The best part about going on a boys trip with The Little Boy is that him getting to eat as much junk as possible is an explicit part of the trip. The challenge is that I … want to join him. So I do. So I wind up eating a month’s worth of donuts in three days. I’m not apologizing for it, but my colon is gonna hate me in a minute.
• A reminder of how much the loss of games this spring – especially after the last two years – is going to hurt local communities, businesses, and employees:
The start of the 2022 Cactus League season has been delayed.
Official Statement: pic.twitter.com/BvjtL7dDCP
— The Cactus League (@cactusleagueaz) February 18, 2022
• I don’t think the loss of those games – and the impact to the communities to whom the teams have made promises (and the lesser impact to the MLB owners) – is going to be enough, alone, to move the needle on the owners’ bargaining positions, but I’m sure it’s a non-zero factor. Keep in mind, the players do not get paid salary for Spring Training, so the loss to them is much, much less (the cost is basically the value of getting a longer, controlled ramp-up to the season – which is non-zero – and the per diem). For the unsigned free agents, the cost is quite a bit more – the crunch is going to cost a lot of guys money when it comes time to quickly decide on signing a deal – but they are a relatively small proportion of all 40-man players.
• Also, the fans. The fans are already feeling it:
With the ongoing lockout, fans struggle with the idea of yet another lost spring training.
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) February 17, 2022
For Cubs fan Daniel Agee, 33, the pandemic and baseball are inextricably linked. He caught COVID-19 in March 2020, right as things were shutting down, and spent the next six months battling long-term symptoms. He’d been training for a marathon but had trouble walking up his front steps. His brain was functioning at what he estimated to be “50 or 40 percent.” During that time, though, televised Cubs games were his escape. “It was the only thing I could cognitively handle for a really long time,” he said.
He’s doing better now and had his heart set on visiting spring training for the first time this year, figuring the joy it would bring him would be worth the risk of catching the still-present Omicron variant. “This was one of those times that I wanted to very purposefully make memories that I knew I was going to keep and enjoy,” he said. But after months of the labor stalemate, he’s canceled his air travel and his hotel booking.
• The players wanted to make sure folks knew it was not their decision to postpone Spring Training games, or initiate the lockout in the first place:
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/iboIiZqr0O
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) February 18, 2022
• After the CBA expired, its terms would have simply stayed in effect while the sides negotiated if MLB hadn’t initiated a lockout, and things would’ve proceeded as normal (but owners didn’t want to risk the players striking at a more painful time).
• A reminder: negotiations get (theoretically) serious on Monday.
• Today I learned something, courtesy of Wrigley Field history:
When ballparks were first built, all seats were made of wood, but grandstands were mostly covered and made up of individual seats. OF seating was almost always made of wood planks and exposed to the elements, making the contrast in weathering dramatic in a short period of time.
— MLB Cathedrals ⚾️ (@MLBcathedrals) February 18, 2022
• D-I college baseball returned yesterday, and it came with one of the best catches of the year immediately:
— Liberty Baseball (@LibertyBaseball) February 19, 2022
Sitting 92-95 T96 with a few whiffs on the four seamer https://t.co/X6T5DAVymu
— Will Hoefer (@whoeferbaseball) February 18, 2022
• Seriously, wtf:
We have our first ump show of the year. Baseball is officially back. https://t.co/BUMy2SmYuc
— Randy Wilkins (@pamsson) February 19, 2022
• Northwestern softball walkin’ it off:
Best way to start your day? ☕️
— Northwestern Athletics (@NU_Sports) February 19, 2022
• So this was extremely wild to learn:
Yes. This is true. https://t.co/W1viNPwVjN
— Al Yellon (@bleedcubbieblue) February 18, 2022
• Ho hey the Lumineers are coming to Wrigley:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 18, 2022
• It is indeed obvious:
— Brennen Davis (@BrennenDavis__) February 19, 2022
• I knew the A-Rob beef stuff was coming:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 18, 2022