Albert Pujols is so hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his left foot that simply watching him run is painful, so not surprisingly people are starting to ask the Angels first baseman (and now mostly designated hitter) if he plans to have offseason surgery.
Pujols more or less avoided answering, but did tell Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
When we get to that point, we’ll talk about it. I’m definitely going to try to do something after the season to help me out and not play in that pain I’ve been playing in. There’s no doubt that I’ll be a full-time first baseman next year.
Pujols has been banged up for a while now, but he can barely move this season. He’s hitting .244 with 13 homers and a .736 OPS in 83 games for by far the worst production of his career and has resorted to playing DH nearly full time just to stay in the lineup. Plantar fasciitis is often overlooked in terms of absolutely wrecking an athlete, but it can be a very nasty injury that lingers.
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.