Just two days left before pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.
“Last year was a reflection of what kind of leader I was,” he [Lovullo] said, “and I don’t want that to happen this year”, as quoted by Nick Piecoro.
A must read for every fan that digs the self flagellation of Torey Lovullo.
Pick your favourite non-roster player!
Here are the Diamondbacks’ non-roster players invited to camp. pic.twitter.com/wp1r5OGvQg
— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) February 11, 2021
So pitchers and catchers will report on the 17th, the first squad practice will be on the 22nd and after that the games start on the 27th. Are you excited as I am? Check out the entire schedule then!
Around The MLB
Bernie Sanders is always angry. Now he is not pleased with his Vermont Lake Monsters being officially forced out of the minors. Less baseball is always bad, so he has a point there, of course.
“It’ll be nice to get back into a good organization that values that [analytics], so we can get back on track”, says Matt Andriese.
Zack Godley thought the same thing.
Across The Pacific
In all honesty, it was hard to get a grip on the 20/21 Australian baseball season. The ABL had to juggle with the schedule because of all COVID-restrictions and two teams deciding to pull out before the season started. So we had teams that started playing in December and other teams that did not play their first game until deep in January.
In the end 4 of 5 teams qualified for the play-offs, with the Sydney Blue Sox securing a spot with just 5 wins in 13 games. Best of all were the Melbourne Aces who won 19 of 28, well in front of Perth Heat and Adelaide Giants, who were able to play 22 games.
And although this year’s playoffs were “proudly supported by the Victorian Government”, where the play-off bubble took place (Melbourne), it was that very same government that forced ABL to shorten the baseball playoffs all of a sudden after new lockdown measures.
So, to wrap this up, some kind of a semi-final game became the Championship game, and the Melbourne Aces won that one. But they were arguably the best team anyhow, so it is all fine.
According to NPB, a total of 50 foreign players, like Justin Smoak and Eric Thames, and staffers have yet to join the spring training camps because of the tightened travel restrictions and immigration control due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It is difficult to grant special treatment to athletes under the state of emergency,” said NPB Commissioner Saito.
A Japanese girl’s baseball team from the former high school of Masahiro Tanaka loves the game so much that a field covered with snow would not stop a recent training session in Hokkaido.
Around The World
I did not pay much attention to this item when it was published in January. But this urban variant of baseball has proven to be pretty low-entry and has therefore gained some traction in “tropical baseball countries” like Iran, Tanzania, Egypt, Kenia, Benin, Argentina… Baseball5 might become one of the better ways to make baseball and softball popular around the world and that this sport is included by the IOC in its (youth) programme is proof that the WBSC is at least heading into the right direction.