Baseball has been dying since before it really even existed

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I led off my gigantic “Baseball is not dying” post last month with several quotes, going back over a century, in which people erroneously lamented the impending doom of baseball. But Bryan Curtis of Grantland spoke with the great John Thorn, who has chronicled this stuff for a living for a loooong time. And it turns out that a mere century is nothin’. Get this, from 1868:

Somehow or other, they don’t play ball nowadays as they used to some eight or ten years ago. I don’t mean to say they don’t play it as well. … But I mean that they don’t play with the same kind of feelings or for the same objects they used to. … It appears to me that ball matches have come to be controlled by different parties and for different purposes …

That’s from Pete O’Brien of the Brooklyn Atlantics. Who said that in 1868. A year before the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first fully-professional baseball team. Put differently: baseball was dying before it actually existed in the form that we know it.

A great read about the never-ending and, apparently, always-existing predictions of baseball’s imminent demise.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.