Doing its best imitation of the CDC, conflicting reports came out yesterday regarding fall baseball from Baseball America.
In what appears to be the first story, BA reports that a fall instructional league will begin on Oct. 5. Curiously, the article lists Washington and a handful of other teams that train in Florida, leading to the inference that there may be a similar announcement forthcoming regarding instructs, presuming south Florida will survive a prolific hurricane season.
A second story confirms what Lee told me months ago: There will be no Arizona Fall League in 2020, “citing an abundance of caution in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.” (Quotes because that’s in the BA article, though I suspect it may been taken from an interview.)
While it is implied that timing is a factor – the AFL was scheduled to start this Thursday – there is no explanation as to why the AFL has been canceled while the instructs have not.
The first story also says “the AFL’s traditional facilities—Salt River Fields, Scottsdale Stadium, Surprise Stadium, Peoria Sports Complex, Sloan Park and Camelback Ranch—were well-suited to deal with 40-plus players as well as coaches and other staff members while still maintaining proper physical distancing.”
This begs some questions:
- Where will the instrux be played if not the aforementioned facilities?
- Why will it be safer to play the instrux there?
- What effect will the eleven (11) days’ difference have on safety?
- Do the differing quarters affect how MLB can write off its paper losses?
The last question refers to the tidbit that the particpating minor-leaguers will be paid at the rate for the level that they would have been assigned to in 2020. In other words, another month’s pay. There are no details regarding where, whether, and/or how the players will housed or fed.
While I know many of you are hungry for news on our guys, I think we can expect the same amount of information that we’ve been getting from the Alternative Training Sites.
Speaking of which…
I was in Fredericksburg last week and did a driveby of the new stadium. It looks great though I’m concerned about the parking. I suspect there will be tiers with the season-ticket holders and VIPs allowed to park in the lot closest to the gate while the hoi polloi (i.e. most of us) will be made to park (and probably charged to do so) up the hill by the Expo Center. I’m curious to see what measures they will take to prevent people from walking in from elsewhere.
Until next time…