The biggest news in baseball coming into yesterday was the new safety protocols. As we watch the NHL and NBA scramble to chug through ongoing outbreaks and the NWHL suspend play after creating a super-spreader event, I find it difficult to cheer the on-schedule beginning of the baseball season. The best safety protocol is a true bubble—not what the NWHL did—and the second best would be a delayed start so that vaccinations might reach a level that slows the spread of the virus. Alas, the league and union are hardly in a position to undertake such a fraught negotiation.
The biggest news in baseball coming into today is, well, the baseball. MLB and Rawlings have collaborated on a new manufacturing technique that should return the ball to 2017 levels of liveliness. Glad they are publicly acknowledging what they were secretly already doing last season. I, for one, am not sure that fewer homers and still yet even more strikeouts will increase the fun of watching baseball. YMMV.
- Our supreme blog lord covered the PECOTA projections for the Phillies yesterday. It could be worse. It could be the Fangraphs projections.
- It’s a law of nature that if Nick Pivetta is on your team, you are convinced that this season will be his season.
- When you love the Goose, you have to set him loose.
- Perhaps you are unhappy about the Phillies offseason in light of those projections above. May I offer you some Reds-related schadenfreude.
- If you were hoping the Phillies would sign two more reliever lottery tickets such as, say, Jake McGee or Steve Cishek, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
- Ryan Braun might be retiring. Three cheers for Ryan Braun retiring!
- Ever wonder whether the arbitration process would be altered by having a real life clown present the arguments before the panel? Now you don’t have to.
- We’re all being worn down slowly by the stress of the pandemic. But some ballplayers live like this day-in-and-day-out even in the best of times. Anxiety in the Minor Leagues is a pox.