MLB spring training still a hot ticket in Arizona
FILE - In this March 18, 2016, file photo, fans at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick watch a spring training baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Scottsdale, Ariz. PHOENIX – Even during a pandemic, the appetite to sit in the sun and watch Major League Baseball spring training appears robust. The two teams open their spring training schedule against each other next Sunday. Spring training facilities across Arizona and Florida have been making their own decisions about how many fans — if any — are allowed to attend games. “Not just Diamondbacks fans but I think baseball fans throughout the entire United States.
Rockies OF Ian Desmond opts out for 2nd straight season
Colorado Rockies' Ian Desmond during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Mesa, Ariz. Desmond announced Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021 he is opting out for a second straight season. Desmond announced on his Instagram account that his desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. (AP Photo/Matt York, file)DENVER – Colorado Rockies veteran outfielder Ian Desmond is opting out for a second straight season. Desmond announced Sunday on his Instagram account that his “desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. In opting out last season during the coronavirus-shortened season, Desmond cited a desire to spend more time with his family and to help grow youth baseball in his Florida hometown.
Arenado embraces playing for perennial contender in Cards
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, file photo, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado warms up before a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)DENVER – Nolan Arenado hasn't expressed this much optimism since signing his $260 million contract with Colorado two years ago. Ad“They really care about winning,” Arenado said of the Cardinals. He wanted to move on.”The Cardinals acquired Arenado for what some considered a steal: left-hander Austin Gomber and four minor leaguers. Ad“I’m going to miss some of the boys on the Rockies," Arenado said.
Giants star catcher Posey out this year over virus concerns
FILE - In this Sunday, July 5, 2020, file photo, San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey carries his bats during a baseball practice in San Francisco. Posey is the latest big-name player to skip this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)SAN FRANCISCO Giants star catcher Buster Posey became the latest big-name player to skip this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, announcing his decision Friday. Posey had missed three San Francisco practices while dealing with a personal issue. Posey hit .455 in exhibition games this year before spring training was halted March 12 because of the virus outbreak.
MLB releases pandemic-shortened schedule amid testing delays
The steady stream of players testing positive and opting out is leading to a growing unease that the full season might not be played. Theres a ton of players out there quoted saying this, but it almost feels like youre waiting on bad news, right? Youre waiting for travel restrictions to be shut down across the nation. Youre waiting for a second wave, where things become unplayable and sports take a backseat. MLB said it addressed delays caused by the holiday weekend, doesnt expect them to continue and commended teams for canceling workouts.
Braves 'ultimate pro' OF Nick Markakis opts out of season
ATLANTA Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis opted out of the 2020 season on Monday due to increased concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Markakis is the second Atlanta veteran in two days to announce plans to sit out the 60-game season. Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough, Markakis said. Braves first base coach Eric Young Sr. also will sit out the season. Markakis, Ender Inciarte and Adam Duvall were joined by rookies Cristian Pache and Drew Waters in the outfield competition.
Nationals, Astros cancel workouts because of testing delays
WASHINGTON Baseball's two World Series finalists canceled workouts Monday because of COVID-19 testing delays that one executive worried could endanger the baseball season. The defending champion Washington Nationals and reigning American League champion Houston Astros each called off training camp practices after not receiving test results from Friday. Two Nationals players were among the 31 to test positive during intake testing last week. Manager Dave Martinez said Sunday some of the 60 Nationals players tested were still awaiting results. Its just, the front end is taking longer than I think it will throughout the year.Not every team is dissatisfied with the testing process.
Rockies GM supports Desmond's decision to skip '20 season
DENVER Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich says he supports Ian Desmonds decision to sit out the 2020 season to focus on his young family and help rejuvenate youth baseball in his hometown in Florida. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout. Ian is extremely thoughtful in what he does, hes thoughtful in how he prepares as a professional athlete, hes thoughtful as a husband and a father ... hes thoughtful about things that are bigger than him, Bridich said. He wrote how they looked run down and neglected, and how important youth baseball was for him growing up. Desmond said he wants to help Sarasota Youth Baseball get back on track.