Remember that time, like, less than two years ago when Major League Baseball shut down mid-pandemic? Remember how ugly it was when the two sides of that realm - the owners and the players - went toe to toe in public to try to figure out just how they were going to structure a season at all?
I ‘member. It set the stage for these Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, negotiations that have basically failed to ‘negotiate’ in any form or fashion since the lockout began nearly three full months ago. The owners have dug in their heels and refused to budge on any new proposals despite revenues having skyrocketed since these two sides last came to an accord, and the players rightfully feel like they’re providing both the risk and the product for a booming business and reaping fewer and fewer rewards.
So, there is no baseball for the time being, with Cactus and Grapefruit League play having been officially canned until at least March 5th (and it will be much later than that). Until then, we get to dislike the entirety of MLB ownership collectively up until they decide to yield some of their gargantuan profits to the players again, at which point we can go back to disliking the Reds individual owners for opting against using any of their gargantuan profits to invest in a winning baseball team.
To the news...
MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon is in Goodyear, Arizona at Reds camp, documenting those players who are actually are allowed keys to the Reds complex. Position players not on the team’s 40-man roster reported today, and he’s got some media of it via Instagram.
Sheldon previously caught up with a pair of formerly solid prospects within the Reds system who have fallen by the wayside in recent years. Nick Howard, former 1st round pick of the Reds, bounced completely out of baseball and then back into it with the Reds before heading to the Kansas City system, but is now back on Cincinnati’s farm and eager to crack the big leagues after a long, long, long journey. In a somewhat similar vein, Joel Kuhnel cracked the bigs with the Reds before injury, the pandemic, and underperformance saw him bounced off the team’s 40-man roster - hence why he’s allowed in camp at the moment, where he’s healthy and eager to regain a spot in the Reds bullpen.
Over at The Athletic, C. Trent Rosecrans looked at the position players in camp at the moment who have the biggest chance to make an impression with their higher-profile peers still locked out. (My impression: the Reds need to sign, like, four outfielders in a hurry.)
At FanGaphs, Dan Szymborski speculated on some potential landing spots for the biggest-name free agents once the lockout inevitably ends. It’s surely to be of interest to fans of the Reds baseball team of Cincinnati, Ohio, which is close to Middletown.
Over at MLB Trade Rumors, Tim Dierkes looked closer at one particular aspect of the lumbering CBA dilemma - the impact of increasing the amount of players who would qualify as ‘Super Twos.’ It’s a pretty fascinating concept, really, one that would change the makeup of MLB rosters as teams feverishly tried to find new was to manipulate service time and save a buck, and Dierkes notes that while it could front-load more money to players than in the game today, it could also see them non-tendered at a higher rate, too. It’s surely also to be of interest to fans of the 2022 version of the Reds baseball team of Cincinnati, Ohio, which is close to Middletown, as they have so many players directly impacted by said proposal this calendar year.
Here’s a dog swinging on a swingset.
Here’s Joey Votto socking the stuffing out of a baseball.
Here’s a thing I wrote that has nothing to do with baseball, but that I enjoyed - both doing and writing about - wholeheartedly.
Finally, here’s Lee Elia’s famous rant about Cubs fans. Maybe put your earbuds in before clicking this.