Craig Goldstein is the editor in chief of Baseball Prospectus
Craig Goldstein: Let's get started!
Patrick (A moral quandary): Craig, thanks as always for the chat. I find myself conflicted about a possible 2020 season. In a broader conversation about "opening up" the economy, I was telling my wife about the 67-page safety protocol document MLB drew up and her response was "Do you really want there to be baseball games?" The answer is yes, I do want them, but I also feel guilty because they probably shouldn't happen. There doesn't seem to be a contingency plan for when people involved start testing positive. I had been thinking that if it's good enough for the players, I'd be happy with it, but I'm not so sure anymore. Any thoughts on reconciling my desire for baseball with what I know is best for public health?
Craig Goldstein: So the contingency involved, as far as I understand it, is that the person testing positive will be quarantined but those in contact with them wouldn't be unless they too test positive. It's not a great solution.
As for reconciling your two positions, I think a lot of us are in the same boat. Some commenters here have said that I don't want (major league) baseball back and that's just not true. I'm dying for it to come back, not just because it's a key to my livelihood but also because I miss the hell out of it. But I also have a lot of concern for the players, coaches, trainers, and everyone involved here. I guess where I'm at is that it doesn't really matter what I *want* to happen. It's going to happen or not, and I'll watch it if it does (and be conflicted) or I'll miss it if it doesn't (and maybe be relieved).
Patrick (Not sure): Related to my previous question, I assume there will be some players who decide to sit out any possible 2020 season, no matter what protocols are in place. What kind of pressure do you think they will see (from fans, media, their teammates, and the club/league), especially if they are a star that could mean the difference between a postseason berth and missing out? What kinds of repercussions might occur? Any players seem more or less likely to do so?
Craig Goldstein: Good question. I think it depends on why they're sitting out. If it's for what the public/teammates etc. see as a legitimate health concern for them or their family, I don't think there will be blowback. If it's out of a principled concern or something...I worry. People want sports back because they're symbolic of things being normal. Athletes opting out of playing isn't that and I think it'll cause resentment, because it will make apparent that there is no real escape from the realities of the situation we're in even though people want baseball back so they can escape into it (which isn't something I begrudge them, btw).
sanott (Norfolk VA): Forgive me if I have missed something or this has been addressed...this minor league reshuffle proposal...Given the effect it could have on small town economies, esp. in wake of coronavirus and a missed season, could Congress side with the little towns/working people and threaten MLBs anti trust exemption? Seems like a Congress could expect baseball to take a little loss on minor league teams to prove it’s part of the fabric of America?
Craig Goldstein: Could congress get involved? Yeah, probably. I'm of the mind that the exemption shouldn't exist so I don't see an issue with threatening or pulling that, but generally I'm not sure what say Congress has in how a private company decides how many places it wants to partner with or something. I get the notion, but it's just generally not something that holds up. It would just be nice if MLB wasn't so intent on making there be less baseball in our lives.
CyMature (Cooperstown): Pure prospect question about 3 young bats with different strengths:Triston Casas, Jordyn Adams and George Valera. 15 years from now, who will have had the best big-league career?
Craig Goldstein: A) excellent name.
B) I'll go with Valera. He's probably the furthest away but I like his combination of potential hit/power, and position.
Peter Jensen (Ovid NY): The players should accept the owners proposal with the following modifications:
1. All player salary cuts should be treated as loans from the players to their teams instead of permenently lost salary. Payback to the players to be madewithin 5 years from when teams resume play with fans present.
2. Teams should insure all players against any temporary or permenently lost playing time due to contracting covid 19 from the resumption of training to the ending of post season play.
Craig Goldstein: Well, alright, but that's also not accepting the owners proposal. You're basically suggesting deferments, which I touched on in the article I wrote last night. As for the second...yeah I wouldn't hate that but teams will never insure players, only themselves.
coffeeguy8806 (Chicago): What is your favorite piece of baseball equipment and why? Could be anything, water cooler, double bubble, chalk bag, pine tar etc...
Craig Goldstein: I was gonna say that's tough but it's gotta be the hat, right? Baseball hats are the most ubiquitous item out there, other sports adopted em, etc. That's what I'm going with.
Craig Goldstein: Alright, another short one today but thanks to those who dropped by. J.P. Breen will be answering your fantasy questions on Friday!