There has been a lot of silence over the last week on when or if an MLB season would start. The three-state plan of Florida, Arizona and Texas seems to be the most predominant rumor, but nothing of any substance has emerged. It appears the MLBPA would not approve of being away from family and friends and isolated for such a long period.
Red Sox Punishment
MLB finally handed down punishment to the Boston Red Sox for their role in the sign-stealing scandal. It was a very light slap on the wrist, especially compared with Houston’s punishment. Alex Cora will be suspended for the 2020 season, but only for his role in the Astros sign stealing.
Rob Manfred, it would appear, just did not get enough corroborating evidence to issue punishment for anything Boston did. Rumor has it that a lot of people had different stories leaving Manfred in a tough spot. Ron Roenicke will serve as the manager after being named interim manager when the investigation started.
Boston’s only staff member being punished for the Red Sox illegal activities is J.T. Watkins. He was the replay systems operator and is suspended without pay for using the setup to steal pitch signals. Watkins cannot serve in that role until after the 2021 season. Boston will also lose its second-round pick in this year’s draft.
Every MLB organization has pledged at least $1 million for their gameday staff due to the coronavirus shutdown. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals recently guaranteeing pay through the end of May, only the two New York teams have yet to give assurances even though the announcement is expected.
The teams’ distribution of the $1 million varies. While some clubs have gone as far as guaranteeing the full amount, most are issuing a one-time payment.
The Dodgers, for example, are giving either a $750 or $600 payment depending on years of service and the number of hours the employee would have worked.
MLB Dream Bracket
MLB.com is playing a dream bracket contest. The contest features All-Star rosters from every team and includes a Negro League All-Star team, playing in the American League, and a 25-and-under All-Star team playing in the National League bracket.
The Yankees are my odds-on favorite with this ridiculous lineup.
- C: Yogi Berra
- 1B: Lou Gehrig
- 2B: Tony Lazzeri
- 3B: Alex Rodriguez
- SS: Derek Jeter
- LF: Mickey Mantle
- CF: Joe DiMaggio
- RF: Babe Ruth
- DH: Reggie Jackson
If that is not enough for you, Don Mattingly, Robinson Cano, Roger Maris, Graig Nettles, Paul O’Neill and Bill Dickey come off the bench. While the Yankees’ starting staff leaves a little to be desired, with that offense and Mariano Rivera closing games out, they are in pretty good shape.
Boston and the Yankees are the first two teams in the final eight. The winner of Houston and Detroit will take on the Yankees, while the winner of the White Sox and A’s will play Boston.
The National League has Cubs/Brewers, Dodgers/Marlins, Pirates/Reds, and Cardinals/Phillies left. While it does not replace real baseball, it has been fun to follow.