Powder Blue Podcast: Todd Zolecki Talks Doc: The Life of Roy Halladay

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  • Todd Zolecki joins us to discuss is new book, Doc: The Life of Roy Halladay 

  • The Korean Baseball League
  • Is Trevor Plouffe an MLB insider?


Ex-Phillies Infielder: MLB Season Will Begin on July 1

We have heard many whispers about when Major League Baseball will resume.  The most recent model, reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, included three leagues with 10 teams each, divided into  West, Central, and East leagues.  Teams would play in their home fields under that model.  A former Phillies player claims that this model will begin on July 1.

Former Phillies utility player Trevor Plouffe set the timeline on Twitter:

"Talkin Baseball" is a podcast featuring Plouffe hosted on Jomboy Media.

"Jomboy" as he is known is responsible for connecting many of the dots that led to the exposition of the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.  Jomboy has gained national recognition for his work, and Plouffe joined his media company this year.  The former Phillie is new to the world of media; his last Major League appearance came with the Phillies in 2018.

To this point, no media source or MLB source has corroborated this report.

 


Catch These Former Phillies on ESPN Playing Live KBO Baseball

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Sports fans are clamoring for some live sports action since the sports world came to a halt on March 12.  Thanks to an agreement between ESPN and the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization), live sports will return to American television.  And there are several former Phillies playing some live games.

May 5th is Opening Day in the KBO and ESPN will be offering live action starting Wednesday, according to the ESPN press release:

ESPN today announced it has reached an agreement with Eclat Media Group regarding the KBO League – South Korea’s most popular sports league – to exclusively televise six, live regular-season games per week in the U.S. starting with Opening Day – NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions – on Tuesday, May 5, at 1 a.m. ET / Monday, May 4, at 10 p.m. PT. One game will air each day, Tuesday through Sunday, generally on ESPN2 and on the ESPN App. The telecasts will air Tuesdays-Fridays at 5:30 a.m. ET, Saturdays at 4 a.m. ET and Sundays at 1 a.m. ET. The Lions vs. Dinos Opening Day telecast will air on ESPN, following SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt.

Several former Phillies play in the KBO.

The first game, the Dinos vs. the Lions features three former Phillies.  Outfielder Aaron Altherr plays for the Dinos.  And pitching for the Lions are two former Phillies starters in David Buchanan and Ben  Lively.

Former Phillies reliever Ricardo Pinto pitches for the SK Wyverns and former Phillies outfielder Hyun Soo Kim plays for the LG Twins.


Report: Baseball Could Resume in a Three-League Season

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The good news in Philadelphia and New Jersey is that new cases of Coronavirus appear to be leveling off, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. As good news increases, the likelihood of Major League Baseball also increases.  We have heard about a season being played in Arizona, in Arizona and Florida, and maybe with Texas thrown into the mix.  But a new plan being discussed could include teams playing in their own ballparks...and another realignment.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that baseball could return in late June or early July:

Major League Baseball officials have become cautiously optimistic this week that the season will start in late June, and no later than July 2, playing at least 100 regular-season games, according to three executives with knowledge of the talks. They requested anonymity because the plan is still under consideration.

And not only would baseball be played, but it would be played in their own major-league ballparks, albeit with no fans.

To make that work: baseball would be temporarily realigned.

According to the plan, Nightengale reports, there would be three leagues:  The East, Central, and West.

The East could include the Phillies, New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins

The West could include the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners

The Central could Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers

The idea is that less travel would keep the players safer.  The teams would play in front of no fans, unless circumstances eventually allow for fans.  Then, at the conclusion of the season, they would have teams advance to the playoffs, in a format yet to be determined.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season will not look like a typical season.  But if there is baseball, that is something that could help people get through the summer with some sense of normalcy, at a time very interrupted.  Optimism continues that there will be something.


Texas Emerges as Another Option to Resume Major League Baseball

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We learned of a potential plan that would have Major League Baseball resume by playing all of their games in Arizona from ESPN's Jeff Passan.  Then Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the games could be split between Arizona Spring Training sites and Florida Spring Training sites.  It appears there is another entry into reopening baseball: The State of Texas.

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports reported Monday night that Texas was in the conversation to re-start baseball:

On Monday, multiple league sources informed CBS Sports about a different idea that has been discussed in recent days. In this arrangement, the league would have teams stationed in one of three hubs: Florida, Arizona or Texas. The clubs would then make use of the local major- and minor-league (or spring training) facilities. One source even expressed guarded optimism about the idea's chances of coming to fruition.

It appears that baseball likes the idea of dome stadiums.

Arizona has Chase Field as a current Major League facility.  Florida has Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, as well as Marlins Stadium in Miami.  Then in Texas there is Houston's Minute Maid Park as well as the yet-to-open Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Of course, for this to work, the MLB Players Association would have to approve.  South Jersey's Mike Trout expressed concern about being quarantined in any location.  Trout is expecting the birth of his first child in August.

What is not yet determined: what type of leagues would exist in this three-location play. The USA Today report had the leagues and divisions aligned according to Cactus League and Grapefruit League locations.  Adding Texas makes it interesting, since only two teams play in Texas, albeit a four-hour drive apart.

Baseball suspended operations on Thursday, March 12 in response to the wide-spreading Coronavirus.


Brandy Halladay Responds to NTSB Report Release, Media Coverage

Thursday, the National Traffic Safety Board (commonly the "NTSB") released their report related to the plane crash that resulted in the death of Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay.  The contents of the report contained few surprises for those who had followed the situation closely: Halladay was taking advantage of the acrobatic performance capabilities of his model of airplane and that there was the presence of amphetamines in his system.  However, though this was already knowledge, the release of the report brought about renewed pain an another opportunity for judgment.

The report contained some tough details to read. including some of Halladay's personal battles:

Some substances in Halladay's system were previously reported; other details were previously unknown.

The widow of Roy Halladay, Brandy Halladay, took note of the media reports and the comments.  For Brandy Halladay, it was another instance of devastation, seeing the reports and seeing some judgment from others.  She wanted to let this be known.

Brandy Halladay responded via a Phillies Media press release on Thursday:

 “Yesterday’s NTSB report on Roy’s accident was painful for our family, as it has caused us to relive the worst day of our lives. It has reinforced what I have previously stated, that no one is perfect. Most families struggle in some capacity and ours was no exception. We respectfully ask that you not make assumptions or pass judgement. Rather, we encourage you to hug your loved ones and appreciate having them in your lives. As a family, we ask that you allow Roy to rest in peace.”

The response was probably similar to that of some fans as well.

It is common for the NTSB to release a final report of any plane crash, so this day was going to come at some point.  With the physical toll taken on the body playing Major League Baseball, some have been legally prescribed opioids to address the issues.  The Mayo Clinic notes that anyone who takes them is at risk for addiction.

The Phillies are set to honor Roy Halladay during the 2020 season.  The plan was to retire number 34 in honor of Halladay on May 29, the 10th anniversary of his perfect game in Florida.  Surely, that will be rescheduled.

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Minor League Teams And Players At Risk During Pandemic

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

It was just a few years ago that MLB decided to invest in BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Major money was spent to improve seating and fan experiences, but also to increase netting, resurface the field, improve irrigation and other player-oriented changes as the league looked to reach out to it's audience.

Following that initial investment in 2017, the league hosted it's first MLB Little League Classic at the park in conjunction with the Little League World Series the town hosts each year.

For all intents and purposes, the game was a success. The crowd of Little League World Series participants was engaged and the national viewership was high each of the tree seasons since that initial investment.

The success was so high that the state of Pennsylvania saw fit to award the park further grants to continue development of the park in 2018.

But in the winter of 2019, with the current deal between MLB and MiLB set to expire, the MLB made some drastic proposals, including one that would cut 42 teams out of affiliated baseball because of "unsatisfactory" facilities. Williamsport was on that list of teams to be cut.

Continue reading "Minor League Teams And Players At Risk During Pandemic" »


Child Due, Trout Expresses Concern With Arizona Quarantine Plan

South Jersey native, baseball superstar and Philadelphia Eagles fan Mike Trout expressed his desire for the Eagles to add a wide receiver in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark yesterday.  That was not the only media appearance that Trout made yesterday, however.   Appearing on NBC Sports Network with host Mike Tirico, Trout had some concerns with potential plans to return to play in Major League Baseball.  For Trout, it's much bigger than the inconvenience of being quarantined in a hotel.  It's about family. 

Trout expressed concern over his family life, as he and his wife Jessica are expecting their first child:

 My wife is pregnant; what am I going to do when she goes into labor - am I going to have to quarantine for two weeks after I come back? Obviously, I can't miss the birth of our first child.

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association allows for paternity leave for players.

Obviously, this situation would be much different.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported early last week that Major League Baseball was considering a plan that would use Arizona's 10 Spring Training facilities and Chase Field in Phoenix to re-start baseball.  The plan would include players being quarantined in nearby hotels to protect them from the COVID-19 outbreak.  A second plan discussed included the Spring Training facilities in Florida, but Arizona seems to be the preferred location from experts such as infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci and New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who expressed a desire to see the New York Yankees back in action to lift America's spirits.

Trout had some more practical concerns, such as the day-to-day lives of the players, saying, "It can't be sitting in our hotel rooms, and just going from the field to the hotel room and not being able to do anything. I think that's pretty crazy." Indeed the lives of the players under the quarantine would be very limited.

On Wednesday, both MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB Players Association president Tony Clark acknowledged there were many challenges between now and resuming play.   Both expressed that the public health needs are more important than play.  Rapid testing, antibody treatments, and a vaccine could very much change things, if developed.  

But for now, we wait.

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Section 247 Show: The Great Safety Debate. Who's the Greatest Safety of the Last 40-Years?

 

Facebook during a pandemic is bad for a lot of reasons but some good can come from it too.  A debate raged over the weekend, who is the greatest NFL safety of all-time? There was a ton of love for Brian Dawkins as expected but there was serious consideration for others as well. 

 

The Doc & Watkins took that question to the airwaves on the latest live stream of the show.

Plus

  • In honor of episode #80, who is the greatest #80 in Philly sports history?
  • The MLB has coronavirus realignment plans!
  • Who are the winners & losers of the changes?
  • Thoughts on the universal DH
  • The return of #SchmuckOfTheWeek

Join the Section 247 Show every Tuesday on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.  The show is broadcast live at 9:30 PM/EDT & is open to ALL fan interaction! 

Can't join the show live? The show is available in podcast for by clicking Section 247 Show