Frozen Sports World

The Coronavirus has…or seems to have…frozen many areas of our life. The Sports world is no exception as games @ all levels—amateur, collegiate, professional—have all been cancelled.
….MLB Baseball has been postponed for several weeks. This work stoppage seemed rare to me but….looking back….we’ve had our share of stoppages in professional sports. This will be the 9th work stoppage for the MLB. The 1972 strike, 73 lockout, 76 lockout, 1980 strike, 1981 strike, 1985 strike,1990 lockout, 1994 strike. Of course, the strike is done by the players and the lockouts by the owners. Free Agency was a center piece of many of these stoppages. The NFL has seen 5 stoppages (4 strikes, 1 lockout), the NBA & the NHL have experienced 3 stoppages each. Soooooo….19 professional work stoppages since 1972—48 years. The last major professional lockout of 1998 in the NBA seems to have left a long…if not lasting….negative impact on attendance & interest. All the pro leagues became acutely aware of that situation and have worked hard to escape stoppages since then. We fans should be more accustom to them but…speaking just for myself… I really only remember 2 or 3 being significant to me(it messed up my good fantasy teams ). Now, this stoppage isn’t any disagreement between players & management over money (through free agency) so it will be viewed totally different by the fans. But…while loyal fans will be anxious to return….many, many fans may find other interests to grab their attention and slip away from one…or all…of the professional sports.
…In this frozen time…..
….maybe this frozen time with a shortened “training” session for the MLB will be a catalyst for shortening spring trainings of the future.
…maybe this frozen time will provide managers with scheming for their required 3 batter relief hurlers. I suspect that there will be a steep increase of intentional walks so a Relief Pitcher can bypass a batter from the opposite side…or even be brought into the game with 3 balls on a batter…throw ball 4 and be credited with 1 of the 3 required batters.
…maybe we fans…in this frozen time… will find a bit of sympathy for the thousands of Senior collegiate & High School spring athletes who lost their final opportunity to compete…really compete…. against other strong talent after working all fall/winter to prepare for the spring season.
…this frozen time impacts all NCAA-F spring practices but it REALLY hurts 1st years coach….like Coach Drink @ MU..to install their new off & def “stuff”
….this frozen time will probably take away our enjoyment of the whispering announcing of Jim Nance & the unbelievable golf @ Augusta National in the Masters Tournament.
…will this frozen time lead to more muscular strains/pulls by players after this long layoff
….how will this “frozen time” impact the service time of non-arbitration players? Now there are 187 days in the regular MLB season and each day spent on the active roster or injured list earns a player one day of service time. A player is deemed to have reached “one year” of Major League service upon accruing 172 days in a given year. Upon reaching six years of Major League service, a player becomes eligible for free agency. Changes of reaching 172 days in this abbreviated season will be extremely slim…unless a player begins the season on the MLB roster & remains on roster for the entire year. It won’t take many “minor league” days to keep the 1st year player under 172 days this season.
…were the baseballs “frozen” in the post season? After a 2019 season that saw 6776 HR, 1.39 HR/game(11% more than previous record), 15 teams established HR records for their franchise. 58 players hit 30+ HR in 2019!! From July 15 through Aug 20, EVERY day had at least one player with a multi-HR game! Even two Triple-A leagues used the MLB ball this and BOTH saw their HR rates shoot upwards dramatically by nearly 60%!. But..then in the playoffs….with supposedly the same type of baseballs–it wasn’t the same. In the 9th of Game 5 of the NLDS, the score was tied after the Washington Nats had scored 2 runs off of LA’s Kershaw. In the next half inning, when Will Smith of the Dodgers blasted a 103mph fastball with the right trajectory, some Dodgers got to the top step… waiting to sprint onto the field & celebrate the winning hit…but…much to their surprise it “died” and was tracked down & caught on the track. Half inning later, Howie Kendrick blasted a grand slam(barely FAIR and barely over the wall) to send the Nationals on the road to their World Series Championship. Several Dodgers & Nats were shocked that Smith’s ball “died” on the way to RF. Apparently, other similar balls didn’t clear the fence in the post-season. It seemed to several of the participants that the baseballs were a bit different than the baseball used in the regular season. No one knows how the baseballs…at least some of them…were not carrying. Was it the colder temps or a Frozen Ball? 
….some teams seem to be always frozen…almost permanently… they annually land in the bottom echelons of their division…it always seems to be the same ol’ teams. Well….maybe the “frozen” shell will be broken this year by a couple of them….the San Diego last enjoyed a +.500 season in 2010. Last year Manny Machado & Fernando Tatis Jr arrived. Tatis was VERY exciting…Machado is one of the many big swing stikeout/HR batters in the league. The Padres acquired Tommy Pham (a high OB%, emotional) player. SD is expecting Jurickson Profar, now 27, to finally tap into his highly touted potential. He is expected to elevate the defense of SD which was 13th of 15 NL teams.
….the Chicago White Sox haven’t finished above .500 since 2012 and haven’t tasted the post-season waters since 2008 when they fell to Tampa Bay. The excitement this year has come from all of the young…tested & untested players…who’ve been assembled patiently over the past couple seasons. Sluggers Jose Abreu & Eloy Jimenez each passed the 30 HR plateau in 2019. SS Tim Anderson hit .330+ last year. Highly touted Yoan Moncado who hit .315, 25 HR & a .915 OPS returns. Joining this crew is minor league player of the year– Luis Robert. Signing one of the best hitting catchers, Yasmani Grandal, followed by acquiring two lefty’s—Dallas Keuchel & Gio Gonzalez to supplement the starters. They should provide some experience for this youthful team. With all that new, young talent, I think that there actually may be more interest in the White Sox than the Cubs in Chicago in 2020.
My time is frozen now..until next week! But….your responses don’t have to be frozen…send in any of your thoughts via email, FB or Prepcasts…thx 

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