Desmond Opting Out, Race and Inclusion, Reduced Umpire Travel, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Desmond Opting Out, Race and Inclusion, Reduced Umpire Travel, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The need for donor blood hasn’t changed during the pandemic, but the ability for organizations to source it has become much more challenging. So, if you’re thinking you might be able to give blood this summer, check out available blood drives here or elsewhere in your community. And you never know: maybe you had COVID-19 but didn’t realize it, developed antibodies, and your plasma could wind up helping someone with the virus down the road. Who knows. Anyway, I’m giving blood this afternoon, so wish me luck. Haven’t done it in a long time.

•   Today is the day for Minor League Baseball, apparently, with word reportedly coming that the fate of the season has been decided. Unfortunately we already know what that fate is going to be – it’s impossible to pull of a minor league season in this environment – but I somehow hope there is more to the decision than just a cancelation and no further information. I just hate the idea that these guys – and their coaches, field staff, etc. – are left to twist in the wind for a whole year.

•   Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond is opting out of this season citing time with his family, but what’s even more compelling is the thoughtful discussion he offered about his experience as a biracial man, what he sees going on in the game, and what he feels is missing:

•   Desmond, 34, is currently on a five-year, $70 million contract that runs through 2021. If and when baseball does successfully return this year, there will be an opportunity to use the spotlight to further the cause of eliminating racism. Not only is it a just aim here in 2020, it’s an important turn for a sport that continues to struggle with a lack of access for Black communities, and a lack of representation by Black players, coaches, executives, and owners.

•   To that end, a great read from Joon Lee at ESPN about baseball’s need – highlighted recently by Theo Epstein – to reevaluate the extremes to which it has been loading up its front offices with Ivy League/top-school graduates (most frequently white, most frequently men), to the exclusion of other groups of compelling candidates, including former players. The challenge is that as Ivy League types worked their way into baseball – nothing at all wrong with that – it started to create an insulated bubble network of opportunities for similar people from similar backgrounds (this is what Epstein has referenced).

•   Doug Glanville writes about “the comma,” and how those appositives can define a person in ways that allow racism to fester and grow (and it includes a maddening story about how Glanville was accused, by the Cubs, of stealing his own baseballs when he was in the minor leagues):

•   Memory cards, pool fun, binoculars, telescopes, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad

•   There could be substantially less umpire travel this year, for understandable reasons, which means teams could have the same crew of umpires for their games more often than usual:

•   A singular legend in the game:

•   I laughed – don’t call Kerry Wood “son”:

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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.