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Saturday Bantering: Bits of news and checking in again

Streets Around Fenway Park Empty Before Typical Opening Day Photo by Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

I figured we should check in every few days. See how everyone is doing.

At my house, it is day 15, so the official quarantine is over. We got groceries for the first time in more than a month. We were at the bottom of the freezer and basically had condiments left in the fridge.

Safeway was kind of surreal. I like the one-way traffic idea. I thought they should have been doing that long ago. Of course, if you are a little scatterbrained, like me, you miss the odd item. But they have people to go back and get the couple of things you missed. I figured 60% followed the lines and 40% wandered around, not noticing the arrows.

My wife, who got back one of her sewing machines, made us little masks. I know they don’t do anything for us, but if we cough it covers it, so protects others. Checkout lines looked long, but mostly because they were spacing us out.

We are good, no sign of the virus. I’m running a bit on the treadmill, trying to build up for a half marathon in November (if there is a November and if we beat this thing back).

I still have a hotel booked in Kansas City to go see the Jays there, at the end of August, but I’m thinking it is unlikely that I’ll be going.

I’ve been playing my ukulele a fair bit, I have an almost passable version of What’s so Funny About Peace Love and Understanding. And have played a few John Prine songs that aren’t terrible even with me. Today’s task is to figure out Lean on Me on the guitar. Read a bit about Bill Withers recording Ain’t No Sunshine. It said the amazing bit where he just repeats ‘I know, I know, I know...’ was a place holder for another verse and it was the record company executive who said no that’s great, keep it.

There are bits of baseball news:

According Baseball America’s transaction page the team has released a few minor leaguers RHP Alexis Carmona, RHP Josh Hiatt, RHP Andy McGuire, RHP William Ouellette, RHP Joey Pulido, RHP Matt Shannon, LHP Grayson Huffman, C Matt Jones, C Brett Wright and OF Roemon Fields.

Fields had his supporters, he put up some ok numbers climbing the ladder, but he was always old for the level. He stole a lot of bases and played good defense, but he’s 29 now and wasn’t going to make the majors.

Grayson Huffman got some notice from us, he was a sixth round pick in 2014 and he came out out of Grayson County College, so that stuck in my head. He was quickly moved to the pen in the minors, had some control issues. He missed all of 2018 and was ok with Vancouver last year (41 strikeouts in 32.2 innings, but 20 walks), but he turns 25 next month.

  • Shin-Soo Choo is giving each minor leaguer in the Rangers system $1000. That’s very nice of him. Terrible that it is needed, but good of him to do. Maybe he could offer money to long suffering bloggers?
  • And the MLB Players Association (don’t call us a union) is going to give money to players who were signed to minor league contracts with a spring invite:

So, on its own initiative, the Major League Baseball Players Assn. agreed Friday to supplement that weekly stipend for non-roster players with major league service. For a player on a minor league contract with one day of major league service, the union voted to provide a $5,000 payment.

For players on a minor league contract with at least six years of major league service, such as Dodgers catcher Jose Lobaton, the union voted to provide a $50,000 payment. Other levels of service call for payments of $7,500, $15,000 and $25,000. If a longtime player believes he is financially set, he can decline the payment.

  • Russell Martin is a good Canadian boy:
  • Wouldn’t you like to listen in on this: