Earlier this week Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia spoke out about what he believed was unfair treatment by the Toronto media back when he was with the Blue Jays, suggesting that “the media made me out to be a monster” and that played a part in his being let go.
He might have to come up with a similar theory for the Texas media now, because today the Rangers demoted Arencibia to Triple-A less than two months into a one-year, $1.8 million contract.
Arencibia earned the demotion by hitting .133 in 20 games for the Rangers, just as he earned being let go by the Blue Jays by hitting .194 in 138 games last season. He’ll be back in the majors because catchers with 20-homer power are always hard to find, but Arencibia is a career .208 hitter with perhaps MLB’s worst plate discipline. If anything the media has been kind when describing his performance as a big leaguer.
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.