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Major League Baseball gets a sponsor for its pandemic-necessitated summer camp

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Over the past few days I’ve seen some people online referring to the second, compact spring training Major League Baseball will be undertaking in advance of the late-July start to the season as “summer camp.” Which I suppose is technically more accurate than “spring training,” so fine.

After hearing a few people use it online conversation it started to rub me the wrong way. Not in any serious way, mind you, but mildly. I mean, sure, it’s clever on some level, but the whole reason this is happening is because of a pandemic that has killed half a million people around the world. I won’t tell anyone else what to do with that and I don’t consider “summer camp” to be in bad taste or anything, but if it were me I’d probably choose to go light on the witty references to this weird season. It just feels off to me somehow.

Major League Baseball, meanwhile, has chosen to go the other way with it all together. They’ve sold a dang sponsorship for “summer camp.” This just came via press release:

MLB HIGHLIGHTS UNIQUE FEATURES FOR 2020 SEASON

First Workouts of 2020 Summer Camp presented by Camping World to Be Held Friday

Major League Baseball today announced some of the unique features that will be a part of the 2020 regular season, including health and safety protocols that will impact play on the field as well as revised operating procedures away from it.  Summer Camp presented by Camping World begins on Wednesday, July 1st, the mandatory reporting date.

I honestly can’t think of anything that encapsulates the Rob Manfred Era of Major League Baseball better than this. Something like 90% of Americans couldn’t pick Mike Trout out of a lineup, but MLB’s marketing department had the hustle to get a company to pay to sponsor an event that’s only happening because of a global pandemic.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.