HBT Weekend Wrapup

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Doug Masters: What’s the hold-up?

Tower: We are having trouble finding a jeep suitable for your, um, purposes.

Doug Masters: Bullsh**, you’ve got a whole country full of them!  You just lost a refinery!  Looks like they’ll be importing oil this year, Chappy!

At least that’s what I made of the news from Libya this weekend.  I had the sound down, though. Really, though, would that have made any less sense than what’s really happening?

  • Grady Sizemore has been ruled out for Opening Day. Really, though, the day after the trade deadline is his Opening Day this year, ain’t it?
  • Quote of the weekend from D.J. Short: “I, for one, look forward to reading Jon Heyman’s reaction when Castillo signs a contract before David Eckstein.”  Well, Castillo signed before Eckstein. And Heyman hates it. Seems that Castillo “exudes mopey-ness.” That kind of trenchant analysis is why SI pays him the big bucks.
  • I was 14 years-old the last time a baseball season began without Tim Wakefield on someone’s roster, be it in the minors or the majors. I presume that the streak will continue, but not for too much longer.
  • I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop, my favorite play is the alley oop. I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go, but when they said “ball Zack?” he should have just said no!
  • Mookie Wilson reclaims the number 1 jersey for the Mets. Mookie Calcaterra did not appreciate me pointing out that her nicknamesake was in the news again.
  • Brian Wilson strained his oblique. Brian Wilson is oblique. I sense irony.
  • Curt Schilling referred to his 2004 Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez as a “cheater.” Which, while not particularly polite, is true.  There are a lot of things that one could call Schilling that aren’t polite but which are true too.
  • Am I the only one who wasn’t aware that the White Sox’ closer’s job was actually up for grabs? I assumed it was Matt Thornton’s job the day Bobby Jenks split. The things you learn reading HardballTalk!
  • With the release of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez all but gone, that leaves Carlos Beltran as the last guy for Mets fans to kick around. Except the kicking of Beltran never made any kind of sense whatsoever. Anyway, he’s playing again.
  • Pat Neshek was waived by the Twins and picked up by the Padres. Hard to think of a better place for a pitcher to have a fresh start than in Petco Park.
  • Ryan Zimmerman resumes baseball activities.  I too resumed baseball activities yesterday, having bought my son and daughter their first baseball gloves, a ball, bat and tee. We left the tee and bat aside for the time being and just focused on trying to play catch. The first 15 minutes were spent with both of them trying to explain to me how silly it was for right-handed people to wear the glove on their left hand. The next ten minutes were spent with the ball bouncing off the heels of their gloves and into their chins, faces and shoulders.  Then it was decided that it was great fun for daddy to simply throw the ball up in the air as high as he could and catch it, which was met with a round of applause each time.  Then they walked over near the bushes and started digging up worms, holding them on the ends of sticks and chasing the other one with them. Baseball activities may have been resumed a bit too early.

And on we go into the last full week with no baseball that counts until November.

MLB moving amateur draft to All-Star week in July

USATODAY
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ATLANTA (AP) Major League Baseball is moving its amateur draft to the All-Star break beginning next season.

A three-day draft of at least 20 rounds will begin Sunday, July 11 as part of All-Star week in Atlanta, the league announced Thursday. The first night, which has traditionally included only the first round, will take place before the All-Star Futures Game.

MLB has staged its draft in June since its inception in 1965, and it had broadcast the first night live from MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, since 2009.

The later draft date will allow college players to attend the draft, similar to what the NFL and NBA have long done. The College World Series usually concludes in mid-to-late June, creating conflicts.

This year’s draft was slimmed from 40 rounds to five in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear how many rounds will be in future drafts. The league and the union have agreed the draft will be at least 20 rounds, but it’s unlikely the draft will return to its full 40-round size as MLB seeks to shrink the minor leagues after the expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement on Sept. 30.

MLB said more details about the draft will be released in the coming months.

MLB also unveiled the logo for the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta. This year’s game at Dodger Stadium was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“Major League Baseball is eager for the return of the All-Star Game and for the opportunity to put one of the game’s great new ballparks on a worldwide stage,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Tonight marks the start of an exciting journey for the Braves’ organization and its fans as our sport prepares for a thrilling postseason and for a successful All-Star Week next summer.

“We are pleased to make our draft the newest part of 2021 All-Star Week festivities in Atlanta. The All-Star Game is a celebration of baseball, and the draft will highlight the amateur levels of our great game and its future stars.”