"Health and Safety" Demands a Great Deal from Players, Random Lester Memory, and Other Cubs Bullets

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“Health and Safety” Demands a Great Deal from Players, Random Lester Memory, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am so addicted to two-screening things (i.e., being on my phone or my computer (or both) while watching TV or a movie) that I have yet to watch ‘Parasite.’ I have no problem with subtitles, and I really want to see the movie. But I know that, to do so, and to really appreciate the movie, I’m gonna have to be 100% exclusively focused on the movie. I gotta break this two-screen habit …

•   From what I’ve been able to read of the league’s health and safety proposal for the players, I’m not really sure what else MLB could realistically implement (though, like Michael, I still wish they could pull of daily testing for all players/personnel). That is to say, the remaining risk and the heavy reliance on players to “do the right thing” for about three/four months were both always going to be parts of any proposal. So, to the extent you wanted to see a guarantee of zero risk, or a removal of any obligations on the players to protect each other and personnel, well, that was never going to be possible. If there is to be a season this year, it’s going to mean the players have to operate as islands unto themselves, to some extent, and even then, some people involved in the sport might come down with, and transmit, the novel coronavirus. 

•   All that said, I was eager to hear any responses from the players to the protocols, which are still the most important aspect of this process (maximizing safety, dramatically reducing the risk of spread). Bob Nightengale heard from Cardinals lefty Andrew Miller, a player rep who is on the union’s executive subcommittee:

•   As Miller says, the proposal appears very thorough, but it necessarily relies heavily on players to do things (and not do things) that are so commonplace to their experience of playing this team sport. He does say this, if you want optimism: “I know the players’ association is working right now to make sure nothing is overlooked. It will take time, but we will get it right.’’

•   Not to speak for Miller, but I can see the real challenges here. It’s not just that it will be taxing on players to stay distant from teammates (and not go out and blow off steam after games), it’s that they are going to make mistakes. And then the mental load that can create – oh shit, I just hugged a teammate; oh shit, I forgot my mask for that conversation; oh shit, I just sneezed at first base; etc. – just kind of sits there under the hood for these guys. Constantly. And these are high-performance, high-intensity, high-focus athletes, where it’s really hard to have all that extra stuff going on constantly under the hood. Think about how hard doing the right health things have been in your life. Now imagine you have to do that, while in close daily quarters with lots of people, all while the pressure of an entire sport, a broader industry, millions of fans, and the freaking government is resting on your shoulders. I will not deny that it’s a shitty situation the players have been put in. But, as a fan, I will also not deny that I hope they can pull it off as safely as possible.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

•   Related, if you missed it earlier this morning, more on the proposed revenue share plan, including how much teams say they are going to lose this year.

•   I had to be instructed on what LIDAR is, but even before that, I knew this was incredibly cool:


•   (Btw, LIDAR is like RADAR, but with lights instead of sounds. Thanks, Randall!) 

•   Wild memory made even wilder by the revelation of the pitcher on the mound:

•   Ugh. These reports will be trickling out, and it makes you wonder if the negotiations between MLB/MiLB are nearing a decision point:

•   A reminder that, under the very likely plan, MLB orgs will have just four affiliated teams under them going forward (AAA, AA, High-A, Low-A; rookie/DSL teams are team/MLB-operated). There will be huge cuts to affiliations (40+) to accommodate this, and then there will be realignments and affiliation changes. As of the last round of rumors, none of the Cubs’ five affiliates were on the chopping block, but if there are to be only four per organization, well, you can see that change will come no matter what (especially if there is dramatic reorganization for geography).

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.