Cancellation of season would do a number on Twins' roster
MINNEAPOLIS — Riding the momentum of a 101-win season, the Twins’ first division title in nine years, and the addition of some accomplished veterans, Rocco Baldelli challenged his team to reach the World Series as spring training opened. But the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated the nation and the world may do the same for the Twins’ lofty ambitions.The confident team Baldelli exhorted during training camp may never take the field, not as currently constituted.“We’re not there yet. We’re not preparing with (cancellation) in mind. There will be plenty of time for that if it comes to that...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Resilient Cardinals legend Bob Gibson throws cancer a curve
For painfully obvious reasons, the Cardinals didn’t open their home schedule Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. The good news is that Bob Gibson would have been there if there had been no coronavirus pandemic-fueled shutdown of sports.Diagnosed last summer with pancreatic cancer, Gibson, 84, had no guarantee he would see many, if any, more Cardinals openers. But now his chemotherapy treatments have been moved from once a week to every three weeks and he said he feels no pain.Gibson is due for a couple of days of tests this week but for now, as he told someone recently, “The reaper came th...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bob Brookover: Phillies GM Matt Klentak still preparing for the season in these most morbid and unusual times
PHILADELPHIA — Thursday’s conference call with Matt Klentak started five minutes before the first pitch of the Phillies’ home opener was scheduled to be thrown.What should have been Zack Wheeler’s debut in red pinstripes at Citizens Bank Park instead became a 22-minute Q&A with Klentak during which the general manager understandably had few answers about what lies ahead for the team and the game he loves.A month ago, Klentak and manager Joe Girardi were benignly fielding questions about the makeup of the 26-man roster and the leadoff spot in the batting order. Thursday the most pertinent inqui...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Judge tosses DraftKings bettors' lawsuit against Astros and Red Sox, but takes swings at each team
NEW YORK — The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox disgraced baseball — but the cheating teams did not defraud fantasy baseball bettors, a judge ruled Friday.The decision by Manhattan Federal Judge Jed Rakoff took swings at both franchises for the sign-stealing scandal that rocked Major League Baseball, but said the teams’ lies did not rise to a breach of consumer protection laws.“In 2017 and thereafter, the Houston Astros, and somewhat less blatantly the Boston Red Sox, shamelessly broke that rule, and thereby broke the hearts of all true baseball fans. But did the initial efforts of those team...
New York Daily News
Kevin Acee: Games without fans do not make financial sense for baseball
SAN DIEGO — As soon as possible, baseball wants to be what it often has been.After world wars and 9/11 and every summer and fall.“We want to give everybody something to look forward to,” Padres pitcher Craig Stammen said this week. “Hopefully that’s baseball.”Multiple players and fans have expressed similar sentiments in recent weeks. So have people from Major League Baseball and executives with the MLB Players Association, in private conversations and conference calls and interviews.“The one thing I know for sure is baseball will be back,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN last week. “Wh...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Chip Scoggins: No Opening Day, but here's his Twins lineup anyway
On the day that would have been the Twins season opener, manager Rocco Baldelli declined to reveal the lineup he would have submitted.“I’m going to drag that one out until the very end,” Baldelli said on a conference call with reporters. “And hopefully everyone will enjoy it when it finally arrives.”That’s no fun, Rocco.Baldelli’s lineup construction has been a popular topic for fans and media ever since Josh Donaldson arrived in January. A team that set an MLB record for home runs last season looks even more powerful on paper with Donaldson’s name in it. Rocco has plenty of options in putting...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Mac Engel: College football needs MLB to play ball to feel safe to return
The offices of the University of Texas athletic administration are closed, so of course athletic director Chris Del Conte is going to work.“It’s like ‘The Shining,’” Del Conte said Wednesday morning of the empty offices in Austin.Never thought of Chris Del Conte as Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance, but these days everyone is capable of saying, “Heeeere’s Johnny!”Before delving into this, Del Conte mentioned something about our current era of the coronavirus, “In my opinion I think this has been here for a long, long time. I don’t think this just got here.”Agreed.What was unfathomable one month a...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Yankees' Zack Britton reveals MLB has discussed several neutral sites to host games if baseball is able to return to action
TAMPA, Fla. — Zack Britton knows what it’s like to play baseball in an empty stadium. With the Orioles, he pitched in that April 29, 2015 game against the White Sox at Camden Yards. With riots after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, MLB ruled the game would go on without fans. Britton recalled it was eerie and not a lot of fun, but in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic he agrees it could be the way to restart baseball.The Yankees union rep told Sirius/XM’s MLB Network Radio channel that empty stadiums and a neutral site for teams like the Yankees whose big league cities are...
New York Daily News
Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returns to Japan with his family over coronavirus concerns in the U.S.
TAMPA, Fla. — Saying that he felt that the situation with the coronavirus pandemic was dangerous in the United States, Masahiro Tanaka returned to Japan late last month, according to Kyodo News.The 31-year-old right-hander said he and his family had no symptoms of COVID-19, but he felt it best for his wife and their two children to return to Japan.Tanaka said he and his family would self-quarantine at home for two weeks at the Japanese government’s request for all residents returning from foreign travel.Tanaka tweeted about his decision.“After spring training was discontinued, there was a situ...
New York Daily News
Ed Farmer, the voice of the Chicago White Sox for almost 30 years, dies
CHICAGO — Ed Farmer — a son of Chicago’s South Side who spent 2½ season pitching for the White Sox during an 11-year major-league baseball career and, for almost 30 years, was a radio announcer for the team — died on Wednesday night according to the White Sox. He was 70.A member of the 1980 American League All-Star team while with the Sox, Farmer had been a full-time radio announcer for the White Sox since 1992, first as an analyst and, beginning in 2006, as a play-by-play man.Farmer was plagued most of his life with polycystic kidney disease, an inherited disorder in which cysts form in clust...