Monday, March 30, 2020

The Economics of a Lost Season

Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down

As the opening line to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song would allude to, the entire sporting world has been rocked by the COVID-19 virus. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred already had his hands full with the Astros trash banging scandal and is in line to be a bigger Enemy of The State than the current POTUS if the 2020 season is officially canceled. It`s optimistic to think a season could begin before Independence Day. In the event of a partial season, it surely would be unlike any other with impacts that go far beyond the sport of baseball in 2020. While it's tough to put the Focus on baseball in the midst of a global pandemic, these issues will impact the economic landscape for future years, such as the draft, free agency, roster sizes, minor league teams, and long term feasibility of the sport.

Friday, March 27, 2020

COVID-19 and the impact on baseball

The Blue Jays should be playing their second game of the season today with Matt Shoemaker taking the bump after new lefty ace Hyun-Jin Ryu took the ball yesterday on a much anticipated opening day. Instead of griping over Vlad's inability to elevate the ball or him striking out too much, fans are wondering when the season will commence, if at all.  On New Year's eve, the WHO first reported on a new pneumonia in Wuhan, China.Over the next two and a half months, the virus quickly spread globally into every country and was officially declared a pandemic on March 11. The Blue Jays playd one more game the next day before the Grapefruit League was shut down. Initially, players had access to facilities, but that has changed and now workouts must be done at home. While undoubtedly no one is likely happy to be not playing, Chris Sale and Tim Mayza, who are both not pitching this year after Tommy John surgery, might hate the lost games a bit less. To date, no major league players have tested positive for COVID-19. However, two Yankees minor-leaguers, a Red Sox minor leaguer and a Reds spring training employee have all tested positive for  COVID-19

The last time the MLB season was interrupted was in 1994 when players went on strike August 4, wiping out the remainder of that season and the World Series for just the second time in league history (the 1904 World Series was not rewarded because the NY Giants declined to meet the champions of the "junior" (or "minor") league. McGraw said his Giants were already the world champions because they were the champions of the "only real major league" Labor disputes also led to the cancellation of 86 games in 1972 and 713 games in 1981.

Issues for restarting play

Baseball is in the best position of the three major sports that were in progress. When the decision was made by the three major leagues that were in season, the MLB was at the beginning of the season (in fact, it was the middle of spring training) whereas the NHL and NBA were in the final stretch of their year with playoffs right around the corner. Once play resumes, there will need to be an abbreviated training camp with a few games that don't count before beginning regular season play.

One big issues for restarting play will be the pitchers, and in particular the starting pitchers, who will basically be starting from scratch after having the latter part of spring training scrapped. Typically, pitchers need around 5 or 6 starts to stretch out their length and have the ability to throw 90-100 pitches. The MLB is going to have to consider allowing expanded bullpens to handle the innings relievers will have to eat up until the starters build back up again

Another issue that was addressed is service time. It looks like the league will count this as a lost year. I think the league needs to consider putting a limit of games played for service time used. What if the extreme happens and all 162 games are wiped out? How could the league justify a team losing a year of service time in that scenario.

A third issue is games played. Will the season get extended into October with playoffs in November? What will the schedule look like? It's anyone's guess when the restrictions in place will be lifted. Don't hold your breath for Trump's hope of life returning to normal by Easter. At the earliest, you might see bans lifted the beginning of May. Don't be surprised if initially games are played at empty ball parks as experts are saying the social distancing may last for months. Also, extending the season too much could have weather impacts depending who makes the WS (unless you do like the NFL and play at a neutral site). Not to mention the quick turnaround for the following season.

In the meantime, let's all tip our baseball caps to the amazing health care workers and everyone else involved at 7pm in your local time each evening to thank them for their amazing work during the pandemic. Also, practice your social distancing, wash your hands frequently and don't touch your face so we can get back to cheering on the Blue jays sooner rather than later. Stay safe everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Hump Day Gratitude

How is everyone holding up?

I'm grateful to have connected with an old friend. He's a musician and he's inspiring me to get to my music. I've downloaded a bunch of instrumental tracks and I'm having fun playing with some fave songs. (Really wish I had a good microphone to record stuff.)

Also grateful I have a place to live and food to eat. And a working cell phone and internet connection.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday Moans

Because Mondays are hard enough.

My contribution:

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hump Day Gratitude

Well my friends, the whole world has changed. A week ago, we still had baseball. Now all we have is uncertainty. Thinking it's a good thing we all learn to live with uncertainty. It builds resilience, which will serve us all well going forward.

We also have each other. Choose love instead of fear. We will get through this.

I'm grateful for all of you in this community. I'm also grateful for a solid reason not to go to work.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Adopt a MiLB player

Giving credit where credit is due. This book was how I learned how on the financial edge many minor leaguers are.

So lost in all the news was a discussion Friday night where RADAR posted this tweet:

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Brave New World

This is kind of a gratitude post. Was too tired and up too late Tuesday to get one done. Then all the news yesterday about COVID19 precautions. NBA suspending their season. Possibly losing opening day. People having to cancel vacation plans. (Holy crap, it's spring break next week. So many plans - what's going to happen?) The vacillation between "oh, it's way overblown" and "do you want a repeat of the flu of 1919?"

So let's take this moment to be thankful for this community. Tom Jackson and the multiple dog gifs. Joe and his attempts to make us laugh. Mule stepping in to run the fantasy league. Everyone who has been participating in such great discussions around what's happening, posting music, and just stuff in general.
Boy is this vid a trip!

In the face of all of this, it's important to remember that as humans, we need to be touched. Please don't let all this fear deny you that simple pleasure.

I personally am grateful for those of you who used the amazon link for your Christmas shopping. The payout allowed me to indulge in my oracle card collecting and I received my newest deck (Matt Kahn's The Healing Mantra deck) on Tuesday.

I decided to pull a card for this community and I had to laugh at what came up.

Overcoming Fear: 
I will transcend every loss.

The description for the card says:
When fear is overcome, you are able to rest in the resilience of your soul, no matter how frustrated or inconvenienced your ego seems to be. You are able to embrace each obstacle and circumstance as life's auspicious way of helping you become the one you were always destined to be. In overcoming fear, every loss surely inspires a gain of insight for the evolution of your spiritual journey.  
This mantra is ideal for opening back up to life, healing chronic fatigue, and releasing cellular memories.
With all the fear we're being bombarded with right now, take care of yourselves and know we've got each other no matter what happens.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday Moans

Because Mondays are hard enough.

My contribution:

What do you call a magic dog? A Labracadabrador.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Hump Day Gratitude

I'm grateful I was able to switch my work schedule to have Mondays and Tuesdays off. I'm grateful my contract has only 7 weeks left. I'm grateful for artisan milk chocolate. I'm grateful my friend gave me a free body treatment. I'm grateful my parents are hanging in.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, March 2, 2020

Monday Moans

Because Mondays are hard enough.

My contribution:

Did you hear about the guy who invented Lifesavers?  They say he made a mint!