Yasiel Puig and his companion in throwing out base runners, Yoenis Cespedes have made baseball a lot of fun to watch lately. Puig showed off his well-respected cannon of an arm once again during Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Diamondbacks.
With the bases empty and two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross dunked a weak line drive down the right field line, just inside the line in front of Yasiel Puig. The ball caromed towards the stands — and the ballboy — and Puig had to navigate an awkward bounce around the cluster of people in his vicinity. Puig barehanded the ball, then fired a cannon to shortstop Hanley Ramirez covering second base to nab Ross for the final out of the inning. Check it out.
We really need a throwing competition added to the All-Star Game festivities.
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.