I’m not sure I’ll have a COVID-19 and Sports Update today, but I didn’t want to leave some good news on the testing front hanging until tomorrow. Take these good data points when you get them:
We're always searching for any bit of good news we can find, and here is some: national tests over 300K for three straight days, and 10% or lower positive rate for the past week. This is (finally) clear progress on testing. https://t.co/BziFpGHBMv pic.twitter.com/ADBk3gXjDN— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) May 10, 2020
• Per multiple reports that followed the original Ken Rosenthal report last night, MLB is going to go over its best, most realistic proposal for a return to baseball tomorrow, and then present it to the players for discussion as soon as Tuesday. You are reminded that having a proposal in place doesn’t mean it will happen, doesn’t mean the players will be on board, and doesn’t mean that there won’t be significant delays or changes or cancellations as the pandemic requires. But I feel like being a little optimistic, so I’ll take the proposal as a good first step.
• Even though we know there will be serious negotiations behind the scenes about health, safety, and money, I’m hoping that the league and players can keep the financial debate mostly behind the scenes until it is settled. The sides have been in a seriously contentious posture for years now, and I’m not naive enough to expect one or the other will simply bend right now for the good of the nation (or whatever other PR bs they allow to be written). Instead, what I do expect is that they don’t turn the financial debate into a public war of words. Not only would that look so gross at a time like this, it would risk undermining the very thing they’re trying to pull off. Keep the focus, at least publicly, on keeping players and personnel safe and healthy, and doing everything necessary to that end.
• With that health/finance balance in mind, I was very happy to see that the first public comments coming from senior players were firm, but carefully considered. Speaking with Jesse Rogers at ESPN, Chris Iannetta and Andrew Miller focused on safety and a desire to return to play, but also laid out what I think is a reasonable way to approach the financial considerations: if there aren’t fans in the stands, you are implicitly acknowledging that there is some additional health risk at the stadium. Therefore, if it’s the players (and I would add other in-park personnel) taking that additional risk, then the tiebreakers on compensation should go their way.
• Does that mean they should get their full pro-rated salaries, as they are going to seek? As I’ve written, I think they’ve got the better argument there than the owners, but I also do think about other “regular” employees who will be laid off/salary cut because of the dramatic losses in revenue. Why would players not be expected to share in that in some way? I do think owners – and the league as a whole – should absorb a greater percentage of that lost revenue (which is why I don’t like the revenue share idea), because their horizon to make money is much longer (and less risky) than for the players, and they also stand to make the most in the long-term if they keep things up and running “like normal” this year. But I do think some rebalancing of finances is reasonable.
• Happy Mother’s Day, baseball fans:
• Derrek Lee’s 2005 season was so insane:
• Our adopted team in the KBO is still undefeated:
• Get this. Since bringing in a Cubs exec to take over baseball operations this offseason, the Lotte Giants now have more than 10% of their win total from all of last season. Yes, the won fewer than 50 games last year (48-93, by far the worst in the KBO).
• The last of last minute ideas for moms today: