I don’t know when the intro the Bullets became all about aliens, but you can’t blame me for going back to the well again: a 6.4 earthquake hit Nevada and California this morning, with its epicenter in the vast deserts of western Nevada … near Area 51!
• There is no replacing Gary Pressy, the Cubs’ Iron Man of organ music at Wrigley Field (the guy literally did not miss a game since 1987 – 2,633 straight). But, since Pressy retired this past year, the Cubs did have to find someone to play the organ music, and it turns out they landed on three folks, one of whom you can hear today if you’re in Wrigleyville:
The Cubs have hired three new organists to replace Gary Pressy. A free sample will take place at Wrigley 5-6 PM tomorrow by one of the new hires
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) May 15, 2020
• Yadi Molina has said he is now willing to play for a team other than the Cardinals if it means he can continue his career a little longer, and when he hangs ’em up, he wants not only to be in Cooperstown, but regarded even more highly than that:
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 14, 2020
• More from Molina: “Yes, I think about [the Hall of Fame]. When I started my career, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles. And even though Tony [La Russa] gave me a chance, I was bombarded by negative comments. The press killed me because of my offense, my personality, whatever. All I’ve done is work hard to get better and better every single year to become the best catcher I can be. And my numbers are obviously there. I think that, because of the way I catch, that I’m one of the best catchers to have ever played baseball.”
• I actually think Molina’s Hall of Fame case is going to be an interesting one, because I think you’ll be able to make an argument that the bat wasn’t good enough for long enough (he currently rates as a just-below-average overall bat) if that’s where you want to go. But I also think you are going to be able to point to the defense, at catcher, and what he pretty clearly did for pitchers for so long. The debates will be interesting.
• Yu Darvish sent several tweets yesterday about the issues facing players as baseball attempts to return. The tweets are in Japanese, and, I am not a native speaker, so I can rely only on the various translating options. Darvish seems to be underscoring the notion that it’s very easy for people on the outside – the owners, but also fans and media – to urge the players to go back to play, but they’re the ones who will be at risk. And more than that, if some players decide not to play because of the risk (he mentions players who have concerns about their family), they will be pitted against the players who do decide to play. As in, the players who don’t want to take on the risk will be cast as villains, and the ones who do play will be regarded as heroes – which is, of course, completely unfair. The players as individuals must be permitted to make the choices that are best for themselves and their families right now, and the players as a whole must be permitted to seek the best deal – safety and compensation – that they can get.
• Gordon Wittenmyer writes about the current player-owner negotiations against the backdrop of what has come before (a terrible CBA for the players) and what is still to come (CBA negotiations next year):
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) May 13, 2020
• Ken Rosenthal has a Q&A with Nolan Arenado about all this stuff, including the desire to play, together with the appreciation for risk. I particularly liked this thought from Arenado, though, because I see it missed out there too often:
It’s OK to hear fans complain or get mad. That’s just part of it. At the same time, they’re not in our shoes. They don’t understand what we’re thinking about or what we’re going through. They don’t understand how hard this game is. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Sports shouldn’t come back.” What do you mean? You guys (fans) look at it as a sport. But if you ask us as baseball players we look at it as a job. We want to go back and do our jobs, as soon as we can.
• This is one of the more “wild stallion” Javy Báez plays, and I love it:
Tweeting Javy Báez videos every day until baseball returns day 60/?
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) May 12, 2020
• Joe at Obvious Shirts is an extremely great and kind dude, so I have to share:
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) May 14, 2020