Good morning, all! It’s Friiiiiidddddaaaayyyy!!!!!
Minor League baseball, now under complete control of MLB, took another positive step Thursday, when clubs announced their minor league schedules for the 2021 season. This is a big deal in so many ways. Most importantly, it is big because the 2020 season was cancelled because of Covid-19. Ballparks were empty. There was no joy in Mudville. Minor League baseball had struck out.
Now it is a new season, with a vaccine and hope. In my neck of the woods, the Hartford Yard Goats, AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, announced that the season will begin on May 4 on the road at Richmond. Hartford will play its first home game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on May 11.
Many hurdles need to be cleared, including government approval of ballpark capacity, the virus rate, etc. But with snow, freezing rain and rain falling in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states and Texas plunged into darkness, talk of a minor league baseball season on a dreary day in February, was like sunshine and 80 for a day game in June.
Tebow retires from baseball
After five seasons of minor league baseball, Tim Tebow is calling it a career. Tebow announced his retirement earlier this week. Winner of the 2007 Heisman Trophy and a former NFL quarterback, Tebow never realized his dream of an MLB career, but it was not for lack of trying. He worked as hard as any player I have seen and demonstrated class, whether he was talking with Bubba Watson or the batboy. Yes, Bubba Watson.
One of the great things about sports is watching athletes from different careers interact. In 2018, with the PGA Tour in greater Hartford, Watson, who is part owner of a minor league team in Pensacola, dropped by to watch the Yard Goats, with Binghamton in town. He made it a point, with his son, of spending a few minutes with Tebow.
By the way, Tebow was always accommodating for the media, when he came to Hartford. You can hear a couple of his news conference in a post I did on one of my websites.
Tebow may be out of baseball, but he broadcasts on ESPN’s SEC Network, and you can be sure he has a lot more to give, whichever endeavor he chooses.
Realmuto breaks thumb
Well, that didn’t take long. J.T. Realmuto, fresh off his new five-year, $115.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, has a broken thumb. On the first day of spring training, manager Joe Girardi announced that Realmuto will miss most of spring training but his starting catcher should be ready for opening day. “Should be” is one of those expressions through which you can drive a truck. Making matters worse, it is the thumb on his throwing hand.
This is why you cannot predict anything. You just never know.
Tatis takes the deal
Not knowing baseball’s future economics, what with the pandemic et al, many of the game’s young players are taking the money now, rather than risk free agency. The latest is San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Word is he has agreed to a 14-year, $340 million deal. I don’t know how the contract is structured but that averages to more than $24.2M per year.
When you think of Realmuto’s fractured thumb and injuries being unpredictable, there is no way Tatis could have turned down that new contract.
Well, that is it for today. I hope you had a great week and have a better weekend! And thank you for subscribing!