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Negotiations tackle safety, testing, money; Will DH help Rockies?

Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, May 15, 2020

MLB’s COVID-19 plan involves multiple tests per week; positive result would not suspend play, report says | CBS Sports

As more parts of the plan are negotiated, safety protocols and precautions around players getting and spreading the virus, are a big piece to the puzzle. Citing a Wall Street Journal ($) article, this report centers on the safety part of the plan, which would include multiple tests per week for players and the results coming back within 24 hours. If a positive test came back, play won’t stop and that player wouldn’t be required to quarantine.

If this report is true, it just seems a little bit like a test-and-hope-everything-comes-back-negative plan. Maybe there is more to the plan that hasn’t been released, but I don’t think I would be too excited about this either if I was a player, coach, umpire, or anyone who might be working in and around games, or a family member of any of those people for that matter.

As Scott Oberg, the union representative for the Colorado Rockies said, the “number one issue is going to be health and safety.” Oberg is one of many players, like teammate David Dahl, who are at higher risk when it comes to contracting COVID-19 because he has auto-immune diseases and Dahl is missing a spleen.

The plan also addresses Sean Doolittle’s concerns about the MLB using a large amount of tests “ethically,” only if there is mass availability that does not take tests away from healthcare workers and others across the country, and Canada, who don’t need them more. This report says the MLB can get “tens of thousands of testing kits required for this plan without taking tests away from the frontline workers or hospitals.”

Testing capability seems to be increasing, but just how many tests can be produced and what kind of needs there will be throughout the country in July, August, and September is impossible to know right now, or even in June.

AP source: Players ask MLB for slew of financial documents | Associated Press

The negotiations are going to be intense. We know this. On Thursday, the players, by way of lawyers for the union, requested financial documents to get more in-depth about the status of Major League Baseball.

According to the deal between players and the MLB in March, players agreed to get paid 50 percent of their scheduled pay if they ended up playing an 81-game season.

Now they have to weigh taking a cut again and managing health risks if they want to play this year.

Many players are voicing their concerns from Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer’s worries about owners’ and MLB executives’ plans, marketing ideas, and financial control to Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell saying he will not risk his health for less money than the players already agreed to cut in March.

Rockies podcast: Bud Black on owners’ proposal for 2020, possibility of season without fans and whether Michael Jordan would’ve made the majors | Denver Post ($)

In the On The Rox podcast from the Denver Post, Kyle Newman talks to Bud Black from the manager’s home in San Diego. It was a fun conversation where Black gave his stamp of approval to the MLB proposal to play 82ish games, to have expanded rosters, and the 14-team playoff, which he thinks could definitely help small-market teams like the Rockies.

Then the conversation went to the DH, which is reportedly going to be universal if there is baseball in 2020. Black is not a fan of the DH in the NL because the roster isn’t constructed to have a DH. However, he acknowledges that all NL teams “will all be in the same boat” in that disadvantage, which will show itself more in interleague games.

Trying to look on the bright side, Black admitted that having versatility with many outfielders who can play all spots in the outfield and a guy like Garrett Hampson who can play outfield and play in second base and shortstop too, could be very helpful in being able to rotate players at DH and keep them in the field.

In non-baseball related topics, Black showed he’s just like us as he watched The Last Dance, he binged Ozark (and he said Nolan Arenado did too and they have been texting about it), and he has built up more than adequate Zoom skills.

Newman also asked how often Black wears his World Series rings (he has two: one from being a starting pitcher for the Royals in 1985 and one for being the pitching coach for the Angels in 2002). Black said he doesn’t bust out of the bling often, but he does put them on for special baseball or fundraising events. He also added that he places higher value on the Kansas City rig because “nothing beats being in the fire as a player.”

Colorado Rockies could benefit from the universal DH in 2020 | Rox Pile

Rox Pile’s Aaron Hunt is against the DH, but if it is going to happen in the 2020 season, then he can swallow it a little better since it could allow Charlie Blackmon to have more plate appearances and less defensive liability. He’s also excited about a young outfield that could be David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, and Sam Hilliard. I would add that the defensive liability could be rotated to first base as well, with Ryan McMahon moving over to first and giving more time at second to Brendan Rodgers and Garrett Hampson while Daniel Murphy takes turns at DH. I know purists are against the DH, but if the Sim Rockies are any indication, I am down for anything that will give the Rockies offense more pop.

Nats’ star Ryan Zimmerman’s AP diary: Bring the DH to the NL | Associated Press

If you are one of those people who is against the DH in the NL, check out Ryan Zimmerman’s argument in a column he wrote for the AP. He’s top reasons to support his claim are that this will help pitchers focus more on pitching and risk injury less, while also extending the careers of players like him who might not be able to play in the field every day like in their earlier days. His best point is much simpler: “No one comes to the field to watch pitchers bunt or hit.”