Shortly before I called into WISE Sports Radio for my regular baseball segment with Pat Ryan, news of Al Kaline’s death was being widely reported. I have far more to say on the Detroit Tigers legend and Hall of Famer than I could articulate on show. But I’m glad I did have an opportunity to express my feelings about Kaline.
We also discussed the MLB players union making sure that established major leaguers who signed minor-league contracts in spring training, hoping to catch on with a roster, were being paid during baseball’s shutdown. And a proposal for extra innings from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner that could be a lot of fun.
We talk baseball Wednesdays on WISE Sports Radio. Even though MLB games aren’t being played right now and it’s uncertain when the season will begin, there are still topics worth discussing like how minor league players and major leaguers are going to be paid during the next two months.
But one of the things that’s always been fun about The WISE Guys show is that Pat Ryan likes going off-topic into pop culture. And with many people, including me, posting lists of favorite albums and live concerts, we talked about some of my favorites, including The Replacements, Sugar, and INXS.
It was bound to happen one of these days. I had my computer ready to record my WISE Sports Radio baseball segment about 15 minutes before I was on. Then I brewed a cup of coffee, added to my notes, and the phone rang from the station. Forgot to get back to my computer to hit record! Oops.
We discussed Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale needing season-ending (if baseball season ever begins) reconstructive elbow surgery, the possibility of MLB playing more doubleheaders this season, and a new advocacy group for minor leaguers trying to get those players a better salary, along with keeping them housed and paid while the sport is on hold due to COVID-19.
Now that we’re into baseball’s offseason, a story that should be getting a lot more attention is getting noticed.
A month ago, Baseball America reported that Major League Baseball was considering a proposal to eliminate 42 teams from its minor leagues, presumably based on geography, attendance, and the condition of its facilities. The New York Times followed up with both reaction from some of the clubs that could be affected and, most importantly, a list of the teams that could have their major league affiliation taken away.
That took up a big chunk of my WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with Pat Ryan. We also discussed MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressing the sign-stealing allegations against the Houston Astros and look at the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.
Extra baseball talk on WISE Sports Radio Tuesday afternoon! Since the NFL season began, I haven’t done radio on Tuesdays. But WISE Guys guest-host Jordan DeVere had an opening on the show and I asked him if he’d seen the Baseball America report on MLB proposing the elimination of 42 minor league teams.
Jordan’s a big baseball fan, and we live in an area with a Class A minor league club in the Asheville Tourists. Not only that, but there are several other teams nearby in Greenville, Johnson City and Kingsport. (There are probably even more.) So this could be a local story, depending on how all of this develops.