Good morning, all! I hope you had a splendid weekend!
MLB took another step toward addressing an injustice last week, by recognizing the Negro Leagues of the 1920’s, 30s and 40s as a major league. It was a longtime in coming. Although the move can never repair the history of MLB’s discrimination against African-Americans, it is nonetheless a positive move.
One of the changes in MLB’s acceptance of the Negro Leagues as a major league is the recognition of Negro League records. For example, Satchel Paige, who is in the Hall of Fame with his major league record of 28-31, will have his numbers revised to 146-64, when you calculate his Negro League records. That’s more like it.
If I have an interest in Paige, it is for good reason. My Uncle Will Lovallo, played minor league baseball for years in the Washington Senators chain. He then went on to play for the House of David baseball club and one of his claims to fame, which he was very proud of, was batting against Satchel Paige. I don’t recall if he hit a home run or struck out against Paige, but the fact he batted against Paige was good enough for me.
MLB still has steps to take to right a wrong, but at least it is moving in the right direction.
Count me among those who agree with Girardi and Black
Major League baseball managers, except the White Sox Tony LaRussa, met with the media via Zoom last week. And among those whose comments made an impact were Joe Girardi and Bud Black. Girardi, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, stated he was in favor of 7-inning doubleheaders and the extra inning rule, that starts a runner at second base, beginning in the 10th inning.
“I like the extra-inning rule. I think it keeps the fans engaged more.
“The [seven-inning] doubleheaders I like because you don’t wear your players out nearly as much. I would be in favor of that, too.”
Minor League baseball serves as the incubator for these MLB rules changes. We have played seven-inning DH in the minors, since forever. I have always been a fan of that. Then, per arm-twisting by MLB, we tried the extra-inning rule, with a runner at second, two seasons ago. I admit, I was skeptical about that rule change, but once I saw it utilized, I became a big fan of that too. Here is hoping MLB makes both rules changes permanent.
Then there is Bud Black, manager of the Colorado Rockies. Black’s idea has merit too, as a way to thwart some clubs of using an “opener.” That is when a club - say Tampa Bay - uses a reliever to start the game, then brings in a starter or long-reliever to enter in the second inning. Black’s contention is that this approach spoils the game and his mindset has some merit. He is suggesting that both leagues permanently adopt the designated hitter - other than 2020 when the National League used the DH, the DH was only used in the American League - but that once the starting pitcher is removed from the game, that club loses its DH. I think Black is right on with his suggestion. Such a rule change would diminish the use of “openers” and bring more strategy back to the game. While we are at it, how about adopting a pitch clock too, as they have in the minors?
Twins save money
With the reorganization of minor league baseball, the Minnesota Twins will realize a major cost savings. In 2021 the Twins’ AAA affiliate will be in St. Paul, just 13 miles away from the Twins home base. According to a report the Twins, who formally had their AAA club in Rochester, NY, will save $500,000 annually in transportation costs, etc., because their AAA affiliate is a stone’s throw away.
Price could be right price for Red Sox
Last season, the Boston Red Sox pedaled Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to the LA Dodgers. Because of Covid-19, Price opted to sit out the season. Now 35, Price is considering opting out again in 2021, as Covid persists. Such a move would be a huge cost-saver for the Red Sox, because if Price opts out it would mean no pay for him in 2021. The Red Sox, who are still on the hook for a major portion of his contract in 2021, would end up saving $18 million, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
This puts the Red Sox in a precarious situation. Do they root against Price or wish him well in future endeavors, including being a member of the Dodgers’ starting rotation? Yes, the world turns, even with or without Price.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Well that is it for 2020. I will take the next two weeks off, returning with the newsletter on Jan. 4, 2021. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As always, thank you for your support and be safe and stay well during the holidays. As I wrap things up, I leave you with a great video below, involving Tiger Woods and his son Charlie.