Dan Uggla is hitting .206/.306/.365 with one home run this year. And he still can’t play defense. The odds of him staying with the Nationals all season are slim and, once he’s released, the odds of him latching on elsewhere are even slimmer, I’d wager. Really, we are seeing the end of his career.
But he is good at something, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post:
Really, that’s the story:
“He’s just a big bicep teddy bear,” reliever Aaron Barrett said. After a grin and laugh, Barrett continued: “The hugs are fantastic. I love it. It’s very comforting.” . . . Uggla is known for his hugs. Freddie Freeman, with the Braves, is perhaps more well-known for his many on-field hugs, but Uggla said he taught that to Freeman. Fans have held up signs at games such as “I Want a Huggla from Uggla” at games. His nickname is, sometimes, Huggla.
Yes, the entire article is about a bench guy’s hugs. What a world.
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.