Tony Clark
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Tony Clark is ‘optimistic that the possibility of playing still exists’ in 2020

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MLBPA executive director Tony Clark told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he is “optimistic that the possibility of playing still exists” in 2020.

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Probably so, but neither Clark nor anyone else really knows what it might look like, and he says that he does not expect those answers “to come anytime soon.” The bigger takeaway from his comments, to me anyway, is that things are nowhere near as far down the line of planning as some recent reports have implied:

“There have been a lot of ideas thrown out there, but not much to the depth of them . . . Once we find ourselves in discussions with the league in terms of options and variations, we in turn can present those ideas to the players, and the players can decide what makes most sense . . . But for now, there’s simply too many assumptions being made what it’s going to look like.”

I take this to be Clark’s and the union’s reminder to people — especially in light of big stars like Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw throwing shade at some of the ideas floating around out there — that Rob Manfred doesn’t just get to decide what happens with the 2020 season, such as it is. But, rather, the players have a say as well.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”