The rumors are really starting to swirl when it comes to the 2020 MLB season. The latest rumor, reported first by Trevor Plouffe, is that teams are starting to let players know that spring training will occur from their home ballparks beginning around June 10.
Jeff Passan has also reported that a proposal to the players union is coming by the end of the week. The plan looks to have games played in home ballparks without fans, which will be much more agreeable to the union than the three-state plan that was earlier reported.
While some teams are not giving players a specific date, there does seem to be some real roots to this story. When the proposal is sent to the MLBPA, I’m sure more details will start to leak. Hopefully, this means baseball, at least in some fashion, is on the horizon.
Korean Baseball Organization
The Korean Baseball Organization is the first high-level baseball season to start. They have started their regular season and have played three games apiece in the 10-team league.
The 10 teams are all located in South Korea and are allowed two foreigners each on their rosters. Most of the names will be recognizable to most Major League Baseball fans. Aaron Altherr, who spent most of his career with the Phillies, plays for the NC Dinos and is 2 for 7 with a home run.
Jamie Romak, who is a former Dodger and Padre, is one of the elite home run hitters in the league. This will be Romak’s fourth season with SK Wyverns, where he has hit over 100 home runs in his career. Romak is hitting .333 with two doubles to start the season.
Eric Thames famously resurrected his career in Korea by hitting .381 with 47 homers in 2015 to earn MVP honors. He is currently with the Washington Nationals.
After three seasons as the top pitcher in the KBO, Josh Lindbolm received a three-year, $9.1 million contract from the Milwaukee Brewers. He was the MVP last season, going 20-3 with a 2.50 ERA.
There has been one unexpected issue with a foreign player due to the coronavirus. Adrian Sampson, who was supposed to pitch for the Lotte Giants, has been unable to travel to Korea.
My favorite part of the KBO so far has been bat flips. Bat flips in Korea are a normal part of the game and even encouraged.
You will routinely see bat flips even on routine flyouts to the outfield. It isn’t considered disrespectful, just part of the fun of baseball, hopefully, we can insert more fun in the game in the United States at some point.
The Lotte Giants, who are considered the Chicago Cubs of the KBO, are off to a fast start at 3-0. They haven’t won a title since 1992 and have only made the playoffs once in the last eight seasons. Keep in mind half the teams in the KBO make the playoffs.
This season will feature fewer days off as the league intends to play the full 144 game season after the late start. American viewership is at an all-time high as we strive to get our baseball fix in some form.