ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Monday night that Major League Baseball was focused on a plan that would see them begin the 2020 season with all games being played in Arizona in empty ballparks. Naturally, that report generated quite a bit of buzz and led the league to respond with a statement from commissioner Rob Manfred.
“MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so. While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan. While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association. The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus.”
The stated plan shows how far the league and the players are willing to go to make a season happen but there are several big hurdles that would have to be cleared in order for it to work. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal further laid out some of the details for the plan that has at least some support from federal officials.
Every MLB.com beat reporter is currently ranking the best five players in team history by position. Mark Bowman released his personal Top 5 of Braves second baseman Tuesday with Marcus Giles at No. 1. Bowman ranked Tony Cuccinello second and current second baseman Ozzie Albies third.
Giles played a key part in Tuesday’s flashback game from April 7, 2002 with a walk-off homer in the 14th inning to beat the Mets.
The Braves will continue their “Classic” series Wednesday night when show the April 8, 1974 contest against the Dodgers in which Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run passing Babe Ruth for the all-time lead.
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Bryce Harper said that the Phillies need to do whatever it takes to keep catcher J.T. Realmuto in a recent interview with Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway updated reporters on the status of right-hander Shohei Ohtani Tuesday. Ohtani has progressed from long tossing from about 180 feet and will follow up those sessions with higher-intensity throws from about 60 feet. If all goes well, the next step will be for him to begin throwing from a mound although Callaway didn’t put a specific timetable on when that might occur.
When we think about 1995 we automatically think about the Braves’ World Series win. However, that was also the season that Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak. ESPN’s Buster Olney takes a look back at some lesser known stories from Ripken’s record breaking season.