Mike Sweeney is a huggy guy

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki has a story up today about how Mike Sweeney likes to give his teammates hugs.  Click through for the video loop of Sweeney giving Jimmy Rollins a bear hug. Note how Rollins does the back-pat thing, which is the universal “this hug is totally a bro-thing; nothing weird about it” gesture. Sweeney isn’t having it, though, and goes in for the full body-to-body hug. Good for him for his commitment!  Sweeney on the hugs:

“I grew up in a family with eight kids, so there was a lot of hugging
going on. I love my teammates, so when we do something good
that’s just how I’m wired. I want to share that love with my teammates.”

No word if Sweeney’s family challenged each other to fights and attempted to blackball one another when they did something bad, but it’s a logical inference to make.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.