Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The A’s have long had a reputation for tight spending and operating on a low budget, but the latest chapter in that story is a particularly unfortunate one. With an unprecedented amount of Americans out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing shutdown of most businesses, 28 MLB teams have committed to paying their employees through the end of May. A 29th, the Rays, cut some costs but are at least paying some of their employees. The only holdout yet to make an announcement, now entering the penultimate day of April, is the A’s.
An announcement will surely come out at some point, as eventually April will end and something will happen in May. That means we’ll get answers soon. In the meantime, for more info, background, and details, check out the link below for the story by Ken Rosenthal and Alex Coffey of The Athletic.
The other major news from yesterday involves the latest plan for a 2020 MLB season. We’ll likely do another post on this topic, but for now here are the quick details — and for more, check out the link below from Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The plan would call for three divisions of 10 teams each, geographically aligned so they can all play in their own home ballparks (without fans at first, of course) while minimizing travel. That would put the A’s in a group with the Angels, Astros, Mariners, Rangers, Giants, Dodgers, D’Backs, Padres, and Rockies — so, the AL West and NL West combined.
Whatever the setup might look like in the end, reports from earlier in the week were unambiguously optimistic that there will be a 2020 season in some form, possibly even 100+ games.
- Rosenthal and Coffey: A’s still undecided on paying employees, discussing extensive layoffs ($$$)
- Schulman: A’s, Giants fans in line for ticket refunds under new MLB policy
- Hickey: A’s Ticket Refund Policy Should Be Announced Soon
- Hickey: As He Turns 27, A’s 3B Matt Chapman is Defined as One of the Very Best
- Hickey: Billy Ball and Athletics Back in the Limelight Again
- Poole: A’s 1970s dynasty built on incredible arms, refusal to be outpitched
- Byrne: Replacing An MVP-Contending Shortstop
- Seamheads (audio): Guest is Katie Woo of MiLB (Apple) | Stitcher | Spotify
- Portside Pod (audio): Guest is Stockton manager Bobby Crosby
- Woo: Lux, Luzardo find a way to crash The Show
- Hall: A’s settle for 2nd-round exit in MLB Dream Bracket
MLB News & Interest:
- Nightengale: MLB discussing plan to start season in late June, playing in home stadiums with realigned league
- Rosenthal: An inside look at the possibilities, and risks, of an MLB restart ($$$)
- Spector: James Dolan & Jeff Wilpon Might Finally Kill Us All
- Hickey: Governor’s Plan to Open California Has Fan-less MLB Games Months Away
- Buckton: TTT Interview: Manny Ramirez “baseball royalty”
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
This video is absolutely brilliant, and heavily features clips and music from Moneyball (here’s a link to the original creator of the video)
If you're missing baseball, watch this. pic.twitter.com/urds5xQ7rg— Taiki Green (@itstaiki) April 29, 2020
Happy birthday (yesterday), Chaptain!
Manny Being Manny
Manny Ramirez told the Taiwan Times he seeks to play this year in the Taiwan League. Played there in 2013 after “retiring” in 2011. Misses being in the batters box. Turns 48 next month.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 29, 2020
Update on the 2020 draft
The MLB draft is still planned to be done June 10. Virtually of course. Was originally supposed to be in Omaha but of course there’s no College World Series now.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 28, 2020
Some feel-good to start your day