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Cup o’ Joe, side o’ dough: What happens if players choose not to play?

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The Athletic asks an important question, and the answers may surprise you

MLB Opening Day postponed Due To Coronavirus Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

2020 OOTP sim: Second verse, same as the first
Brett Ballantini, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

A pattern is emerging with this 2020 White Sox season.

Starting pitching is usually working through traffic for much of a short start. The bullpen is often heroic. Defense has been, with the exception of third, short and catcher, very solid. And the offense? Well, it hasn't been as creative or nuanced as we'd like, and slumps have pockmarked the lineup.

The White Sox continue to flounder a bit at the 2020 OOTP sim at SI. Kelvin Herrera has been DFA’d for the third time this season, and this time the Sox are going to have to eat $6 million or so left on the deal.


Each MLB Team's Greatest Individual Offensive Season of the 21st Century
Zachary Rymer, Bleacher Report

This is where we could bow in honor of Hall of Famer Frank Thomas or perhaps for the criminally underrated Magglio Ordonez.

But Jose Abreu's 2014 season is just too good to pass up. He led the majors in slugging and OPS+ that season. The latter is also a high mark for the Chicago White Sox in the 21st century.

This is plumb crazy, right?


Stark: What happens if players choose not to play this season?
Jayson Stark, The Athletic

I ask because I found myself in a conversation with one high-ranking baseball official this week and made an assumption he shot down immediately. My assumption was, if players and management ever come to an agreement on all the health and economic issues, that everyone would have to buy in.

The answer I expected was: “Of course.” The answer I got instead was: “No. I actually think that’s a very important issue.”

Interesting read from Jayson (subscription necessary). You really hope that, baseball or not in 2020, MLB and the MLBPA can find a way to get together and heal some of the wounds that have opened during this latest stretch of labor peace.


10 Random MLB Stats and Milestones from the Last 2 Decades
Jacob Shafer, Bleacher Report

On May 15, 2005, the Chicago White Sox lost 6-2 to the Baltimore Orioles. The game itself was unremarkable, other than the fact that it ended an unheralded streak by the ChiSox.

Until then, the South Siders had reeled off 37 straight games in which they'd held a lead at one point (during that stretch, they went 27-10).

Bleacher Report needs a copy editor, but that aside, there are some fun ideas coming out of there. Remember this? Aren’t the White Sox the only team besides the Yankees in one of their eight million championship seasons to lead wire-to-wire and win it all? Ah, 2005, I’ll never stop basking in your glow.


Morning Music
My first experience with the brilliance of Neil Finn came at a time when I didn’t know who he was.

Here he is, at 19 or 20 years old, essentially taking over his older brother Tim’s group, Split Enz. Neil led Split Enz in a much poppier direction, as opposed to Tim’s art-pop. Neil would later form Crowded House and become a pretty major voice in pop music. Unbeknownst to me, he’s now apparently replaced Lindsey Buckingham in Fleetwood Mac Mach 58 or whatever incarnation they’re on now.

Masterful and melodic; I love Neil Finn. Woodface, the 1991 Crowded House album where Tim turns the tables and joins his younger brother’s band, is a masterwork in my eyes.