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Vin Scully: ‘We can certainly fight through this’

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Bill Plascke of the Los Angeles Times called up the legendary Vin Scully who, at 92, is most certainly keeping isolated at home. Scully doesn’t seem to mind it though. He has his wife Sandi. His family can visit — they keep a safe distance and there are no hugs — but it’s better than nothing. The other night he watched his favorite movie, “The Music Man,” and he planned to watch “Singin’ in the Rain” the next night. He jokes that, at his age, in retirement, he wasn’t leaving the house much anyway.

But Scully does more than joke. As someone who grew up during the Great Depression and during the shortages and sacrifices of World War II, he provides some valuable perspective:

I remember my mother would feed me something that would fill me up and didn’t cost very much, I remember having pancakes for dinner and a lot of spaghetti . . . We didn’t have any money anyway . . . meat was hard to come by . . . we bit the bullet.

Scully talked about getting through all of that and said, “if we can do that, we can certainly fight through this . . . It’s the life of the world, the ups and downs, this is a down, we’re going to have to realistically accept it at what it is and we’ll get out of it, that’s all there is to it, we will definitely get out of it.”

I’ve been thinking about that sentiment a lot lately. I’ve been keeping a daily diary of the pandemic over at my personal website. A recurring thought that’s been showing up in my entries is one of concern about our country’s ability to sacrifice and act selflessly to protect others.

As I wrote yesterday, some of our leaders are, quite admirably, taking increasingly dire measures to address the pandemic, casting aside political expediency in order to keep people safe. Others, so far, are not rising to the occasion. Because of that there does not seem to be a notion of shared sacrifice in the country, the sort of which prevailed during the Depression and the war.

I fear that, this time around, rather than a “we’re all in this together” attitude, people will just fight over toilet paper and agitate for things to get back to normal as soon as possible because they’ve been inconvenienced for, what, 11 or 12 days now? I’m not one to sugarcoat history or overlook its faults — the so-called “Greatest Generation” had a TON of faults, actually — but they did have it in them to suck it up and deal with adversity in ways I worry that we don’t.

So, as I so often have in the course of my life, I look to Vin Scully for some comfort and assurance when everything seems to be spinning out of control. Maybe people will listen to him and to people like him who have been through worse and who can provide us with some wisdom that we, as a society, seem to have ignored for a few generations. Maybe Vin Scully can, once again, make me feel better, even if he’s not calling a baseball game.

Listen to his conversation with Plaschke below:

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.