The Rundown: Wrigleyville Vigil Sets Bar, Owners Continue to Squeeze Players, Boras Steps Up, Nationals Reverse Course
I’m really at a loss for words this morning and I’m just not feeling like a daily baseball column is relevant considering the state of the nation. I did want to share this, however. There was a peaceful protest outside of Wrigley Field yesterday evening and it was as powerful as it was beautiful.
Moment of silence #chicagoprotest pic.twitter.com/Iv8mP4y9e4
— Stevie Castillo (@GoWithStevie) June 2, 2020
Yesterday I caught an earful (putting it mildly) in private messages from a social media follower who said that I “pretend my reach is much larger than it is” while she condemned me for not choosing a side in America’s ongoing divide. For the record, I do have a side, but this column is not a platform for my personal agenda. Still, you don’t have to dig very deeply to see which way I lean when it comes to matters of social and racial injustice.
I agree that my reach is small, and though I am not privy to Cubs Insider reader statistics, I imagine on a good day about 200 people stumble across The Rundown and on average days it is probably less than that. That number may seem insignificant to most but I would be just as proud of my efforts here whether my following was millions of readers or none. And I imagine if I did not provide some type of value to my employers here they would ask me to leave.
I have been pretty accessible across multiple platforms, but that may change if I feel cornered. I salute my peers who are more active when it comes to politics and current events and their collective desire to use their voices for change, no matter how large or small their outreach, is outstanding and commendable. I’m a pacifist — a goddamn hippie for crying out loud — and I’m proud of that. I believe that in the end, love is always the answer. Given the current state of my hometown and the rest of America, I sincerely hope that love drives the change this country so clearly needs.
I won’t fault you if you disagree with me. I ask, but I do not demand, a similar respect.
Find Your Inner Hero
I never thought Scott Boras would be leading this section but we are, indeed, living in strange times. I fully support players and their agents, though Boras is a sometimes exception. Not this time.
Scott Boras has committed to paying all his released minor leaguers their expected salaries for the year. Boras said their releases were “completely unanticipated” and he wanted to be sure they are paid what they expected to receive.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 2, 2020
MLB News & Notes
The league and players have now traded financial proposals, with each expressing little appetite for the opposing plan. As you might suspect, the sticking point remains the amount of money owners are willing to dole out in player salaries. Teams are willing to pay full prorated salaries, but they’d prefer a drastically shortened season.
MLB believes that the March 26 agreement empowers Rob Manfred to shorten the season as long as an agreement on economic structure exists and safety precautions are met. The union would likely counter that a reduction from MLB’s initial 82-game proposal is not good faith.
Options exist if both sides are willing to navigate toward a middle ground in their negotiations.
Nationals’ owners have changed course and will pay their minor league players their full weekly stipend.
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler is on a trajectory to become baseball’s best pitcher.
A blown call by Jim Joyce that deprived Armando Galarraga of a perfect game in 2010 still haunts the retired umpire, but he has come to terms with the significance of his error.
Some of the stranger MLB contractual perks include free charter flights for family members, tuition reimbursement, and free Jell-O. Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood has a bonus clause that could nearly double his $4 million salary depending how often he records at least 10 outs in a game.
Cubs News & Notes
- Jason Heyward continues to be a guiding veteran presence for the organization. He opened up about racial injustice on ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy Show yesterday.
- If an agreement between the owners and players allows a 2020 reboot, the Cubs’ preference would be to hold any preseason workouts at Wrigley Field. Beyond MLB’s approval, that would also require formal permission from both Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
- As one of the top five spenders in MLB, the Cubs would be one of the teams most affected by the aspect of a season that includes more games than less.
- If the Cubs and Sammy Sosa could somehow reach an agreement to end their strained relationship, the armistice could be mutually iconic and toxic, per Tim Huwe if SB Nation.
- I see nothing but positives in bringing Sosa back, and never tire of his on-field exploits.
Apropos of Nothing
Looters have been purposely avoiding Ikea stores. Word on the street is that nobody wants to steal something that is impossible to put together.
Odds & Sods
Derek Jeter was no Phil Nevin.
OTD in 1992 the Astros picked Phil Nevin over Derek Jeter with the top pick in the draft because they didn't want to spend a million bucks. That was stupid. #Yankees #MLB #Baseball #MLBAtHome pic.twitter.com/NP3KupnZmU
— Greatest Show on Dirt (@greatestondirt) June 2, 2020
Sliding Into Home
A number of random Cubs fans have found my Facebook profile somehow, which I tend to keep semi-private. It seems someone must have suggested me as a friend to their followers. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Not everybody agrees with the things I say and as I mentioned above, I do occasionally catch some flak, but my connections there, as opposed to Twitter, are mostly family members and close friends. I’ll see how it goes, I suppose. I am not a fan of social media but it is a necessary evil for this profession.
“Look for the helpers.” – Fred Rogers
Grateful Dead stand in solidarity with the black community. Get involved:
George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://t.co/CnJeCcHGn3
Justice for Armaud Armery: https://t.co/FF7z6Bi0ft
Justice for Breonna Taylor: https://t.co/ZASNxmc40Y
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://t.co/W7QL3rO4Ji pic.twitter.com/V2FfQCS3S4
— Grateful Dead (@GratefulDead) June 2, 2020
They Said It
- “It feels like a broken record and [one] where we’re watching a rerun. I feel like these things continue to happen over and over and over again and you have people continuously and helplessly trying to find a solution.” – Jason Heyward
Tuesday Walk Up Song
Throwing Stones by The Grateful Dead
“Commissars and pinstripe bosses roll the dice
Anyway they fall, guess who gets to pay the price?
Money green, or proletarian gray
Selling guns instead of food today
So the kids they dance and shake their bones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.”