Philadelphia Phillies and MLB 2020 season days lost to the COVID-19 pandemic: 22.
Marc Topkin at the Tampa Bay Times reported on what it’s like to take part in the coronavirus testing program in which MLB is now participating, including this from San Francisco Giants scout Tom (son of Don) Zimmer:
““Just prick your finger and drop a little blood with a tool they give you mixed with a couple of drops of some solution into this little measuring device. It runs through the device and you wait 10 minutes. There are three little sections where a red line shows up showing negative, or positive. I was negative.””
Joel Sherman at the New York Post writes on a potential stumbling block to MLB attempting to play a shortened 2020 season:
“The deal reached by MLB and the Players Association called for players to be paid their 2020 salaries prorated — so if a player was to make $10 million and rather than 162 games, 81 were played, the player would get $5 million. However, an MLB spokesman said, “Both parties understood that the deal was premised on playing in stadiums with fans, and the agreement makes that clear.””
Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich at The Athletic updated their piece on differences of opinion between MLB and the MLBPA on what their prior agreement actually says:
“A separate section of the deal, listing the conditions for games to resume, says the commissioner’s office and the union “will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.” Similar phrasing exists in other parts of the agreement as well.”
Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors also wrote on the subject of the possibility of owners looking at player salary reductions in a shortened season:
“The owners’ claim in all of this would undoubtedly be that addition of television revenue would not be enough to cover the cost of operations in conjunction with the elimination of gate revenue. Such claims wouldn’t be able to be proven with books closed to the public, but it’s easy to see all 30 owners aligning on that front whether or not the sentiment holds true in actuality.”
Bob Nightengale at USA Today reported on possible negative effects of changes to this year’s MLB Draft:
“It’s widely considered to be a deep and strong amateur draft, one that has had teams salivating for years. But with draft limits in place and signing bonus restrictions embedded, there is a growing fear MLB is endangering their future.”
“…should MLB get clearance to return, the focus will pivot to how we will renew its purpose around integrity. The game has been taken away for now, and it would be a shame to come back to win-at-all-cost approaches that ignore fair play. This rests in the hands of MLB and the players association.”
Glanville also wrote for ESPN on the possibility of the game returning with no fans in the stands:
“Outside of the logistical and safety challenges of pulling this off, it would be a shame to return without fans. I played for the Phillies when we returned from 9/11 and it was important that we were able to come back together. It put us all on the playing field as one people, all of us fans of baseball. It gave the sport deeper value, showcasing its healing powers and its ability to unite and unify.”
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tweeted a message to kid baseball and softball players:
Now for the latest Philadelphia Phillies news from local and national resources:
“”I think we all want to see baseball being played this year. It’s going to look probably a little bit different, as we all know. We’re going to have to adjust and hopefully, that’s just for this year. I do think, though, they’ll figure something out. What that will be, I don’t know. It will be a challenge in Arizona, but I haven’t heard of any better options assuming we all want to see baseball being played this year.””
Scott Lauber at The Inquirer also wrote on Utley’s take on the situation:
““I think the most difficult challenge would be to take a veteran player who has two kids and expect them not to see their wife or kids for four or five months. I think that would be difficult to do,” Utley said. “But as of now — and I’m reading the same things you’re reading — there’s not a great number of alternatives. I do think, though, they’ll figure something out. What that will be, I don’t know.””
Scott Lauber at The Inquirer also wrote on baseball’s return having a negative effect on the Phillies local minor league affiliates in Lehigh Valley, Lakewood, and Williamsport:
“Minor-league teams depend on fan engagement and interaction as the lifeblood of their small, largely seasonal business. Even one rainout that isn’t made up can wreak havoc with balance sheets. As much as team employees pound the pavement to secure corporate sponsorships, they might work even harder to draw fans to the ballpark.”
Jim Salisbury at NBC Sports Philadelphia also wrote on the third game of the Strat-O-Matic simulated World Series between the Phillies 1980 and 2008 championship teams:
“…in Game 3 at Veterans Stadium: The ’80 club prevailed, 6-2, behind a strong start from Dick Ruthven. For the second straight day, the ’80 club pounded out 15 hits. A guy named Larry Bowa had three of them. He also stole three bases and scored two runs.”
Mark Simon at Acta Sports presented the top individual team defensive seasons so far in the 21st century, and a Phillies team finished sixth in the rankings:
“…the 2005 Phillies were the only team prior to 2016 to make the top six. They got a combined 85 of those Runs Saved from their infielders. Second baseman Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins led the way with 20 and 18 Runs Saved, respectively. David Bell (17 Runs Saved) and Ryan Howard (11) were strong at the corners (Howard wasn’t typically this good)…”
On Thursday, Baseball Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins tweeted out a picture of the official trade sending him from the Phillies to the Cubs as a 23-year-old in 1966, along with an additional personal notation:
Philadelphia area coronavirus updates continue to be provided via The Inquirer live news ticker on the pandemic. Also, the City of Philadelphia is currently under a Business Activity and Stay at Home Order. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the NIH (National Institutes of Health have tremendous resources on updates and the national response.
You can view the archives for these Lunch Bell reports at any time. They are released every day all year-round barring some unusual circumstance. Each report highlights important updates on the Phillies and MLB, including articles curated from around the web, social media posts, and video. During the pandemic we will include any relevant updates in that regard as well.
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FINAL NOTE: It was on this date in the Bicentennial year of 1976 that Phillies great Mike Schmidt produced one of his all-time greatest individual performances: