Joe Maddon on the Will Ferrell thing: “I thought it was brilliant”

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source: AP

Joe Maddon, from this morning’s media session, when asked about the Will Ferrell stuff from yesterday, passed along by my friend JJ Stankevitz from CSNChicago.com, who is at Cubs camp:

If you want to connect to a different generation of baseball fans, maybe it’s important to include part of the pop culture outside of the industry that they’re really into, whether it’s music, whether it’s comedy, whatever it may be to get maybe this ancillary group to become more involved with us. And then that’s jut going to draw the kids in or that younger generation in on top of it. I thought it was brilliant.

Never thought of it. Perfect time to do it — spring training game, of course, it matters but it doesn’t’ matter in the bigger picture. But it mattered in the sense that I am certain — I would like to believe it, I would say, pretty strongly that kids who would never watch what would happen in a baseball game watched yesterday because Will Ferrell was involved. And then with Will Ferrell or whomever starts talking more about baseball and gets the kids drawn in through those means, that’s great also. Whoever thought of it, I thought it was brilliant.

Perhaps he’s overselling what Will Ferrell can accomplish, but I think he’s right on about the incorporation of non-sports pop culture in some way helping to broaden baseball’s appeal. Even with the Ferrell thing I have had several friends who aren’t baseball fans ask me about it. It drew the interest of people outside the game. That event isn’t likely to have any sort of big lasting impact, but the idea of placing baseball in front of people, even for the moment, who wouldn’t think much about baseball is a good one. It’s a good way to prevent that whole “I don’t even think about baseball until the World Series” mentality that seems common.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”