The Rockies sign Matt Belisle to an extension

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Danny Knobler reports that the Rockies have signed Matt Belisle to a one-year contract extension.  It includes a mutual option for 2014, The extension could be worth a total of $4.3 million.

Belisle has been durable and useful the past two seasons, pitching in more than 70 games each year as the Rockies’ setup man, with ERAs of 2.93 and 3.25.

He also serves as my personal example of an immutable baseball rule. That rule being: “Guys who were drafted by your favorite team out of high school will always seem to be 4-5 years older than they are since you heard about them so early on.”

Really: Belisle is 31. But I’ve been aware of him since the Braves drafted him in 1998 — and since he spent years being talked up as “the next great Braves pitcher” — so he seems like he should pushing 40 or something.  I’m sure there’s a guy who first came up with your team like that too.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.