Tal’s Hill will live in Minute Maid Park for at least one more year

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Earlier this year the Astros announced a center field renovation plan that would entail the removal of Tal’s Hill, the weird incline/embankment of grass between the warning track and the wall in Minute Maid Park. That plan has been out on hold, however. Not necessarily because of any change of heart about the renovation, but because the Astros’ season lasted longer than anyone figured it would.

The Astros just issued a press release saying the project is off for the year because they couldn’t guarantee completion of the renovations in time for next season. In part because making the playoffs made committing to a construction schedule uncertain.

Here’s hoping that they keep to the plan for next year and get rid of that dumb hill. Just say no to forced, architecturally unnecessary quirks!  And while they’re at it, get rid of that train in the outfield too. It’s the Astros, dammit. An organization that, one point, was all about futurism and stuff, aesthetically speaking. There should be rocket ships and stuff up there. Or maybe a space elevator.

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.”