The Rundown: Owners Strongarm Players, Canceled Season Could Break Up Cubs, Lenny Dykstra Cheated to Feed Family
I’ve been saying this since talk of resuming the 2020 season first started: League owners and the union should just cancel the season and focus on a new CBA so that 2021 doesn’t have to be played beneath the cloud of a possible work stoppage. There are just too many hot topics on the table right now and things seem to be a little too contentious anyway.
As owners continue to try to strongarm the MLBPA, I’m confused as to why anybody thinks playing baseball with such blatant discord is a good thing. At this point it’s like one of those shootout scenes in any of the Die Hard movies where the bad guy takes a hostage to avoid being killed by maverick terrorist party-crasher John McClane. In this case, it appears the fans are the hostages, which never really works out well for anybody involved.
“By the time they figure out what went wrong, we’ll be sitting on a beach, earning twenty percent.” – Hans Gruber
Yippie-kay-aye. And still, the players continue to face the derision of their forefathers. Tom Glavine put the onus on the union yesterday.
Tom Glavine, leader in the Players Association during the '94-'95 labor stoppage, says: Players could face blame if no baseball https://t.co/k0xUGcZaG5
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 20, 2020
But let me pivot from that hot mess to ask our readers a couple questions. What will you do if there is no season, and what do you think the Cubs should do if there is no season? Let’s consider what the state of the team could be if the current season is canceled:
- Jon Lester, José Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood would be free agents, as would Jason Kipnis and Steven Souza Jr., each having never played a single game for the Cubs.
- Theo Epstein would be going into the last year of his contract, with Kris Bryant, Javier Báez, and Kyle Schwarber in their last season of club control.
- Closer Craig Kimbrel will enter the 2021 season having pitched just 20.2 innings over two years.
- Nico Hoerner, Brennen Davis, Miguel Amaya, and Brailyn Marquez will have lost a crucial year in their development.
- A five round first-year player draft will not offer much in the way of youthful reinforcements.
- The organization would still be a two-time violator of salary cap restrictions, meaning signing free agents or extending its core players could be tough, if not completely impossible.
Do you blow it all up and start over? It would sure be tempting, and after watching the two Jerrys that run the Bulls blow up a six-time championship team in 1998, how would you feel about Epstein starting another scorched-earth rebuild? Further, after a full season of no baseball, will fans be lining up to watch a modern-day version of the 2011-2014 Cubs?
The Cubs could be hit the hardest financially of any MLB franchise in a shortened or postponed season. Since that’s probably the biggest factor in how the 2021 roster will be constructed, we could be looking at a few seasons of rebuilding and mediocrity before the next core takes the field at Clark & Addison. You may want to start looking at who might be free agents in 2023 to get a glimpse of what the next contending team could look like.
Cubs News & Notes
- There is no Cubs news today, and in honor of that the Sears Tower apparently went dark.
Find Your Inner Hero
Cubs fan Dr. David Mayer is walking 3,000 miles to promote healthcare awareness.
Apropos of Nothing
If you watched the final installment of The Last Dance you got to see the on-court animosity between Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone in the 1998 NBA Finals. It turns out those theatrics may have been slightly staged. After the Bulls knocked off the Jazz to win their sixth NBA title, Rodman and Malone met in a tag-team wrestling match, and Rodman was encouraged by then-WCW President Eric Bischoff to “raise the heat” with Malone during the Finals to help sell the story.
Odds & Sods
What? Mickey Mantle may have used a corked bat? Say it ain’t so, Mick. Say it ain’t so. Though it’s 10 years old, a study by the MIT Technology Review revealed that corking a bat does little, if anything, to help a batter hit a ball farther.
Out of Left Field
Come on, Gammo! I don’t want to make this a regular thing.
And, for balance in a polarized world, that when Andruw played in Macon, John Rocker's parents took him in so he had a good place to live. Bruce Chen drove from Atlanta to Macon–over the Otis Redding Bridge–to recall the Rockers took in young players, regardless of nationality
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) May 20, 2020
MLB News & Notes
The owners allegedly have a “smoking gun” correspondence with the union that indicates the MLBPA conceded that player salaries would need to be renegotiated in the event that games are played in empty stadiums.
Lenny Dykstra said he took steroids to help his family. How fatherly of the outfielder.
Boston 3B Rafael Devers has been exceptionally good for the Red Sox, and the stats back that up.
MLB is finally going to investigate former Astros’ assistant GM Brandon Taubman for inappropriate remarks he made toward a female reporter during the 2019 playoffs.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale agrees that the Astros cheated and it was wrong, but that it may have been blown a little out of proportion.
The Dodgers have no immediate plans to reopen their spring training facility in Arizona.
Braves starter Félix Hernández said he wants to reach 200 wins and 3,000 strikeouts and then retire.
This is right up there with Trump vs. Biden in the finger-pointing Olympics. Can someone please explain to me what “the tense grows tender” means? I’ll sit down and wait for my answer.
https://t.co/noVDbbKSEQ Updating with MLB now countering the union statement. The tense grows tender.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) May 19, 2020
They Said It
- “Once we get that accomplished, we have another challenge. That challenge is how we work with the economics or the finances of bringing players back to the ballpark. Not unlike cruise lines or airlines or hotels, this has been a total shutdown of Major League Baseball. Unlike the NBA or NHL — where they had about 80 percent of their season played — of course we had none of our season played. We have to take a look at how the economics is going to affect the rest of the season. If we are looking at games with no fans — as being discussed — then we do have a real challenge.” – Tom Ricketts
Wednesday Walk Up Song
I’ll Remember by Madonna. Can we please just shitcan the season and remember baseball’s happier times?