Today, in a different timeline, I am preparing to make my first-ever trip to Hohokam Stadium for the Mariners-A’s tilt this afternoon. I am thinking about a stop at Zur Kate restaurant to take a picture and to find out how an authentic German bierhaus came to be located in Mesa, Arizona. The sun is shining and I am driving my rental car, a fast little Fiat with red leather interior, towards baseball on the horizon.
Instead I am wrapped in a blanket in Seattle compiling today’s links post and avoiding unpacking a suitcase full of unworn sundresses and sandals and sadness. This is a bummer of an opening, I know, but stick with it. I have already written the ending to this post and it gets better, I promise.
In Mariners News:
- The first thing to know is, there were three options presented to players regarding the cancellation of spring training:
- Stay in spring training city and receive the normal living allowances, even if you don't go to the field.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) March 13, 2020
- Go to club's home city.
- Go home. But players' whose homes are out of the country are being encouraged to say in the U.S., since they could have trouble returning.
Most Mariners apparently opted for choice number one. (They didn’t want to come to Seattle? Quelle surprise!)
Jerry Dipoto said that of the 49 players in camp, all by three have agreed to remain in Peoria. Only one player from the 40-man roster.— Corey Brock (@CoreyBrockMLB) March 14, 2020
Mariners spring training facility in Peoria will be closed Saturday for deep cleaning. Starting on Sunday it will be closed to the public. Players may still work out there, but the complex will remain off limits to fans and media until further notice— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 14, 2020
- Of course, not all players were given the option of staying:
M's have sent their minor league players home. Players that are rehabbing injuries were given the option to stay.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 14, 2020
My heart goes out to DSL prospects Jonatan Clase, Arturo Guerrero, Dariel Gomez, Andres Mesa, and all the other players who were flown from the DR today (by prearrangement) all the way to Arizona and then told to go home as soon as they got there. Also, something to think about:
There is concern in MLB circles that if foreign players return to their home country, they may have trouble returning to the United States when play resumes. I have not heard anything about Canada.— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) March 14, 2020
- Ryan Divish profiled the eerie quiet of a spring training with no baseball. There are some solid quotes in that article from Justin Dunn, who in my opinion should be the default team spokesman on everything.
- If you’re looking for a podcast to listen to, former Mariners minor leaguer Orlando Razo hosts one. The latest one tackles the current state of college baseball.
The coronavirus is sending shockwaves throughout sports - college baseball included. @Orazo and @The_StilesFiles bring you the latest Bleav in College Baseball: https://t.co/1FYg0fdEzp pic.twitter.com/QKbCykoFX9— Bleav Podcast Network (@BleavPodcasts) March 13, 2020
Around the League:
- A Diamondbacks minor-league player is being tested for COVID-19. The test is said to be conducted out of “an abundance of caution” after the player tested negative for the flu.
- Trevor Bauer is setting up a sandlot-style pickup baseball game that will be broadcast over Momentum and his personal channels with all players mic’d up. Several players have already volunteered to take part. Per Bauer, “no further announcements will be made” (potentially to try to keep the long arm of the MLB law from getting involved or to keep fans from trying to suss out where/when the game will be played and congregating), so keep an eye peeled for any further developments.
- The Illitch Fund is setting up a million-dollar fund to cover wages of hourly employees at Comerica Park in Detroit, along with some other venues. [Stares in T-Mobile Park]
- Minor leaguers are in a tough spot with most teams sending them home to uncertain job prospects.
How Minor Leaguers are treated during this mayhem.— Eric Sim (@esim69) March 14, 2020
I hate getting inside info because it sucks even more than you’d think. pic.twitter.com/yqY9L4yhoF
- To that end, there is a Twitter account (@adoptmilbplayer) that matches players with fans who would like to help support minor leaguers with things like restaurant or grocery gift cards, personal care items, snacks, and the like. We’re still waiting for the Mariners minor leaguers to start signing up, but if you’re not picky about the affiliation, you can DM the account to be matched with a player or just make a general donation to be distributed. And if we hear of any Mariners who are getting involved, we’ll pass it on here so people can support our own players.
- Others stepping up to help out players who might not have anywhere to go: Driveline Baseball has announced free remote programs and resources, and discounted remote training for student athletes whose seasons were cut short. Catching guru Kirsten Cox has also pledged to open her facility at no cost to players, regardless of affiliation, level, or position.
- Teams, in accordance with an agreement with the MLBPA, are assisting their 40-man players with travel arrangements as they depart camps; the Padres are taking that a step further and assisting their non-40-man players, as well. Those that remain will continue to get their usual stipend. It must be incredibly frustrating for players whose livelihoods are up in the air currently to not have any uniformity in how this is being handled from organization to organization, and it’s certainly disappointing to not see the Mariners taking similar care of their minor-leaguers.
- Then of course there are the Dominican Academies as well:
Teams have different situations with their Dominican academies.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) March 13, 2020
Dayton Moore said Royals have players there but they are not playing outside competition.
Red Sox execs said their academy is closed like normal this time of year and they're determining whether to open it mid-March
- The good news that NCAA athletes will get a year of eligibility back doesn’t come without complication:
This isn’t just a one year thing I don’t think. This will have scholarship effects for 4 years as even freshmen are getting a year back. For spring sports there are essentially five years of players now (frosh through senior and then super seniors) and will be for a few yrs https://t.co/yTkR7u8MfU— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) March 13, 2020
- Something on the internet is...good? Working to confirm:
In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvořák – "Going Home”— Yo-Yo Ma (@YoYo_Ma) March 13, 2020
Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/S28w6OlXiZ
- I studied with Don Mitchell, a former player, longtime scout, and former scouting director for the Diamondbacks, at the scouting school for women I went to this fall and learned a ton from him. I enjoyed this post of his:
View this post on Instagram
“The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. It reminds us of all that once was good and will be again.” T. Mann