Monday’s rendition of a return proposal was a little different—but it may bring about the same old frustrations.
The latest MLB proposal: 76 games, players paid up to 75 percent of a full prorated salary, and a guaranteed 50 percent for playing the full regular season. “When you boil it down, there’s not a lot of budging on either side.”
For what it’s worth, Monday’s details are a little different than previous specifics. It may be shortsighted optimism, but perhaps we’ll eventually hit a harmonious balance between both sides at this current pace.
Players have also expressed a desire for full prorated salaries, which Monday’s proposal does not feature. This could be an area where the players’ union won’t budge; the players already agreed to prorate salaries back in March.
One high-ranking official today said, in no uncertain terms: “There will be baseball.” The question is: Will it be with the sides agreeing to a deal or with the league implementing a 48-game schedule, no expanded playoffs and almost certainly a grievance filed by the union?— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 8, 2020
One year ago today, Colorado was already 63 games into the 2019 regular season. A 48-game schedule in 2020 would be far from normal—but from a fan perspective, far more ideal than no games at all.
Mark Kiszla: “Seldom, if ever, has the game seemed so out of touch with America. (Whew. Got that off my chest. I feel better now. Thanks.)”
The Denver Post released this article Monday in the form of a conversation between writers Mark Kiszla and Patrick Saunders. They address the “money fight” that could kill the season, the varying degrees of proposals by owners and players, and how Rockies figureheads see the current issue.
“The bickering sides in this MLB dispute are in a tougher financial spot than their brethren in basketball, hockey or football, because so many games have been lost,” says Kiszla. “Baseball is not charity work, and 2020 is doomed to cost everyone in MLB money with every game played at empty ballparks.” Saunders highlights how teams would “combine to lose $640,000” for every game in 2020 with an attendance of zero.
Saunders: “If this was only about money, I might have some faith in the game’s return. But this is also about power and that’s a tougher thing to bargain.”
The article goes on to address the desire to play for both third baseman Nolan Arenado and Rockies team owner Dick Monfort. Saunders mentions how Arenado “believes he owes it to his fellow players to walk in step with the union.” Saunders also doesn’t believe Monfort is one of the few owners that want the 2020 season canceled.
The top Rockies relievers of all time according to Thomas Harding: Brian Fuentes, Rafael Betancourt, Adam Ottavino, Huston Street and Steve Reed.
Fuentes, the current California almond farmer, takes Harding’s top spot. Fuentes was a three-time All-Star with Colorado, and his 115 career saves with the Rockies earns him the franchise lead. Street’s 84 ranks him third; Betancourt’s 58 ranks him fifth.
Ottavino only collected 17 saves in seven years in Colorado. His 3.41 career Rockies ERA bests Betancourt’s 3.53, and is just slightly above Fuentes’ 3.38. Ottavino also held a 1.90 ERA for the Yankees in 2019, his career best (excluding a 10 1⁄3 inning, Tommy John-shortened 2015).
Steve Reed threw 499 innings for the Rockies in seven years. Fuentes threw 410 1⁄3 in his Rockies tenure; Ottavino pitched 390 2⁄3, Betancourt pitched 275 2⁄3, and Street pitched 167 1⁄3.
If the Rockies elect to draft a catcher, a switch-hitting candidate may be available with rich baseball bloodlines and a Colorado upbringing: Arkansas’ Casey Opitz, formally of Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado.
Opitz reportedly gained 25 pounds last offseason. He was hitting .302/.361/.509 at Arkansas up until the NCAA season was canceled. “[His brother] Jake said he’s “heard a lot of interest” from various teams in Casey, although nothing on the Rockies’ front.” Colorado may pursue a catcher in the draft as some have suggested—and if Opitz is available, there already appears to be vast connections.
He still holds draft leverage for 2021, however, as he can return to Arkansas next year as a ‘corona junior’. Opitz turned down a 27th-round pick by Cleveland out of high school, opting for a collegiate career in the SEC instead.
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Just in case you're in the Denver area and in need of some new Rockies gear—the Rockies Dugout Stores are back in business starting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
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