Is it more likely than not that the players approve the health and safety protocols today, and agree that they’ll report to Spring Training Part Two by July 1? Yes, my read is now that it is more likely than not. But if you’ve followed this thing even distantly for the past three months, you know that it can seem so close and then get ridiculous in a hurry.
Until there is actually player sign-off by 5pm ET today, I will hold open the possibility in my brain that everything is still up in the air. Maybe the players sign off today. Maybe they need another couple days. Maybe a couple days turns into nasty negotiations about the scariest part of this whole thing (the pandemic!), and maybe it all falls apart. I hope none of that happens, of course, but I advise for your psyche (and my own), don’t count any chickens.
In the meantime …
• The Wilpons’ efforts to sell the Mets are continuing unabated, despite the pandemic and the recent pleas that owning a baseball team is actually bad business, with the ARod/JLo group getting big money in the mix:
BREAKING: The A-Rod/J-Lo bid to buy the Mets is VERY REAL.
Sources say lifelong Mets fan, Queens native and billionaire Mike Repole, of BodyArmor & Vitaminwater fame + successful horse owner, has joined the group as a general partner.
A dream ownership team for any Mets fan. pic.twitter.com/Ad3BgiHpk6
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 22, 2020
• It would seem that, much like what happened with the Marlins’ purchase (Derek Jeter) and the Dodgers’ purchase (Magic Johnson), there’s real money involved in the deal, with a big “face” out front. In the Marlins’ case, Jeter has stayed very visibly involved, though in the Dodgers’ case, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you forgot Johnson was ever even involved. It would be a little surprising if Alex Rodriguez didn’t command some level of involvement in Mets operations, but his and Jennifer Lopez’s stake wouldn’t be the biggest financially, so he might not have a say.
• If there is a 2020 season that spans mostly August and September, this game – scheduled for August 13 – would fall within that timeline:
The stage is nearly set for an MLB game to come to Dyersville later this summer. But will it actually happen? https://t.co/oKHZ4BBIll
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 22, 2020
• The problems, however, include travel for the teams, questions about whether the game is worth it without full seats, and whether everyone is better off punting the game to 2021. The London Series was already missed (hopefully the Cubs can participate next year), the Draft was supposed to be at the College World Series, the All-Star Game is gonna be a no-go, and now the Field of Dreams Game is probably toast, too.
• Special anniversary today:
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) June 23, 2020
• Watches, swim gear, shoes, pet supplies, and much more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
• I reckon Adam Jones is feeling pretty OK about his decision to go play in Japan this year:
Adam Jones’ first home run in Japan sounded like it was shot out of a goddamn cannon pic.twitter.com/tjptiaUzxp
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) June 23, 2020
• Jones is reportedly getting about $4 million per year over the next two years, which is not only far more than he would have received to sign in the States, it’s also maybe 10 TIMES AS MUCH as he would actually have received this year in a partial season on, say, a one-year, $1 million deal.
• Trevor Bauer had a lot to say about the failure to make a deal yesterday, which then turned into a fight with … Aubrey Huff? Because it is 2020:
Can we remind @BauerOutage of his career 4+ ERA, 3.5 BB per 9 innings, & 10 games over .500 winning % is a 4/5th starter salary in @mlb & maybe keep quiet before he’s exposed, please & thank you. He’s a great tweeter. #MLB pitcher? That’s debatable. https://t.co/JMf5oEgDKn
— Aubrey Huff (@aubrey_huff) June 23, 2020
Thanks pookie. I know some people are only capable of doing one thing at a time. Others of us can walk and chew bubble gum simultaneously. And if you want to talk about winning, a stat called wins above replacement does that. Me: 17.4. You: 17.3. Better at wining, and tweeting 😘 https://t.co/jHE50aFoRM
— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) June 23, 2020
• Ken Rosenthal sums it up well, even while acknowledging this might not even be “the end” of this part of the mess:
To the end, an embarrassing, distasteful mess. Column: https://t.co/asdmkH9L8P
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 23, 2020