Roy Halladay clarifies his comments about Charlie Manuel

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This morning Roy Halladay’s comments about Charlie Manuel’s firing were reported and the upshot based on the articles written was that Halladay was cool with Manuel getting fired because he felt the team needed more discipline and structure.

Today Halladay clarified those comments, making it clear that he did not blame Manuel for the Phillies’ downturn — that’s on the players, he says — and that Manuel was a wonderful manager with whom he has a great relationship. Indeed, he said he spoke to Manuel today to make it clear to him that his comments were not meant to imply any endorsement of his firing.

No word on whether Halladay agrees with the rest of the world who sees the firing as mostly Ruben Amaro’s fault.

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.