John Buck announces his retirement after 11 seasons

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Veteran catcher John Buck, who was trying to win a job with the Braves on a minor-league contract, announced his retirement after 11 seasons in the majors for seven different teams.

Buck was signed in late January, after the Braves had already signed A.J. Pierzynski to serve as the veteran backup behind Christian Bethancourt. He had a good spring at age 34, hitting .320 with a 1.052 OPS in 12 games, but clearly the Braves had already settled on Pierzynski taking the job.

Buck debuted with the Royals as a 23-year-old in 2004 and spent the first six years of his career in Kansas City. He moved on to the Blue Jays in 2010 and made his lone All-Star team, hitting .281 with 20 homers and an .802 OPS. And then he hit just .216 with 44 homers and a .656 OPS in 388 games from 2011 through the end of his career.

Report: MLB, MLBPA discussing potential to play all games in Arizona

Chase Field
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Per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have been discussing the idea of playing the 2020 season entirely in Arizona. The state has 10 spring training parks as well as Chase Field, home to the Diamondbacks. MLB suspended the 2020 season last month as the U.S. began to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This certainly comes as no surprise as commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested the need to potentially get “creative” if MLB is to have a season. Other ideas have included running the season deep into the fall, hosting games in mostly warm-weather states, and making use of frequent doubleheaders.

For many reasons, the U.S. has not done well to date dealing with the pandemic, so it is quite optimistic to expect sports to return at any point in the near future. That being said, agent Scott Boras, who spoke to Blum, suggested baseball’s return could provide “a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.” He added that that product would be “inspirational to our country.”

MLB and all of its associated interests stand to lose significant amounts of money the longer the season is delayed, which is why many are champing at the bit for the schedule to resume. Presumably, any resumption of the schedule would require that games not be played in front of fans.