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Shall We Share A Corona Together?

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Major League Baseball Suspends Spring Training Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

To those of you who don’t like it when I make light of serious matters, you should probably stop reading. After all I am the writer who, upon being diagnosed with a touch of lymphoma in 2017, made it my quest to find as much humor in it as humanly possible. I am currently working on a book titled, “Lymphoma: It’s Not Funny (It’s Hilarious)”. Here is an excerpt from the book: “How many lymph nodes does it take to change a light bulb?” Answer: “Um, lymph nodes can’t change light bulbs, you idiot.” In fairness, I’m still doing a lot of editing.

I guess what I’m saying here, though, is that a leopard cannot change his spots. That’s actually not true, though: I once saw a leopard sitting in a field next to a few shrubs, and then when I came back 10 minutes later he was definitely in a different spot.

Anyway, I wanted to share that I have found a great way to deal with long lines right now. All you have to do is to unleash a dry, hacking cough (I’ve been practicing) and you will be amazed how quickly you will find that there is no one in front of you in line.

But in all seriousness, I am concerned about this recommendation that we all practice “social isolation” right now. Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone just stayed home, did all their shopping online, and just stared at their phone for hours on end? We actually now have a term for that kind of behavior: “an average Thursday”.

In all seriousness, though, here at AN we truly do care about your health and safety. It’s why we have always urged our readers to wear a helmet when they log onto AN and why we are now asking that you thoroughly disinfect your keyboard after each keystroke. It takes a little more time but it’s worth it. If you’re too busy, or have run out of sanitary wipes, an alternative solution is to wear gloves while commenting. Here, let me demonstrate:

s;ghk 39GN v-w44tro fffffffffff

Actually, it turns out that’s pretty difficult so I have taken the gloves back off and am simply injecting myself with antibiotics as I type. Wait. I don’t have any antibiotics. That must be heroin, oh well.

And on the 8th paragraph there was finally a reference to baseball, and there was much rejoicing. Here are a few of my thoughts around the 2020 baseball season, also known as “Coronaball 2020”...

Will Pitchers Be Sufficiently “Armed”?

Pitchers are extreme creatures of habit and “side sessions” can only go so far in nurturing the arm’s needed routines. Whether the layoff turns out to be an additional 2 weeks, or 4-6 weeks, longer or somewhere in between, will pitchers have the opportunity to transition smoothly from a “spring training” to a regular season?

This raises a bevy of other questions. Might there be some sort of abbreviated “end of spring training” before the new Opening Day? I’m not itching to fly down to Mesa when it’s 95 degrees, but might the games now canceled be made up in some way, somewhere, somehow? I do remember one time (maybe the 1981 strike?) when there were workouts/games at Cal’s Evans Field ramping back up to the season.

And with the interrupted schedule, possibly followed by a makeshift/inadequate prep period, will we see an increase in pitcher injuries this season?

Fun With Service Time

As you’re putting on your hazmat suit, you are also probably thinking, “I can haz Matts for as long as possible?” Matts Chapman and Olson are due to become free agents after the 2023 season.

Of course this would not be the case if the season were to become truly truncated (let’s say 100 games) and if they were not granted service time for the lost days. I am assuming that players will be credited with service time, and while I know this will not happen I have to point out that...

...There is nothing in the CBA prohibiting the A’s from optioning Chapman and Olson to AAA until the first game of the regular season, in which case presumably they would not be granted service time — and in the process would have their free agency delayed until the end of the 2024 season. The A’s would never do that, especially since they are hoping to engage both players in talks around an extension with Oakland, but in theory couldn’t they?

I mean who wouldn’t support Chapman/Olson 2024? I even have a slogan ready: “We will go to the Matt for you.”

Luzardo/Puk FTW!

I am by no means the first to bring this up, but here we are talking about the implications of COVID19 on the 2020 baseball season. Without question, one of the biggest hurdles facing the A’s in their quest to pass the Astros in 2020 is the innings limit Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk will need as they wind their way back from injuries.

It was probably always the case that the A’s were only going to get about 4 months’ worth of pitching from Luzardo and Puk. If the season were to get truncated (Stomper’s favorite word, by the way) to about 4 months, suddenly you just found the one way to have a full season of Luzardo and Puk. Advantage: Oakland.


Stay safe, everyone, and keep laughing! And also keep commenting, because with OUSD shut down, and no baseball or anything else going on, I have pretty much nothing to do all day right now except to visit this baseball site and talk about ... um ... OK, so these two lymph nodes walk into a bar ...