Fun times on talk radio: Curt Schilling suggested that Chipper Jones may not really want to retire and that he’d possibly come back with an AL team and DH next year. Chipper Jones went on 790 The Zone in Atlanta and shot that down rather sharply:
Curt Schilling has thrown out the concept of you coming back to not only play, but play for an American League team. Your thoughts on conversations like that?
“Well I am sure Curt Schilling being the shock jock that he is probably trying to stir up some interest for ESPN and raise the question, but as I said so many times I got four boys at home. I made promises to them that daddy is done playing baseball. After this year we are going on vacations. We are going to go on summer vacations and I am just not willing to go back on that promise.
And that’s before mentioning that the Braves have an option on Jones for 2013, so he couldn’t just go play for someone else anyway.
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.