start but I don’t agree. Money and control for an extra full season are big incentives.

    1. That could be one of their alternative plans with Howard and Bohm.
      That extra year of control means a lot….look what the Cubs did with Bryant and it has worked out, on the other hand not so much for the O’s and Machado and the Nats with Harper….though they have their ring.
      However, the Phillies need to keep in mind the next CBA comes up for negotiation in 18 months, and that very point, which is of a large concern to the MLBPA may be a key agenda item and could change the current policy on service time in relation to the number of controlled years.
      So the Phillies will have to weigh both sides, make their decision, and see is what is more advantageous for the club.
      IMO….I think Joe Girardi will be the determining factor….if Howard and Bohm gives them a better chance now to win ….he will want them in Philly now
      In the long run it may be prove unsatisfactory, but I think managers are interested in the now and present…not long runs.

      1. Agree. And Klentak may be motivated to start the clock on Howard and Bohm sooner since he may not be around in 6 or 7 years when their arbitration years are up, and he has yet to build a legit contender.

      2. The manager will ALWAYS want the player on his team that gives him the best chance to win NOW. That’s what a manager is hired to do – win now. As for shortening service time before free agency – I would imagine the fight will be at the edges – this full six year rule has been around forever – I don’t anticipate any major changes – it’s far too important an issue for the owners.

        What short terms concessions might be made due to the health crisis is unclear. They sides have had 25 years of labor harmony – after some pushing back and forth I expect that trend to continue.

  21. From reading the tea leaves, it’s my guess that we’ll see meaningful baseball starting sometime between Father’s Day and July 4th.

    With the proposed 3-10 team divisions, all games being played within each division, I can see them managing to play 108 regular season games – 9 division rivals X 12 games each (6 home, 6 away) – into October, with more late season games scheduled in warmer climes, unfortunately for the northern clubs. Then post season action would take place in neutral sites in the south and/or under domed stadiums, taking us up to Thanksgiving.

    Since normally 162 games requires 6 months to complete (April thru September), 108 games, which is 2/3 of 162, would naturally require 4 months (July thru October). If all series were scheduled as 3 gamers, making for 6 games per week with an off day falling on either Monday or Thursday, that would require 18 weeks to complete, or less if they scheduled less off days, say one every 2 weeks, with some 2-game and 4-game series mixed in.

    The playoffs could then start in late October. For one year, a tournament format could be very entertaining, even if it’s played in only one or two locations.

    1. Could see more day/night doubleheaders also with increased rosters and activated-pitcher flexibility…they will have to factor in the normal amount of rain postponements.

      1. Not to sound negative … but … realistically, I can see one/couple/few players/coaches/umpires testing positive for COVID-19 at some point, and MLB having to shut down again. Hope I’m wrong.

        1. I agree with you but I think they’ll find a way to play so the owners can at least earn some tv money. The owners are losing a year of control this season so they’re going to want to get something positive out of it. The shorter the season, the less likely it is that Realmuto signs an extension now. I Now expect he’ll test free agency although I still think he’ll return to the Phils, but for more money.
          I don’t feel bad for the Dodgers but they really got screwed because of the Mookie trade and just bad timing.

        2. Hinkie….IMO, as they do in the hospital settings, the person is sent home and quarantined on a ’14 day IL’ I would assume.

          Now if they have to shut own for every positive test…they might as well just not start at all….there will always be someone testing positive….a league of approx 1000 players/coaches or more, then double or triple that for employees around the players, hard to imagine no one ever not testing positive….also there may be those who are asymptomatic.

          1. Romus … you may be right, but these guys will be sharing a clubhouse together, they’ll also (most likely) be eating together (can’t do that with a mask on). If one guy gets it, I’d be surprised if it’s contained to just that one player/coach/umpire/staff member. Could take a few days for others to test positive.
            Also agree that the Dodgers are the team most negatively affected by COVID-19.
            JTR may test free agency (although I think Middleton/Klentak will do right by him). If he does make it to the open market, Realmuto may find it rough going because teams could be working with tighter budgets (the result of an abridged/non-exsistent 2020 season).

            1. Hinkie….what are you going to do!
              At some point they must take the leap….unless they want to wait until next year.
              And maybe things will have settled down by then.
              I suppose drugs will be available to lessen the symptoms…maybe a vaccine also, who knows

  22. MLBTR sites word of optimism from insiders that MLB will be opting to play games in home parks before no crowds. Likely scenario is teams will play only within their division AND the corresponding division in the other league…ie, the NL east will play within the division AND the AL east teams. That’s 9 regular season opponents, similar to the proposed 3 10-team divisions rumored to be.

    1. 8mark…assume MLB wants to limit air travel or increased flight time as much as possible, among other considerations.

        1. rocco…..waiting for a proven vaccine,,,after the research, trials and clinicals….well, might as well cancel all sports until at least December, maybe even spring of next year. From what the doctors have been saying, you cannot rush vaccines.
          Can you just imagine….a remake of the movie with Will Smith…I Am Legend!

  23. ESPN has a small article about Korean baseball. If any team member is tested positive, the league will be suspended 3 weeks.

  24. Baseball America has an interesting proposal for the fall; a Super AFL and FFL (Florida Fall League.) 15 teams per league. 30-35 players per team. Gives each team the opportunity to continue the development of their top prospects which according to BA no team wants to lose a year with their high level prospects. BA lists the usual caveats with testing and costs. I think we could all see this in some form this fall. I also believe if the minors are a no-go this summer a fairly large contingent of of high level players will be training and playing intra-squad games at a teams site most conducive to pulling this off.. For the Phillies I guess it’s either Lehigh Valley or Clearwater.

  25. Who will be watching live baseball tonight from Korea at 1:00 am? ESPN has made a deal and will be televising one game per day. Tonight’s game will be between the Dino’s (Altherr) vs Lions (Buchannan and Lively). I’m assuming they’ll run it again on tape during normal hours. Time to pick your favorite team!

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