I have discovered something through this quarantine process that really sucks, but is also a very useful data point that I might not have been able to discover otherwise. I’ll bright-side it, I guess.
I had long heard that, for people with back issues, you could see serious improvement if you really “focused on your core” or “strengthening your core” or however you want to phrase it. I kinda always took that to mean some slightly stronger abs and obliques and then also some stronger back muscles. Just, like, do some stuff that hits those areas, and maybe you’ll see improvement. But it wasn’t until I really got into exercise classes consistently that I saw meaningful improvements in my back – there’s so much more to “strengthening your core” than I ever would be able to do on my own at home. Heck, it reached the point where I hadn’t had a back problem for literal years (it was something that had been a monthly struggle for me).
Fast-forward to today, now that we’ve been locked down for approaching six weeks, and I can say with confidence that despite my best efforts, I cannot replicate on my own the core success I was having in those classes. My back is a wreck. That part absolutely sucks. HOWEVER, the useful data point is that now I know: for me, personally, the classes work to an almost shocking degree if I really put in the time and consistency. I look forward to when gyms can reopen safely, because I need it.
• Big news looms today as Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball are set to negotiate their relationship, and, reportedly, MiLB is now open to accepting contraction as part of a new deal. Evan Drellich sets the stage for a day that could see the conversation take dramatic turns and begin the process of reshaping the minor leagues as we know them:
Minor League Baseball might agree to drop teams, but many issues remain in talks. Making sense of the situation after a wild Tuesday: https://t.co/sydTdPC74N
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 22, 2020
• What’s interesting – it was hinted at in the BA report, and also by the AP – is that MLB may simply seek to absorb the entirety of the MiLB entity, which could allow for a number of additional efficiencies (on the expense side) and opportunities (on the revenue side). This is not a new suggestion, but, thanks to the pandemic, it now sounds more plausible than it did a year ago. Back then, I really pushed back against the idea because I feel like the overall sport – which has always been more my focus than the league – is better served by having lots and lots of “owners” who feel a personal stake in seeing the sport grow/flourish/sustain. The idea that you might centralize the entirety of professional baseball in this country within the control of just 30 ownership groups … it makes me nervous.
• There’s no doubt that MLB-ownership-of-MiLB could wind up a good thing – those efficiencies and opportunities might wind up translating to more fans and a better experience – but I see a lot of risk that goes far beyond the dollars you could point to on a balance sheet right now. Am I less oppositional to the idea now than I was last year? Yes. That’s how deep the economic impact of this pandemic will be, and I recognize so much of MiLB is now in permanent peril. But I still have, at best, mixed feelings.
• For much more on what could change as soon as today, please read yesterday’s piece on MLB/MiLB.
• In any case, whatever operational structure emerges, I hope that all sides take a very long view of the sport, and operate from that perspective. I’m not optimistic about that – the last 15 years or so have been dominated by MLB owners who appear interested primarily in shorter-term profits in order to max out franchise value as quickly as possible – but maybe the pandemic provides an opportunity for more of these groups to think about what’s truly important for the survival of this sport (and the dollars, then, that would eventually flow from it).
• Yesterday was an awesome anniversary:
Four years ago today, I was lucky enough to be in Cincinnati watching Jake Arrieta do this: pic.twitter.com/FVv3yja3rV
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 21, 2020
• Jordan Bastian has some viewiew suggestions:
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 21, 2020
• Kris Bryant is here for the All-In Challenge:
• Great signs to flip through and forget yourself for a minute or two:
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#CubsCollection: Fan Signs. Cubs fans are what make Wrigley Field the Friendly Confines. At every game, they are in it from the first pitch to the last out. Even on the road, Cubs fans make it feel like a home game. Over the years, fans have showcased their passion with creative artistic displays. Whether calling attention to their favorite player or declaring “No more next year!” many of these signs become part of the stories that get passed through generations of Cubs fans. Which sign is your favorite?
• I make jokes:
lol the dumbass cardinals havent won a game all year pic.twitter.com/oTbjicBtvd
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 22, 2020
• It was jarring how bothersome/entertaining this was:
Watching Stars Play Backwards Is Messing With My Mindhttps://t.co/28T9UzPY7W
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 21, 2020
• This is true, football fans:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 22, 2020