Tickets for One Spring Training Go on Sale While the Other Tries to Delay and Other Cubs Bullets

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Tickets for One Spring Training Go on Sale While the Other Tries to Delay and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Today will mark the announcement on this year’s Hall of Fame class, and the projections have zero players making the cut. There are clearly Hall of Fame-caliber players on the ballot, but all come up short of the requisite 75% of the vote for non-statistical reasons. It’s a reminder that having sportswriters vote on players’ entry into baseball’s museum is … kinda weird and messy.

•   On the same day the Cactus League asked MLB to delay the start of Spring Training, teams in the Grapefruit League announced their ticket sale:

•   To my mind, the whole Cactus League thing was pretty clearly an effort by MLB (or at least urged/supported by MLB) to get the players to the table to negotiate pushing back the season, which could shorten the season (and save them money) and/or get more fans to attend a greater chunk of the games (which would net them more money). I don’t have a problem with the teams (or the players) want to get more cash after last year, but I will say I don’t like this dance about health and safety, as though that’s really the issue. After last year, I think we can pretty clearly conclude that health and safety is not the primary motivator of season changes at this point.

•   For now, the players are responding to the Cactus League’s delay request the only way they can – by pointing out that MLB has told them to prepare for an on-time start:

•   The union’s position on all this stuff is now clear: if MLB wants changes, they’re going to have to come to the players with a great offer. Otherwise, the CBA is in place, it governs everything, and the players are just gonna roll with that. Hence, when MLB offered to trade the universal DH for expanded playoffs (a terrible offer), the players reportedly just sat on it without respond. This is a rare situation where the players have the leverage after five+ years of a bad CBA, so they’re not going to bend for the owners without a great offer. I get it. I hope they CAN get to a solution that avoids the worst of the pandemic (and yes, I want reasonably expanded playoffs and the universal DH), but I just feel like everyone is on board for digging in heels and landing on an outcome that is lose-lose. Nothing that happened last year should leave you feeling confident otherwise.

•   As for the request from Arizona/the Cactus League to delay Spring Training, as Jeff Passan notes, it’s not likely to actually do anything:

•   Stray expanded postseason thoughts because it came up again yesterday in the context of the players and league not yet agreeing to any changes:

•   Gerrit Cole was asked about his involvement in the “sticky situation” news, and he declined comment, citing the legal issues. Cole was among a number of pitchers alleged to have worked with a former Angels clubhouse worker to procure special tacky substance to use in games (and TOTALLY COINCIDENTALLY massively increase spin rate).

•   Good stuff on the Amazon Deals of the Day today, from toiletries to Beyblades to charging gear to massagers. You could have yourself a weekend with that stuff, amirite. #ad

•   You have to have played a lot of games to show up on a chart like this, so it is – in a way – a compliment to appear. I’m not surprised by where Javy Báez makes his lone appearance, nor by where Alfonso Soriano is hanging out. I am surprised to see Jason Heyward there on the middle-down away pitch because it just doesn’t really register in my mind that I’ve seen that a lot (though he’s right by Joey Votto, so good company I guess):

•   To the gents who fill up the middle of the strike zone … yikes.

•   Thought you might enjoy. I always enjoy it:

•   Michael found a boost for returning users at DraftKings:

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.