Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The latest from Jeff Passan of ESPN has team owners preparing to offer a proposal to the Players Association for how to get the 2020 season going amid the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal hasn’t actually been sent yet (it will be “within a week”), and then it has to be agreed to by the union, and even then there are plenty of ways that any plan could be dashed by future flare-ups of the outbreak. But this still feels like some level of progress.
If all goes well, then perhaps the dates reported by former player Trevor Plouffe — June 10 spring training, and July 1 Opening Day — could yet come true. Passan confirms that some teams have indeed “reached out to players to suggest that they ramp up baseball activities,” with some of them citing those specific dates as potential targets. Check out Passan’s link below for all the details.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the big story involves Dallas Braden and his 2010 perfect game. Per a report by Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle, Braden revealed on Wednesday that he’d been drinking the night before Mother’s Day and was hung over the next day when he pitched his perfecto. He made clear (as did a few character witnesses) that this was a one-time thing, not a normal habit for the lefty, but it sure worked out in the end.
As odd as this story is, it’s not unique. David Wells famously admitted to being hung over when he threw his perfect game in 1998, and of course there’s the epic story of Dock Ellis tossing a no-hitter while tripping on acid.
While the obvious reaction might be to criticize these players for their unprofessional behavior, what if there’s something to it and it’s not a coincidence? It isn’t unusual to hear a player talk about how his slump was caused by overthinking and he busted out of it by relaxing and getting out of his own head, and even we civilians have probably experienced that phenomenon somewhere in our own lives. Alcohol is certainly one way to stop thinking.
This is in no way meant to endorse players getting wasted before MLB games, and there are probably many more stories out there of playing poorly due to substance use. But if switching off one’s brain and reverting to natural talent and finely tuned muscle memory can help the body do its task optimally on some occasions, then it would explain how these hurlers were able to notch their greatest career achievements while in such impaired states.
Either way, it makes for a hell of a story.
- Slusser: Dallas Braden comes clean: A’s starter was hung over for 2010 perfect game ($)
- Rubin: A conversation with Dave Stewart: On his COVID-19 scare, the 1988 World Series and more
- Hickey: Tony Kemp Using Fundraising Auctions to Reach Out to His New Home with Athletics
- Kleinschmidt: Bryce Harper reveals A’s were possible trade destination at 2018 deadline
- Gallegos: A’s all-time top 5 international signings
- A’s trivia: Opening Day lineups from 1980-89
MLB News & Interest:
- Passan: MLB return-to-play proposal expected within week, sources say
- Verducci: Four Players Who Would’ve Missed Opening Day Are Now Ready - If and When MLB Begins Its Season
- Edwards: NL Teams Stand to Lose out If There’s a Universal DH in 2020
- MLB: Boo this man: Each fan base’s favorite nemesis
- DiComo: An oral history of Colon’s unforgettable HR
- Kramer: 8 HOFers you may have forgotten were traded
- MLB Quiz of the Day: 2010s statistical leaders
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
The plot thickens
I have texts from players in 6 different orgs telling me that they are being told to be ready for those dates. https://t.co/WNKfWqiEEc— Trevor Plouffe (@trevorplouffe) May 6, 2020
For baseball to start, these two things are nonnegotiable:— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) May 7, 2020
1) MLB must be able to ethically gain access to tens of thousands of coronavirus tests.
2) There must be a solid plan in place for what happens if someone tests positive.
It’s not impossible. But it’s hard.
Thank you nurses! Stephen Piscotty’s jersey for #TheRealHeroes campaign
"Matt works as an RN for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the Pediatric ICU. I know he’s been working hard and making sacrifices during this pandemic for the greater good and I’m proud to call him a friend. Thank you Matt, for your hard work and dedication." -Stephen Piscotty pic.twitter.com/rC2Y0ZyTBD— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 6, 2020
Meanwhile, some real-life baseball from the KBO
Aaron Altherr launches his first KBO dinger. Moonshot to left field. Then he comes into the dugout, gets the silent treatment so just starts dabbing alone. pic.twitter.com/e3ievdY7wt— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) May 6, 2020
But also, a reminder of what we’re missing
If you're watching the KBO games on TV you are missing out on one of the best parts of playing there...the fans. This is a small taste of what it can be like.— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) May 6, 2020
2009 Jamsil Stadium, Doosan Bears. pic.twitter.com/wJO4qSyyjh
These moving charts are always fun to watch