Mike Trout: Arizona Bubble League idea is ‘pretty crazy’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on a Snapchat interview today and said that if Major League Baseball is going to return it’ll have to be via the idea floated last week that involved a fan-free, Arizona-only, quarantined players scenario:

“There’s a way of doing that . . . Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled . . . Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”

I’m sure they’ll love the idea of being “very well surveilled.” And given how much of a testing shortage we have right now, I’m curious to know how we’re supposed to find the testing capacity to test over 1,000 players and scores of team employees who have to come into contact with them each week for something like 16 weeks or more.

It’s also worth noting that as soon as that idea was floated last week there was immediate backlash, causing Major League Baseball to issue a statement that it had not endorsed the plan or any other specific plan itself. Since then a number of other scenarios have been floated.

The backlash came from players as well as outside critics.

Less than two hours ago, on NBC Sports’ Lunch Talk Live, Mike Trout talked about the idea. He said, “there’s a lot of red flags . . . we want to get back as soon as we can, but obviously it’s got to be realistic. It can’t be sitting in our hotel rooms, just going from the field to the hotel room and not being able to do anything. I think that’s pretty crazy.”

 

Similarly, Clayton Kershaw said this about the idea this week:

“I will say that situation, I just don’t see that happening. I’m not going to be away from my family and not seem them for four and a half months. I just talked about how much Cooper changes over one week, so to miss four months of his life right now, I’m just not going to do it.

“And there’s a lot of other things that are just wrong with that proposal. But it’s not to say we can’t go somewhere with it. There’s just a lot of things they’re going to have to figure out before I go quarantine myself with my team for four months.”

He would not be alone in that sentiment. A lot of players — let alone managers, coaches, team staff members, and the hundreds if not thousands of people who would be have to support the playing of games and/or the housing of players — would feel the same way.

These are not robot gladiators. They’re people. You, me, and everyone else is going a little nuts right now and it’s (a) been a month; and (b) we get to be with our families and we aren’t “very well surveilled” or what have you. You expect baseball players to undergo this for four months or more just so we can have some baseball? It’s not going to happen.

All of which is to say, if there is not a viable method of playing that does not require this level of quarantine and lockdown, we’re not going to have a baseball season.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.