Yesterday ended up being a pretty big news day, especially for these times of social distancing when there's not a whole lot going on. In case you missed anything that went down over the past 24 hours, I've got you covered here:
Hall of Fame Induction Weekend postponed
One of the best weekends of the baseball calendar has been canceled this year. The Baseball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors made the decision to cancel the 2020 induction weekend yesterday.
“Induction Weekend is a celebration of our National Pastime and its greatest legends, and while we are disappointed to cancel this incredibly special event, the Board of Directors’ overriding concern is the health and well-being of our new inductees, our Hall of Fame members, our wonderful fans and the hundreds of staff it takes to present the weekend’s events in all of its many facets,” Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement. “We care deeply about every single person who visits Cooperstown.”
The 2020 inductees, Derek Jeter and Larry Walker, will be celebrated in 2021 with any additional 2021 inductees.
Manny Ramirez wants to return to baseball
The 47-year-old former big leaguer announced in an interview with the Taiwan Times that he hopes to find a roster spot with a CPBL team in 2020. Ramirez played in the CPBL for the Fubon Guardians in 2013 when they were known as the EDA Rhinos.
The two-time World Series champion finished his MLB career in 2011 with 555 home runs, but has not garnered many votes in Hall of Fame balloting.
Multiple summer leagues announce delays
With the future of the COVID-19 pandemic unknown, multiple collegiate summer leagues decided to push back their Opening Days, releasing statements yesterday. The Coastal Plain League on the East Coast and the Prospect League in the Midwest have each announced that they will start their seasons on July 1st.
Four summer leagues, including the Valley Baseball League and Cape Cod Baseball League, have already canceled their entire 2020 seasons.
Rumors swirl about MiLB cancellation
Rumors floated around the internet on Wednesday evening that Major League Baseball had decided to cancel the 2020 Minor League Baseball season. This led to multiple credible reporters debunking the rumors, and eventually MiLB itself issued a statement saying that the 2020 season has not been canceled.
While it's good news that the season has not been canceled, the last sentence there isn't so comforting. We're still a long way from getting baseball back into our lives.
MLB officials "near certain" baseball will happen in 2020
According to Charles Gasparino of Fox Business, MLB officials are feeling pretty confident that baseball will happen in 2020.
While the details are not laid out completely yet and there have been multiple plans as to how exactly baseball will be played, this is a bit of good news amidst the negativity that surrounds us these days.
Add another historic event to the list of COVID-19 cancellations. Little League International announced on Thursday that the 2020 Little League World Series and regional tournaments. This marks the first time in the event's history that it will not be held.
Additionally, the 2020 Little League Classic, which features Major League teams playing in Williamsport, has been canceled as well.
“This is a heartbreaking decision for everyone at Little League International, but more so for those millions of Little Leaguers who have dreamt of one day playing in one of our seven World Series events,” Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement.
“After exhausting all possible options, we came to the conclusion that because of the significant public health uncertainty that will still exist several months from now, and with direction from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, as well as senior public health officials and government leaders from locations where our other six World Series are held, as well as the their qualifying regional tournaments, it will not be possible to proceed with our tournaments as we’ve hosted them for nearly 75 years.”
Little League said that a number of factors contributed to the decision, including the inability to play qualifying tournaments in many of its regions, travel restrictions and the testing and mitigation protocols that would need to be in place at the events.
The 2021 Little League World Series was scheduled to be the 75th anniversary of the competition, but that celebration will now be moved to 2022.
Little League also announced that it will credit all chartered programs with the affiliation fees paid for their chartered teams in 2020, totaling about $1.2 million.
During this time of social distancing and without any live sports to watch on TV, it's important to find something to keep yourself busy. For those of us that love baseball, one good way to do that is watch as many baseball movies as you can.
Since I've been home over the last month, my parents and I have watched a baseball movie almost every other night. We watched some classics that we'd seen plenty of times, some classics that I had never seen and some relatively under-the-radar movies.
After going through film after film, I feel I am ready and qualified to rank the best baseball movies. Here you'll find my top 10 baseball movies followed by Trey Lyle's list. Do you think we got them right? Leave a comment and let us know.
1. The Sandlot
There's no beating this classic movie. The 1993 film about a group of kids that lose a Babe Ruth autographed ball is consistently great to watch. It's fun, lighthearted and nostalgic, which are all great qualities for a baseball movie. It has countless quotable moments throughout the movie, which is a great way to measure how good a film is. No matter which movie you stand this one up against, it will come out as the better film time after time.
The 2013 Jackie Robinson biopic quickly became not only one of my favorite baseball movies, but one of my favorite movies in general. The film does a fantastic job of portraying Robinson's journey to breaking baseball's color barrier and becoming one of the greatest players of all time. And, as I've written about before, it's fairly historically accurate.
3. The Rookie
This is one that I feel flies under the radar a bit, but it is a fantastic movie. An emotional true story about Jim Morris, who made his Major League debut at the age of 35 after making a bet with the high school team that he coached. This one will tug at your heartstrings throughout the story, so be prepared before you watch it.
4. Major League
I have to confess that this was one I hadn't seen until recently. I don't know how I went 22 years without seeing this classic baseball film, but I'm glad I decided to watch it. Featuring a rag-tag group of ballplayers trying to win so they can keep the Indians in Cleveland, this one has some future stars that provide great laughs throughout the movie.
5. Field of Dreams
I've always loved Field of Dreams. Something about the magic and mystery in the movie just make it entertaining. During the last time I watched it, I realized it's a lot more cheesy than I previously remembered, but it's still a great nostalgic film.
One of the newer baseball movies has been considered one of the best since its release in 2011. Moneyball tells the story of Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland A's, who built a team in an unconventional (at the time) way.
7. Fever Pitch
This one has a little more romance than comedy, but it holds up against some other baseball films. My girlfriend might tell you that she can relate to Drew Barrymore in this movie, but in actuality I'm nowhere near the baseball fan that Jimmy Fallon portrays.
This is another film that I hadn't seen until this past month, but I really enjoyed it. Billy Crystal directs the story of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chasing after Babe Ruth's single season home run record, which proved to be a controversial chase.
9. A League of Their Own
How can you not have this one on your list? The true story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, this film is consistently ranked among the top. It deserves a spot just for its most famous quote, "There's no crying in baseball."
10. Bull Durham
I contemplated leaving this one off my top 10 at first, but I had to include it. There's a little too much romance in it for me, but the mound visit scene alone is enough to get it on the list.
Trey's Top Movies
1. Major League 1 and 2
My favorite baseball movies of all time are the Major League movies, both 1 and 2. All-Star cast and one of the funniest movies there is.
2. The Sandlot
A classic, a must-watch if you are a baseball fan, honestly if you are a kid. Summertime and baseball with friends, nothing better than that. If you don't watch this then you’re killing me, Smalls.
3. The Rookie
Another classic movie of an high school baseball coach that leads his team to a championship and then ends up in the Major Leagues as the oldest rookie since Minnie Mendoza in 1970. This movie based on the true story of Jim Morris.
4. Angels in the Outfield
Start flapping your wings. Honestly thought for a while when I was little that this movie is the reason the Angels are called the Angels. Another classic movie about two kids who can see Angels in the Outfield.
5. Field of Dreams
The fact that the MLB was planning on doing a game at the “field of dreams” in Iowa where this movie took place shows how good this movie is.
6. Rookie of the Year
So a kid gets into a freak accident and gets a rubber arm that allows him to throw nothing but rockets and then lead the Cubs to the world series. Do I need to say more?
7. Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off
A Classic Disney Channel movie, so it's time to go back to when you were a kid, and it's a Friday night. So you grab the popcorn and hop on to the couch and watch one of the best Disney Channel movies. Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-off is about this kid named Eddie, who is an outstanding baseball player, whose dad is the coach, has a passion for cooking, and the challenge of when those two worlds cross.
8. Money Ball
An Oscar-nominated movie based on Billy Beane and how he had to use innovative ways to build a contender without a big budget for the A’s.
9. Little Big League
Again this falls in it's so crazy that you kind of have to watch it. This kid becomes the owner of the Minnesota Twins and then makes himself the manager of the team.
One of the saddest moments in movie history occurs in this movie, and all I got to say is G-Baby.
This story has been updated to reflect news from the Prospect League
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen plenty of summer baseball leagues issue statements about postponing or canceling their seasons.
As of right now, four leagues have scrapped their plans for a 2020 season. They include some of the premiere leagues, such as the Valley Baseball League and the Cape Cod Baseball League.
The Coastal Plain League, which operates in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, issued a statement today that it is postponing its season until July 1.
"The Coastal Plain League has closely monitored the COVID-19 announcements of the Federal, State and Local authorities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and has delayed the league's scheduled 2020 season start until July 1," the league said. "Depending on governmental guidance, teams may begin to form in mid-June to prepare for the season and may play some exhibition games in June. It is expected that this schedule will allow the league's teams and host cities to properly prepare to give the fans and the country's finest collegiate baseball players a safe and enjoyable environment. We look forward to an exciting 2020 baseball season."
The league said the season will run from July 1 to August 15 and the league's All-Star Show, originally scheduled for July 12-13, has been canceled.
In addition to the CPL making its announcement today, the Prospect League also announced that it would delay its season until July 1.
"The health and safety of our fans, players and team personnel remains our first and foremost priority," Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien said in a statement. "We fully understand that our 2020 season will be determined by the leaders in each of our five host states, our 12 municipalities and counties, as well as decisions by our ballpark lessors. We are extremely hopeful this decision by the Prospect League Board of Directors can be met."
The Prospect League is a 12-team collegiate summer league that operates in the Midwest, with teams playing in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia.
The league was originally slated to begin its season on May 28.
It seems like every day we hear something new regarding sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. One day we hear that MLB has a plan to play the 2020 season and the next day they release a statement saying they haven't decided anything.
There have been multiple ideas floated by Major League Baseball players, coaches and executives, but nothing is set in stone ye1t. And it might not be for a while.
Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke with The New York Times recently and said that some sports leagues might have to forgo their 2020 seasons if the situation does not improve.
“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” Fauci told the Times. “If you can’t guarantee safety, then unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.’”
Fauci told the Times that testing is among the biggest issues in getting sports back into our lives. Until there is more widespread testing, he does not see sports returning to normal.
MLB this month participated in the largest antibody testing study conducted in the United States so far. The league has been working with officials to conduct the testing and come up with a plan to get back to action, but a date for Opening Day is still unknown.
There's nothing better than an American classic. Whether it's baseball, apple pie or hot dogs, you can't go wrong. The same thing goes for beer, too.
Budweiser is the classic American beer, and it goes perfectly with cookouts, ballgames, concerts and any other type of event you can imagine. It can always be your go-to beer, but sometimes, it's okay to change it up.
Anheuser-Busch has been coming out with new beers in their Reserve series since 2017 when they introduced the Repeal Reserve. Since then they've had some great selections, including the Jim Beam Copper Lager.
The latest style that they've come out with is the Nitro Reserve Gold. Craft breweries have been doing nitro beers for a long time, but this is the first time I've ever seen a mass-produced nitro beer.
The lager is infused with nitrogen gas to give it a smooth, creamy, draught-like feel. It's a fun one to drink, too, as Budweiser prints instructions on the can for how to pour the beer.
Traditional beers are usually poured down the side of the glass to prevent the head from foaming up too much. But with the Nitro Reserve Gold, you're encouraged to shake the beer upside down three times and then pour it straight into the glass to get the nitrogen infused throughout the entire beer.
While I like sticking with the classics, this new beer from Budweiser is one that's worth making a change for.
Untappd rating: 3.75 out of 5
You ever get the feeling your phone or computer is listening to you? You mention something once and then start getting ads for it all the time. That's what led to us trying the bourbon spritz this week.
My dad found the recipe for this drink from Maker's Mark and said we should try it sometime. Over the next few days I kept seeing sponsored posts on social media from Maker's Mark showing how to make this drink. But it clearly worked because my dad went out and bought all the ingredients to put together this delicious cocktail.
I'm a fan of the flavors of bourbon, but sometimes you want something a little lighter and sweeter also. This is the perfect cocktail for that. You get the bourbon as the base liquor, but add in Aperol, Prosecco, some juices and sweeteners and boom! A great drink for happy hour.
1.5 oz. Maker's Mark
1 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. lemon juice
Splash of simple syrup
Orange peel for garnish
1. Fill a wine glass with ice. Add Maker's Mark, Aperol, lemon juice and simple syrup.
2. Top with Prosecco. Stir.
Collegiate summer baseball leagues have been dealt a hard blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. As states continue with shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, it looks as if we'll continue to have more cancellations from leagues around the country.
The Valley Baseball League was the first to cancel its 2020 season, doing so on April 2. Since then, the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod Baseball League and, as of Saturday, the Ohio Valley League have all canceled their seasons.
The Cape Cod and Valley Leagues are two of the premier summer baseball leagues, and if their cancellations are any indication, we will continue to see more leagues decide not to play in 2020. Continue to follow along here as I'll update this page with each new cancellation we hear of going forward.
Valley Baseball League
Golden State Collegiate Baseball League
Cape Cod Baseball League
New England Collegiate Baseball League
Ohio Valley League
Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League
Cal Ripken League
New York Collegiate Baseball League
Coastal Plain League (July 1st)
Northwoods League (TBA)
Prospect League (July 1st)
Southern League (TBA)
Collegiate summer baseball was dealt another blow on Friday as the Cape Cod Baseball League made the decision to cancel its 2020 season. The league announced the cancellation in a press release on Friday afternoon.
"The Cape Cod Baseball League Executive Committee has voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 Cape Cod Baseball League season," the statement read. "The decision was based on the health concerns and safety needs of all involved. Following CDC guidelines and medical recommendations, the league determined it would be impossible to guarantee the safety of players, coaches, umpires, host families, volunteers and fans during this unprecedented health crisis."
The Cape Cod league is one of the oldest leagues in the country, with roots dating back to 1885. The league claims 300 current alumni playing in Major League Baseball and 1,250 all-time MLB players.
The 10-team league was scheduled to begin its 2020 season on June 13. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker recently said it is too early to begin considering reopening the state and pointed to data showing increased hospitalizations statewide.
The Cape Cod League joins the Valley Baseball League and the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League as the only leagues to cancel their seasons so far. Others have announced postponed opening days, and we could see more cancellations in the coming weeks.
Amid the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, sports fans everywhere are wondering when they will get live sports back. MLB has postponed the regular season indefinitely, and while there have been rumors of plans to play an isolated season in Arizona, nothing is definite.
But there was a little bit of good news for baseball fans in the Appalachian region today as the Pulaski Yankees released a statement saying that they expect to begin their season on time on June 22.
"The 2020 Pulaski Yankees season is still expected to begin on June 22. We are in constant communication with the Appalachian League and Minor League Baseball about the season and will provide further updates as needed," the statement read. "At this time, we plan to play our full 68-game slate as originally scheduled. We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our fans and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park as soon as it is safe to do so."
Pulaski is the Advanced Rookie affiliate of the New York Yankees, playing in the 10-team Appalachian League. The league begins play in late June and the season lasts through early September.
The league provides fans in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee with entertainment and quality baseball each summer, showcasing some of the top draft picks each year.
Of course, this could also be the final year of the Appalachian League as it includes nine teams that are on the list of franchises to be contracted under the potential new PBA, but that's a whole other story that we'll dive into on tomorrow's podcast.
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.