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Post-draft: Back to the play-or-no-play grind

Also: Ken Williams steps up in an extraordinary way

Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox
Conquering hate: Among a lot said in his amazing SoxTV interview, Williams noted the incredible volume of hate mail directed at him, Reinsdorf and Guillén in the early 2000s.
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Ultimate bluff call. MLB is now in some real hot water for failing to bargain in good faith. The notion that players now “have” to play in order to get paid this year ... not so sure. Manfred and some of the MLB leaks have left baseball legally exposed.

Ken Williams grants an extraordinary interview with SoxTV
Brett Ballantini, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

Ken Williams, executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox, who has now run the team for two decades and is approaching 40 years in baseball, granted an extraordinary interview with Sox TV on Monday regarding the events of recent weeks.

I mean ... Williams’ interview is just jaw-dropping. If you did miss this, please, watch Ken. You don’t have to support Sports Illustrated, you can poke around and find it on Vimeo. But Brett did write a pretty good synopsis of the interview at SI, and the excerpt that runs as a lead video is just a DEVASTATING listen. Please, please, go watch this.

ESPN forgets about Chicago White Sox, again, in 'Long Gone Summer'
Alex Shapiro, NBC Sports Chicago

What did the White Sox ever do to ESPN? For the umpteenth time, ESPN wrote the White Sox out of history, this time in their documentary "Long Gone Summer."

[Insert joke here.]

MLB players’ union rejects proposal, asks ‘when and where’ to begin season
Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times

Players told MLB additional talks to start the season during the coronavirus pandemic are futile and said owners should order a return to work, which likely would spark lengthy litigation and the sport’s return to labor wars.

I suppose this is somewhat of a rehash on the MLBPA embed up top, but Steve fleshes things out a bit at the S-T.

Happy 50th, 1970 White Sox!
Leigh Allan, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

Yep, 50 years since the White Sox set their record for losses, 106 of them. For half a century, 1970 has served as the "at least" season for Sox fans — as in, "at least it's not as bad as 1970," which we've had to fall back on for a long time now.

When there’s such a grim occasion in sports, there’s a natural fan reaction to believe things weren’t as bad as they seemed. But in this case, yeah, they were, if anything, worse than they seemed, absolutely. It’s not easy to go from a 17th straight winning season to 56-106 in just three years.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and it didn’t turn out to be an oncoming train. Still, it was one nasty tunnel to get through.

Cool piece that looks back at the almost impossibly-bad 1970 White Sox, timed to the day when the White Sox fell behind both second-year expansion teams in the standings. It’s a long read, so have some Tums nearby.

A Look at the Gains and Losses by Team of a Season Without Fans
Craig Edwards, FanGraphs Baseball

On the heels of another weak offer by team owners, it’s worth re-examining their claims of losses on a per game basis in the regular season. While most of the discussions about MLB’s gains and losses in 2020 have been on a more global scale, individual teams are going to have vastly different financial outlooks this season. Those outlooks could be shaping the negotiations among the owners as they continue to present proposals to the players that try to satisfy all the owners at once.

This piece has been out and about for a while, and I just fell asleep on sharing it. A very instructive study on the owners’ “losing $600,000 per game without fans” claim. Turns out, some teams are really hurt by losing all fans; for others, it’s just a flesh wound.

We’ll skip the tunes for this evening edition, but as soon as Wednesday morning we should have another digest out for you to peruse.