Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Mick Gillispie and Kevin Reichard discuss the deal to bring baseball back, whether new extra-innings rules are good or bad, and why a pulling a Houdini is one of the most entertaining feats in the sport in this week’s Ballpark Digest Broadcaster Chat.
In this week’s chat:
- Major League Baseball is set to return in July with training camp and then a 60-game season starting around July 24
- Teams will train at their home ballparks
- How the negotiations between players and owners will affect public interest in the sport
- Why potential labor grievances won’t play out this season
- Changes for 2020, including extra-innings play beginning with a runner at second in the top of the 10th. Jesse explains how the rule works and why he was a convert after seeing it in play; Mick speaks out against it. The bottom line: the rule is to address the lack of pitching at every level of baseball and to limit bullpen usage in extra innings.
- Why the season will open under a cloud: COVID-19 cases are going up, not down, and whether the sport can survive an outbreak
- What fallout the sport will see as the regular season starts and how it will be measured. One potential measure: merchandise sales
- Jesse’s term of the week from The Baseball Thesaurus: a pitcher pulling a Houdini, using the 1927 World Series as an example. It’s one of the great terms of the game, say both Jesse and Mick.
- Why this week could see the formal announcement that the Minor League Baseball season could be called because of COVID-19 safety concerns for players.
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is the Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and the author of The Baseball Thesaurus and The Football Thesaurus from August Publications. Mick Gillispie is the Voice of the Tennessee Smokies and a spring-training Voice of the Chicago Cubs. Kevin Reichard is publisher at August Publications and Ballpark Digest.