Finding Positives Without Baseball

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Hello, TBPC universe. It’s been awhile since we’ve talked, Dodgers Baseball or otherwise. As we all know, nothing is the same, and nothing will ever be the same again, I’m afraid.

There is a lot of current banter amongst talking heads and people looking for a story that baseball could return, but not in the form that we are used to. The current front-runner is that every team be sequestered in Arizona, and all the games would be played in and around the Phoenix area for the whole season. No fans would be allowed to attend, keeping the possibility of spreading the Covid-19 disease at a minimum. Another is that games are played, starting later in the summer, and still without the fans in the stadiums, and the season running into November or later.

But also, there is a very good possibility that we may never see any baseball this season. There’s a lot of sad ramifications to that thought. Mookie Betts will never play a meaningful game for the Dodgers, unless the Dodgers convince him to sign with them long term. Justin Turner will be at the end of his contract. Is that someone the Dodgers also re-sign? (I believe they will—JT is so ingrained in the team and the community now, I just have a feeling they bring him back.)

But there will be plenty time to discuss those sobering thoughts, and there’s enough bad news in the world right now that we can leave those for later. Let’s focus on what might be some positives from a year long hiatus from baseball.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been thinking about this column for a week, and I can really only come up with one positive, that being that much less wear and tear on the athletes’ bodies, especially the pitchers. No pitcher has had a whole year off from throwing in stressful situations, except those who have had surgery and spent that time rehabbing. A lot of pitchers come back stronger after their surgeries, but then again, there’s never been anything like this. A whole year with out meaningful pitches, but also without underlying injuries or rehab that they’ve had to deal with. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the athletes.

I’m hoping that it could prolong some careers, specifically that of Clayton Kershaw. Having been in the playoffs every season since 2013 puts extra wear and tear on a precious arm. Clayton is now on the decline of his career, even though his decline is better than some people’s careers. A year of rest for the arm hopefully will allow him to go a little further into to his career. Of course, it goes that this will be the case for every major league player. But one would figure that it would help the athletes of certain ages, more than those young whippersnappers. It will be interesting to see what happens to these athletes at large a while going forward, having their bodies getting so much rest between seasons.

One other small, fun positive is all the athletes who are taking to social media in new or different ways, allowing them fans to maybe see sides of them they haven’t before. Kershaw and his family were featured on the Dodgers social media spectrum showing what a day in the life of the young Kershaw family is like. Other players will be featured as well. Ross Stripling, who already had a podcast, has been more prolific in his episodes with his buddy Cooper Surles.

Most recently, just as of Thursday, Orel Hershiser and Joe Davis have started a podcast of their own. If you enjoy the banter of Joe and Orel during a game, you’ll love this podcast. They will have manager Dave Roberts on weekly to talk baseball and other things.

One thing Roberts mentioned on the initial episode is that baseball could be one the first sports back, due to the fact that it is the least contact sport of the Big 4. There’s no body-to-body defense, and the closest players get to each other is maybe a slide, a man on first, or the batter and catcher. Things like high fives and bro hugs might have to be put on hold for awhile, but if the players union were to agree to it, it could be done.

There might not be a new normal for anyone, but sports will return someday. It will never be as soon as we like. Until then stay home, and stay safe everyone!

60 thoughts on “Finding Positives Without Baseball

  1. I think the catcher’s and first baseman’s union will need to lobby for extra pay since they’ll be exposed more than any other position, especially the catchers. Maybe they should have the catcher position himself six feet behind the batter. And then you have the umpires, especially the guy working the plate. The logistics involved in putting together a late-start season in Arizona will be incredible and I’m not sure it makes a whole lot of sense, as much as I miss seeing games right now.
    NASCAR has come up with an e-game version which some of the drivers are participating in. It’s being shown on one of the Fox stations and they’re getting big viewership. Maybe the answer is to have major leaguers compete this year on some version of e-game baseball with all games shown on tv.
    I’ve always tried to remember not to take anything in life for granted. This pandemic is teaching us a real lesson in that regard.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If baseball is played again this season in any form, I believe the fans will embrace it. Most are making up things to do at this point. We all are strained to the limits to try and find activities to keep busy. I spend a lot of time alone as it is, so this has not been terribly hard on me. I am more concerned with keeping people from getting sick. What is happening is that baseball blogs and websites are trying to find things to write about. Pickings are slim at this point, so you need to talk about Dodger history and things like that to keep it going. One site that I visit now and then announced this morning that it is shutting down. LADodgertalk is closing shop, The site’s owner, Mark Timmons has said the pressure to keep the site up, and run his business with this pandemic going on is just too much. I did invite some of the people who post there to come check out thinkbluepc. I hope you do not mind. Some are pretty knowledgeable fans.

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    1. Without games to discuss what do you talk about? Rehashing baseball history and posting music videos doesn’t really hold one’s attention for long. Topical conversation is about the virus and you can’t talk virus without the policy of dealing with it leaking in. Policy is politics. If you are on the side of the current administration, as some were on Dodgertalk, and can’t take the searing heat of criticism, it’s tough to keep the door open. If there is no baseball and you aren’t allowed to talk about the pandemic the conversation will slow to a stop.

      Mark could have left the site to other capable writers there. I think there’s still a chance he might. But he banned several people from posting there. He banned me 3 different times over the years for presenting strong arguments to his position on certain topics. I think maybe he’s tired of the fight. Can’t say I blame him. I am too. Trying to open minds that are cemented shut can be exhausting.

      To the topic of the day here. All players will be a year older. They will get paid for doing nothing. Will they come back in peak condition? Some might. Most wont. It’s been a hard year so far. It’s going to continue to be gruesome for months. Not exactly conditions for conditioning now is it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Scoop, do you think that if they have no season, now a possibility, that LA would re-sign Turner for a year? I know they would not pay him the 20 mil he is getting now.

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      1. I know your secret identity! Welcome. I think you will enjoy the company here….The guy named Scoop is a frequent commenter. He is also someone you know.

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  3. DodgersNation.com is showing simulated games per the 2020 season. Player movements and characterizations are quite amazing. I have watched several games. I get notified each day on my Facebook page. Interesting and fun, but of course not a real substitute for the real thing.

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    1. I’ve tried to give you an answer twice now Andy but it’s not showing up here. Suggest you visit the site Bear mentioned above. There will be lots of readers over there with no place to go and there are four contributors of regular articles over there who do good stuff and might make good additions over here for you and Dennis. Anyway, just a thought that might expand the community over here.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I concur with Jefe Andy. There are a couple of guys, 2D2 and Dodger Chatter who have written on LA Dodger Report who would be excellent additions to our community. I have posted a welcome to come to this site over there. And one of the people who posts there is now here, Beezer….I think you could have some nice contributions to this site from these guys.

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      1. Yes, he did, and I hope he does so again. He has some good knowledge and some interesting takes. I’ve encouraged him to contact Dennis and see about doing some articles here.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just saw that MLB is now considering using both Arizona and Florida for a reduced schedule season and instead of the normal alignment there would be three 5-team divisions in each state, but based on where the teams train, not which league they normally belong to. Hey, I’m up for anything if they can figure out a way to play ball.

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      1. It would give them a chance to try all kinds of stuff: DH for both leagues, electronic umps, realignment based on geography, new formula for extra inning games, etc. Probably won’t happen, but it’s fun to think about, while I’m watching the rain fall here in the valley.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dodgers would be in a division featuring the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Giants and A’s. And the schedule would feature teams only playing in AZ. Different and would be something new. No All Star game thought. Not sure how they would work out a World Series, but it would not be like anything we have seen before.

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  5. Jeff, take a good look at Beezer’s pic. He is a friend from the other site….lives across the pond if I remember right…

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    1. Kershaw? I didn’t know he lived across the pond. Must be a long commute to pitch over here every 5 days.
      All kidding aside, I don’t recognize the other person in the photo. Is it Watford?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Jeff & thanks for the welcome.

        In my haste to sign up earlier I somehow managed to mix up my Username and my Email, resulting in a different name to the one I would choose ie Watford.
        If I could change it then great, but no sweat if not.

        Looking forward to exchanging Dodger stuff with you all, and thanks Michael & Scoop.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I wasn’t on Mark’s site as long as Bear and Badger so could you fill me in? Are you an American living in England or an Englishman who happens to be a Dodger fan? I assume you live or lived in or near Watford and hence the name Watford Dodger?

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  6. I was off on who I said would be in the Dodgers division in the new plan being floated. Right about the Angels, wrong about everyone else. White Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Reds and Indians would be in the Dodgers division. Only real threat I see there is the Indians.

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    1. Probably done based on distance to the various parks in Phoenix. White Sox share the park. I know Indians/Reds is close. Can’t remember exactly where the Angels are in relation to Camelback but I’m betting it isn’t far.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually the Angel training facility is in Mesa. It is about 10 miles or so down the I-10 from Camelback. Seattle’s training facility and the Brewers camp in Marysville are closer.

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  7. Indians and Reds train in Goodyear, other side of I-10, Rangers and Royals in Surprise, which is also close as is the Mariners, Padres facility which is right off the 101 loop.

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    1. Not that far between all of the Cactus League parks. I think I have been to all of them.
      I wonder how the players would like playing their in the heat of the summer. I have usually been out there in February- March when it’s pleasant. Maybe the summer temps after dark are OK?
      BTW, Bear, I love your picture of Duke Snider, my first favorite Dodger when I was a kid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the map Gary. Nine teams west of the 17 and six are east so one team has to migrate. I guess maybe they wanted the Angels and Dodgers to play in the same division. I’m assuming that the Royals, Rangers Pads, Mariners and Brewers are also in one division. The teams are much closer in AZ than they are in FL but at the right (wrong) time of day it can still take forever to get from one side of town to the other. Still better than flying across country.

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      2. I lived there for 12 years Gary. 5 teams in close proximity would have been the Dodgers, Sox, Indians Reds and Brewers. If you look at the locations on the map, Angels would have fit in with the Giants, A’s, Cubs and either the D-Backs or Rockies. In the summer, and I mean from late June through late August, it can be close to 85 some nights. They would definitely sweat that is for sure. The picture of the Duke is from his 1957 Topps card, which I have by the way. He has always been my favorite Dodger. Still the franchise leader in HR’s after all these years. As a matter of fact, He and Hodges are the only 2 Dodgers to hit over 300 while in a Dodger uniform.

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      3. Geographical, it would make the most sense to put the Padres and Mariners with Dodgers, leave Angels with Eastern teams, and put Brewers their too, sine they are kind of midway between the eastern and western groups.
        Yea, that 57 Topps Duke card is a great one.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have some pretty cool Duke Snider cards. One of my newer ones is a 1959 style card that shows him as a Brooklyn Dodger. Got a real good looking 1958 style card too.

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      5. I haven’t looked at my cards in so long, I don’t remember what I have. I know one of my favs is my 1959 Koufax. When I was in college I sold all my cards For a pittance to two of my cousins from Boston. My Uncle later left his job as a corporate accountant to go into the Collectibles business. At one point he was the President of The National Association of Baseball Card Dealers (or something along that line). He passed a couple of years ago, but the sons still sell on EBAY (Hall’s Nostalgia). When my son was born in 1985, I started buying for him and then me and then by the case and then trying to do card shows on weekends. I literally have a hundred thousand cards in my basement. A small number are worthy. Just yesterday, my wife suggested I now have the time to do something about getting rid of them..Haha, not easy. I cannot just dump them!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. My foster father made me throw all of mine away in 1965. And believe me, I had some real valuable cards. Mantle, Mays, Williams, I had 6 Rose rookie cards. Those go at close to 1000 apiece now. And I had a 1952 Topps Mantle rookie a friend of mine gave me when he quit collecting. I probably threw a lot of money away. I kept my Dodger cards and gave them to a friends kid. He still has them, and they are worth something, Campy, Snider, Koufax, Jackie. I have the entire 59 set of Dodgers. The Koufax cost the most to get, it was 25.00. In good condition, not mint. I like collecting the Topps Heritage cards now. Seeing Kemp on a 59, or a 1954 Topps was pretty cool;.

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  8. If baseball can figure this out, it would be a ratings boon, and could be a way for mlb to get the younger viewers, that they’ve been trying to get so badly.

    Downside would be, if baseball is using tests, when some areas can’t get enough of them. That could be a real black eye.

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  9. Thanks for asking our opinions Andy, not sure if I can think of anything specific you guys can do, except try to keep things as positive as we can. Stay away from the dark side, we all get to much of that on TV. As it is

    Thanks, Andy, and Dennis for your efforts, on this site, during this crisis. It’s comforting to come here to read what you two, and all my friends here, ( I do consider you guys as friends ) have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you to all on the Dodgertalk site who recommended this site,looks like some knowledgeable Dodger fans here, I do hope many of the others on the other site find this site as many of them were so knowledgeable.AC,DC, and 2D2 kept me coming back everyday with their great posts, can’t say I will not miss Mark and his constant belittling people who had different views from his.
    I post what I believe and look forward to being a part of this site.

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    1. Welcome b1439. Always happy to see new people here. You’ll find that Dennis and Andy are much more low key than Mark, although if you get downright rude Andy might take the hammer to you. 🙂
      It would be great if we could get a bunch of the regulars over there to try things over here. Notice how I’m speaking for Andy and Dennis. They give us pretty free rein over here and I, for one, tend to act as though this is my blog. For that, I apologize. I just feel very much at home here.

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      1. We love that you feel like you’re a big part of it, Jeff! Without you guys reading we wouldn’t be here. Pretty good at free discussion here, except if you’re being an outright ass to another commenter. Otherwise, discuss away! Welcome to all the newcomers, were very happy to have you

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for putting up with me Andy. Like I said, I feel very much at home here and that’s because of the atmosphere that you and Dennis have created.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Oh yeah? (That’s about the best I could come up with).
        My son is spending some time with a good friend in Montrose (CO.). I know that’s not exactly next door to you but I think I’m going to have him drive over and yell insults at you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. As they used to say on The Price is Right, Come on down! LOL. Montrose is up 50 a little over 2 1/2 hours from here. 2 lane hwy all the way. Don’t send a rookie to do a mans job! LOL>.

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  11. I just watched a 90 minute video put out by UCSDtv that was incredibly informative. 4 PhDs talking about how viruses migrate, communicate, mitigate, permeate, sequentiate, metogenominate, menstruate and now I know what an Ro (R not) number is and why it’s important. This coronavirus has an Ro figure of 2.5, meaning 1 person can infect 2.5 and do so rather easily. The bottom line of that is we all have to stay at home for quite some time. These 4 professors said take cover and don’t pop up until June. And the idea that we will have a vaccine in a few weeks, as was suggested at the now unplugged LADT site is nonsense. It’s gonna be a year.

    As for baseball pulling this off in short order? I’ll just hide and watch. Arizona has been on a stay at home order since March 30, but it was rather loosely interpreted. The numbers there, as of this morning, are on the rise. If it were up to me I wouldn’t do much of anything until we have testing, and maybe the thousands needed to pull this thing off will have that, and I wouldn’t have any public gatherings until we get a vaccine. Patience people. We got a very late start on this thing so the finish line is further away than it should have been.

    If MLB can pull this off, I’m watching if they still offer it on directtv.

    When is Opening Day?

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    1. Last things first. Opening day is late March 2021……………………………………unless we’re in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic. This is the big opening that e-sports has been waiting for. If they get folks to really become involved, the major sports may never get some of their fans back. I think we’ll be seeing more major tv contracts for e-sports in short order. It’s going to be the only game in town, so to speak.
      You’re always a source of new info for me Scoop. I always knew that viruses could migrate but never knew they could menstruate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Manstrate this Jefe:

        These are the voices coming from the minds that we should listen to. Granted, they are about 3 advanced degrees over my head (Physical Education BA) but I understood enough to get the message: run and hide until the vaccine comes out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yikes! Hope to get to this sometime today. Always happy to scoop up extra knowledge (see what I did there?).
        I vividly remember thinking while posting here during the Winter Meetings that I was looking forward to a tutorial on a pandemic at this site sometime in April. Our world has certainly been turned upside down.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey Scoop, that truce with Mark didn’t go so well now did it? “Best and most thought out blog on the internet” were the words I believed you used. How long did it take him to block you? Three days? Lolz

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A couple weeks.

        What made that site work was not Timmons, and he would be the first to admit it. I don’t remember saying that, but I guess it’s possible. The posters made it interesting.

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  12. Joining in on the party, will be a regular reader. Happy to have a place to read and talk DODGER Baseball. Will miss LADT, but am looking forward to being a loyal TBPC reader.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Welcome to the new guys, but feel free to join the fun. Andy and Dennis are great hosts and most of the regulars here are solid Dodger fans. Dennis even let me write a story once. I feel like everyone here is a friend. And I believe this crisis has brought us together as fans even more. Colorado issued and extension on the stay home order today to April 26th. Since the building where I live is a secured building anyway, we do not have a lot of coming and going here. One of the towns closest to us had 3 confirmed deaths yesterday. Watch out for the Schlemmings…….LOL….pet name I have for Jefe, ( Jeff ) and some of the more vocal Friedman supporters. But all in all it is a great place to come and talk Dodger baseball. Watford came on the other day, and although you might not recognize the name, Scoop is Badger…..or Badger is Scoop, cannot remember who is who!

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  14. I was born in 1950, my brother in 1944. He gave me his cards, a couple of shoe boxes full, so I also had a bunch of good ones of major stars in the early to late 50s. I handled them a lot, constantly studies the stats, so I doubt any were mint, but still much more valuable then what I sold them for.

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  15. Already I feel comfortable seeing a few names or pictures that I recognize… I’m excited about some new thoughts on where were at with this Corona thing and how were coping… I dearly miss a good movie and dinner after with my wife…
    A shout out to Watford my Man from across the pond…
    Today’s Topic… I’m a one day at a time kinda and a season opener in AZ is a long shot for me… The added time off for players will be big…
    I guess that’s enough for now… Looking forward to becoming part of LA think Blue

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    1. Welcome peterj. Nice to see some folks have migrated over here already.
      Happy Easter and/or Happy Passover to all who celebrate those holidays. Our family celebrates both and any excuse to pull the family together is a good one. This year we’re waving at each other over the phone. It’s especially rough not seeing the grandkids but it’s a small price to pay for good health. I’m not very religious but I’m using today to remind myself of all that I have and how much less some others have and what they’re going through. Never take anything for granted in this life.

      Liked by 1 person

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