Three of the greatest word’s in the English Lexicon. “Let’s Play Ball”. Baseball is back baby!!! Whooow. I expected to be able to write this blog on Wednesday but when that didn’t happen, I genuinely never believed I’d get to write it as soon as today.
Hopefully one day we’ll get some insight to just what happened behind the scenes this past week. It really doesn’t make sense to me, how we swag so dramatically in different directions so frequently. The just is no logic to it, so there must be something we’re missing.
- Expanding to a 12-team playoff field
- Universal designated hitter
- Six-team draft lottery
- New $50-million bonus pool
- Increases to competitive balance tax thresholds (starting at $230M, rising to $244M)
- Changes to minimum salary (starting at $700K, rising to $780K)
- Addressing service-time manipulation
- Top two Rookie of the Year finalists get full year of service time
- 20-round amateur draft
- Players can be optioned to the minor leagues a maximum of five times per year
It’ll be curious to see what exactly “addressing service time manipulation” comes to be, unless it’s just the ROY piece. That’s not great. But I think overall this is a good win for the players. Lot’s of positive progress.
Spring Training officially begins on Sunday but players may report as of today. We’ve seen a bunch on the guys arriving in Dunedin on Twitter. Looks like we’ll get out first game on the 18th whom against I don’t know. Sounds like we’re just going to make up a new schedule. Regular Season beings on April 8th with a home opener now to Texas (instead of a road open in Baltimore, and home opener to Tampa). I’m not sure what this means for ticket holders. It would suck to have paid premium dollars for the Tampa game for it now to just be rescheduled to later in the season, but likewise you can’t screw over the fans who already had the Texas series.
One of the missed series is to be made up throughout the year as double headers, while the other is an additional series at the end of the year. I’m not sure how that will be decided but its sure to cause lots of debate. End at home to Tampa, meaning we end on a 9 game home run… or go to what I expected to be a fairly flat Baltimore team??? Play your double headers at home or on the road? Lots of strategy to consider, if there is any choice given.
The new playoff structure has a nice little wrinkle with the Wild card series only being in one city. Great if you host, kind of sucks if you don’t and you don’t progress. Yes your team made the playoffs, but you didn’t get a single home game. No different I suppose that the one game eliminators we’ve had the past few years.
I’ll leave you with this post from the Blue Jays today… if this doesn’t just get you giddy and put a big smile on your face then you’re dead inside I guess.
Thanks as always for reading, back on Monday when we can really get this blog starting by exclusively talking all things Blue Jays.