It’s over for now: Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have reached the deadline with no deal

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The official deadline was to be 11AM, but Buster Olney just tweeted the following:

Pujols contract talks are over. Deadline will pass without a deal. Have not been proposals swapped in last 100 hours or so.

And it wouldn’t have been that big a deal if Pujols hadn’t gone and set a deadline.  Not that it necessarily matters to him or should — the guy should do what he wants to — but the frenzy that has been built up among the Cardinals fans and the media covering this deadline thing is a pretty artificial creation.

Pujols will show up in camp tomorrow. He’ll give a few no comments.  Then he’ll go out and start abusing baseballs.  Barring the absolutely ridiculous, he will be a St. Louis Cardinal all year.  When the year ends the press of a legitimate deadline — his free agency — will likely make more happen than anything that could have been expected in these past few weeks.

 

There will be a pitch clock for spring training

Associated Press
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Major League Baseball just announced that there will be a pitch clock for spring training. It will be a 20-second pitch clock, phased in like so:

  • In the first Spring Training games, the 20-second timer will operate without enforcement so as to make players and umpires familiar with the new system;
  • Early next week, umpires will issue reminders to pitchers and hitters who violate the rule, but no ball-strike penalties will be assessed. Between innings, umpires are expected to inform the club’s field staff (manager, pitching coach or hitting coach) of any violations; and
  • Later in Spring Training, and depending on the status of the negotiations with the Major League Baseball Players Association, umpires will be instructed to begin assessing ball-strike penalties for violations.

As is the case in the minors, the batter will have to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with at least five seconds remaining on the timer; and the pitcher needs only to begin his windup before the 20-second timer expires, as opposed to having thrown the pitch. The timer will not be used on the first pitch of any at-bat. Rather, it begins running prior to the second pitch once the pitcher receives the ball from the catcher.

The league has not decided if the pitch clock will be used in the regular season yet. It can do so unilaterally, without union approval, for one year if it chooses to since it first introduced the idea last year.

There will likely be a lot of complaining about this, but as someone who has been to several minor league games with the clock in place, it’s pretty seamless and not noticeable. Minor leaguers had few if any complaints about its implementation.