The Wife and the kiddos return to partial in-person schooling this week, which I hope will be successful. The way things are being spaced out (both the physical distancing and the limited numbers of people in the buildings at a time) make me feel optimistic, but I also recognize how difficult this topic continues to be (even within our own household). When it comes to teachers and kids and schools and administrators and parents and the pandemic, my only request to people is that they be kind. This is an impossible situation, where every path is problematic.
• I knew that the combination of the pandemic restrictions and the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal had changed the way video was used this year, including limiting access to the replay room to only the team employee(s) who is in charge of telling the manager to review a play. But what I didn’t realize – and I think most of us didn’t realize – is that players this year have *NO ACCESS AT ALL* to any in-game video. I very incorrectly assumed that the players would have some way to review their at bats, get a look at their mechanics, etc., via a different clubhouse video system or on a tablet or something. Nope. And that’s an enormous change to drop on players for this season. No wonder there are some guys who are ticked.
• Here’s Javy Báez after last night’s game:
Javy Báez on no updated video to watch in game: It sucks. I make my adjustments during the game. I watch my swing, I watch where the ball was, where contact was. I'm really mad we don't have it. With all respect, we didn't cheat. We're not cheating. And we gotta pay for others pic.twitter.com/xUdgcP5096
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) September 8, 2020
• To be sure, players for years had to exist without in-game video to make adjustments. And even now, not every player is using video for in-game adjustments. So if a new rule flat out barred the use of in-game video to make adjustments, that’s a tough noogies situation and all players would have to deal – it might hurt some players more than others, but it would be a rule across the board. However, now that we know that’s something that happened this year, I mean, my goodness how much that colors our perspective on player struggles. If you were a guy who’d relied on the video as part of your game work, to have the rug ripped out with very little warning or adjustment, how brutal would this year be?
• And for several years, we’ve noted about Javy Báez that he could look totally lost up there for a couple at bats, and then do something game-changing. We’d seen it happen all the time. Was that … partly because of the video-led adjustments? And without it now, what do we think about Báez’s performance this year? What’s the rule gonna be next year? With more time to prepare, can Báez change his game such that he wouldn’t be so reliant on in-game video? Does this whole situation excuse his performance this year … or make it even more concerning? I don’t have answers yet because, like I said, I was unaware that players had zero access to any in-game video whatsoever. This topic will merit substantial follow-up.
• The new guy knows what’s up:
Cameron Maybin has told teammates in the past that they're "facing Baby Maddux" whenever they went up against Kyle Hendricks.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) September 7, 2020
• Heads up to an Obvious Shirts sale that lasts through today:
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) September 7, 2020
• Where things stand with Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman, who remains indefinitely suspended for dropping a homophobic slur during a Reds broadcast:
I spoke with Thom Brennaman, members of the LGBTQ community, broadcasters and others to find out what should happen next to the MLB announcer who uttered a gay slur on air.
“Believe me, I know there are a lot of people who are still very angry.”https://t.co/xOfsJhzH1Q
— Mark Fischer (@MarkFischerNY) September 8, 2020
• I saw this article only after Dermody had already been DFA’d in the flurry of roster moves yesterday, which is bummer:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) September 6, 2020
• We just didn’t see enough of Dermody in his one outing to really know what’s there or not. I hope he sticks in the org heading into next year. Just a good story. And hey, he is a super tall lefty who can throw 95 mph, so it’s not just about the story.
• A great read from new Mariners prospect Taylor Trammell on his experience as a young Black man in baseball (the shit that still happens – he’s just 22), and the urgency to get more Black people in the sport:
That headline got you a little bit nervous, huh?
You think this is going to be a tough conversation?
This isn’t tough. This is nothing.https://t.co/aL2NMyqpk6
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) September 8, 2020
• I will accept this note of positivity:
Hey, how about a note from the Dept. of Positivity:
Craig Kimbrel has 2+ strikeouts in 8 straight relief outings. He's the first Cubs reliever to do that since Hall of Famer Lee Smith (also 8 in a row) from Aug. 20-Sept. 10, 1983.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 7, 2020
• Take advantage of this deal before Thursday’s game:
Bet $5, Get $125 on The Chiefs To Win With FanDuel Sportsbook in Illinois https://t.co/8yzzLdpqXv
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) September 7, 2020