MLB

MLB Weekly Digest May 18th Edition: Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Blake Snell Makes Bold Comments

MLB

The last week in MLB was about a starting pitcher who made bold comments, the league submitted player-safety protocols to MLBPA, and a former All-Star passed away.

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Blake Snell Makes Comments Regarding Pay Cut

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell made some bold comments regarding a proposed pay cut a couple of days ago during a Twitch stream.

Snell said, “No, I’m not splitting no revenue.” He later added, “If I’m going to play, I should be getting money, I signed to be getting paid.”

Snell agreed to a five-year, $50-million contract extension with the Rays before the 2019 campaign.

He was set to make $7 million this season, but that probably will not happen.

The owners and MLBPA agreed to prorated salaries in March as the coronavirus pandemic has prevented the season from starting.

MLB has proposed sharing revenues 50-50 for the 2020 season, but that’s something the players association considers a bad idea.

Snell mentioned the risk is not worth it.

The risk is about playing baseball this year with the chance of getting the coronavirus and receiving a salary that is less than what he and Rays had agreed.

Snell clarified his comments this past Friday to Josh Tolentino of The Athletic.

Snell said, “I’m concerned just like everybody else about the virus, and I want to make sure me and my peers are taken care of.

We want to play under the circumstances that we agreed upon as a group. I will play if I get 50%, and we play 50% of the season.

But to accept making less than that and with more risks for our health, it’s not fair to the players.”

Some people will find his comments insensitive, as millions of Americans are unemployed.

Snell does come off as selfish when he first spoke, but his second comment showed he cares about the health of other players.

Snell was honest when he first spoke, and if you do not agree with his comments, you have to respect them.

They have validity, as players are taking on plenty of risks.

The pitcher has received support from other players, including Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Snell has received several texts from players who have thanked him for speaking up, per Tolentino.

It’s not surprising as some players probably agree with the comments made by Snell.

The left-hander is the first person to publicly voice his disapproval about the pay cuts owners want players to take.

MLB Submits Player-Safety Protocols to MLBPA

Major League Baseball submitted a 67-page document to the MLBPA on Saturday detailing player-safety protocols.

The document was about health and safety, and there was not any mention regarding how players would be financially compensated for the upcoming season.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic provided a breakdown of the proposed guidelines.

Testing

  • Regular testing for all players, managers, coaches, and umpires, plus a limited number of essential staff members who come into close proximity with players.
  • All players must undergo “intake screening” upon arriving at spring training. The screening will take place at multiple locations and at staggered times. It will consist of a temperature check and contactless thermometer and body fluid and blood samples.
  • Before entering a club facility, individuals will get temperatures checked and complete a short symptom and exposure questionnaire.
  • Each club must develop procedures for isolating, transporting, testing, and treating individuals who display potential symptoms.
  • Each individual will conduct daily home screenings that include a personal temperature check each morning. Clubs will provide thermometers.

Spring Training

  • Limited to 50 players per club.
  • Reporting dates staggered, with camp divided into three phases:

Individual and small group workouts consisting exclusively of pitchers and catchers. Divided into groups of five players or fewer and assigned different times and areas of the complex.

Larger groups permitted for workouts and intra-squad games. Still staggered times throughout the day.

Limited number of games.

  • To address heat concerns, spring-training games in Florida and Arizona would begin between 7 and 9 p.m. local time.

Facility Protocols

  • Communal water and sports drink coolers/jugs are prohibited. Only personal water or individually prepared sports drink bottles or contactless water dispensers with disposable cups should be used.
  • No spitting, using smokeless tobacco and sunflower seeds in restricted areas. Any physical interactions such as high-fives, fist bumps, and hugs must be avoided at club facilities.
  • Showering will be discouraged at club facilities.
  • Group dining is discouraged. Buffet and communal food spreads are prohibited. Meals must be distributed in individually packaged containers or bags, in takeout form.

On-field Operations

  • Rather than an exchange of lineup cards, lineups will be put into an application.
  • When the ball is out of play or in between pitches, fielders are encouraged to retreat several steps away from the baserunner.
  • Non-playing personnel must wear masks at all times in dugout.
  • Spitting is prohibited.

Another part of the proposal is fighting and instigating fights are strictly prohibited. Players must not make physical contact with others for any reason unless a normal and permissible part of game action. Violation of these rules will result in severe discipline, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Players must stand six feet apart during the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America,” and sit six feet apart in the dugout.

MLB plans to develop a COVID-19 education program that all team employees will need to complete before returning to work. Players and umpires will go through the program as well.

These are an extensive set of protocols, but they are needed to keep players safe.

Former All-Star, General Manager Bob Watson Dies at 74

Bob Watson, who was a two-time All-Star, passed away at the age of 74 several days ago, per an announcement from the Houston Astros.

Watson had a 19-year career and spent 14 seasons with the Astros.

He also played for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Atlanta Braves.

Watson has the first player to hit for the cycle in both the American League and National League, ESPN Stats & Info.

He became the first MLB African-American general manager to win a World Series when the Yankees won the World Series in 1996.

Watson was the Vice President for the on-field operations of MLB from 2002-2010 and played a significant role in USA Baseball achieving international success.

The passing of Watson is a significant loss for the baseball world.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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