In a move that surprised exactly nobody, Major League Baseball has announced that there will be no spring training until at least March fifth.
Not that MLB announced it on Twitter, because it knew it couldn’t top this:
We appreciate you repping for us Pirates fans, Parrot.
The postponement (and possible cancellation) of spring training is the path of least resistance. Yes, it’s a blow to players on the brink who might have made an impression and moved up a level, even into the Show itself, but the money involved is negligible. Thursday’s news that both sides met for a whopping fifteen minutes before saying “nope” made many people, including me, happy that they rethought that spring training trip. In my case, the trip would have been wiped out anyway due to my husband’s shoulder surgery, but still.
The sides did agree on two matters. First, DHs are coming full-time to the National League. As someone who grew up following the American League, I’m not too broken up about this, although the purists are all like NOOOOOOOO. Hitting puts butts in seats and DHingprolongs careers (Nathan Hurst wrote about it), so it’s a win/win for everyone.
The second, however, makes me, if not cringe, hide an eye roll—the announcement of a draft lottery to deter tanking. The draft is already a lottery. Call me naive if you must, but the idea of a major league baseball team deliberately losing games to get the chance to sign someone who might have a successful career is ludicrous to me. At the same time though, a draft lottery has worked well for the National Hockey League, as anyone in Pittsburgh seen sporting a Sidney Crosby jersey will tell you. The tanking deterrent thing didn’t need to be added, but that’s just me.
MLB commission Rob Manfred has said repeatedly and publicly that the start of the MLB season on March 31 is not in danger. I don’t think I was the only one who thought of this when he said that:
ETA: I’ve updated to show the postponement, but I don’t think total cancellation is off the table yet. Sorry for the misunderstanding.