FILE - In this July 4, 2019, file photo, an American Flag is unfurled in the outfield during the playing of the National Anthem before the start a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers in Chicago. Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday, May 11, 2020, to making a proposal to the players' union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisioned expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Black, File)

MLB plan in place

Baseball owners on a conference call with commish Rob Manfred approved a restart plan Monday. The plan will be presented to the MLBA players association today.

As is the case in almost every negotiation of this size, it's of the utmost importance to remind everyone that this is proposal No. 1. There likely will be several, and several counter-proposals to match.

Some of the brand strokes (with my thoughts in parenthesis):

> An 82-game schedule with universal DH (the number is relatively meaningless in the negotiation, but the universal DH not only is a carrot for the players, it could be a lasting change that proponents of more offense have been clamoring for for years);

> Rosters with 30 active players and a 20-player taxi-squad (this is especially important to places like Chattanooga, since 50 players being in and around the MLB base would completely change the minor league prospects for 2020);

> A postseason with 14 teams with games at home parks in October (the breakdown of the schedule — it could be a variety of paths to 82 games, but the one that is currently addressed has the AL East and the NL East playing a vast number of their games against those two divisions — could lead to the strangest playoff format ever, and playoff expansion could likely be something that sticks too);

> A 50/50 revenue split for players and owners.

And that last one gets tricky, right? If you are the players, and you are asked to be away from your family for months and run the risk of catching The Corona every day, is 50/50 enough? Moreover, a 50/50 revenue split is paramount to a salary cap, which is something the players have forever fought.

On one hand, you understand that the owners do not want to lose money by having baseball, but the players will not accept revenue sharing and are taking the biggest risk.

Which caused Buster Olney to say on ESPN on Tuesday morning that after that proposal, Olney is less certain today that there will be baseball in 2020 than at any point before this.

Can you imagine the optics for the average fan longing for a sense of normalcy — never mind the fright of a growing cloud of unemployment — and wanting baseball to return and the hurdle for MLB to return is money?


Corona conversation

We had a little back-and-forth Monday in the comments about the MLB survey and the Corona. That's a good thing, and as we have said before, if nothing else, the ability to stay civil in our discourse and especially in our disagreements.
Well done.

There are two other Corona headlines since we last met that deserve some attention.

First, the recent USA Today story that almost a third of the 6,300 Americans surveyed by the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project believe that either a vaccine or a treatment that cures coronavirus exist and are being withheld by the government.

Wow. Just plain wow.

Have we reached a conspiracy-theory place this deep that roughly 2,100 of the 6,300 asked believe there is an international plot between almost all of the governments in the world that in theory in would amount to a Nazi-gas chamber-level of war crimes?

Again, just plain wow.

The second Corona headline comes via the New York Times, and it's a doozy. "Fauci to Warn Senate of 'Needless Suffering and Death'" is the headline to this story on the topic of states reopening.

Everyone's situation is different, be it economic, healthy-related preconditions, zip code job situation and just about every other box imaginable.

Everyone's situation is the same, too, because we are all humans, no one wants people to die or people to suffer.

The bridge between those two sentiments, though, is seems immense and impossible to navigate.

You can't put universal theories into place and universally address all the wrinkles. You can't expect the solution in NYC, which has been hit harder than any city anywhere in the world, to be the same as the solution for Chattanooga, which at the 'peak' of its fight against the Corona had all of 14 patients in three hospitals with COVID-19.    

Dr. Fauci's sentiments should be viewed with the respect his expertise demands. But the advise of the economic experts should be treated with the same level of respect, too, in my opinion.


And the reasons people say fake news

We have always been open to discuss issues in the media and the climate for those trying to detail the news in arguably the most vitriolic and news-hungry time in history. It's also a time in history when news consumption has changed on a slew of fronts. The levels of consumption has never been higher, but people wanting confirmation as much if not more than actual reporting has never been greater either.

The layers and complexity of covering daily details even before the Corona was extreme. Now, when the storylines truly are life and death, it's impossible to gauge.

And while most of you regulars know I loathe the term 'Fake News' it's birth was planted in most cases by despicable public figures trying to redirect or neuter the message by criticizing the messenger. It's a sound strategery and something that has cost our society dearly in the grand scheme of things.

If that was the birth, it's exponential growth has been made easier by the stupidity and malfeasance of those in my profession.

Start with the disaster that was Meet the Press on Sunday when Chuck Todd and people on his staff deceptively edited a clip response from AG Bob Barr. Todd and NBC apologized for "inaccurately" quoting Barr. That's lame and not enough.

President Trump said Todd should be fired. If he knew of the shoddy editing of the clip, maybe he should be. That's a big enough mistake on a big enough platform, that it likely should cost someone their job.

On the other side, there's the duplicity and hypocrisy that hollows out credibility of the media, and while it may be one institution in this case, the truth is that a vast majority of the news-consuming public views almost all of us with the same growing skepticism and distrust.

This hypocrisy lands on the desks of the Fox News execs, because as their shows rally around protests and the people clamoring to get back to work, Fox has continued its work-from-home mandate through mid-June.    



This and that

— Wow, this is a scary wrinkle about the Corona and a level of at best selfishness and more likely hatred of humanity that is difficult to fathom. Surveillance videos from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department of county jail inmates purposely trying to pass the Corona so they could be released. Wow.

— Now some celebrity news, well, Bryan Adams was trending on Twitter and a lot of folks were calling out the Canadian rocker's Instagram post as 'racist' Monday. Here's what Adams posted with some language edited out: ""Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of a tenancy of gigs at the @royalalberthall, but thanks to some (bleeping) bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards, the whole world is now on hold,. My message to them other than 'thanks a (bleeping) lot' is go vegan."

— Then there's Canadian comedian Jim Carrey, who shared a painting of Trump as the Grim Reaper with the ol' No. 1 middle finger. Politics aside, Carrey's always teetered on the jagged edge of sanity, no?    

— If you noticed no cooking tips, well, it's because we did little kitchen work over the weekend. We celebrate Mother's Day at the Mrs. 5-at-10's momma's house on Lake Martin. Granted I did filets on Saturday night and burgers on Sunday, but actual kitchen work and sides, well, those were pretty straight forward. Couple of tips we've had success with: First, when baking potatoes take the extra time and spray them lightly with olive oil and rub the spuds with good salt; second, if you have the time or the supplies, make a little pimento cheese for a pimento cheeseburger.

— OK, this news is hardly surprising. Phil Mickelson is in the process of joining Michael Jordan's new golf club The Grove XXIII as Lefty relocates to Florida. Buckets of Jimmy the Greek receipts, what do you think Mickelson and Woods would have on the line in a Saturday morning two-ball?

— The numbers in front of you on something like this is striking. This Chicago-area pizzeria owner showed his receipts and showed how expensive Grubhub and third-party food delivery is for the restaurants. It's eye-opening.

— You know the rules: TFP college football guru David Paschall writes about college football, we read and link Paschall's views on college football. Here's No. 4 on the list of his best five University of Georgia football players ever. (He did Alabama last week and he will go over the UT rankings next week. Good times.)

— Speaking of social media, here's a dude that looks like Jeff Goldblum simply whipping a shirtless dude's tail in a sidewalk fight that ended with a direct kick to the ribs.

— Here's renowned bracketologist Jerry Palm on the NCAA changing the NET, which it uses to determine the seeding in the NCAA tournament, provided that you know, we ever have another NCAA tournament. The most important line-item in Palm's report is that the formula is still a secret, which tells me that yet again the NCAA has decided against transparency because, well, it's the NCAA and they are dumb.


Today's questions

It's a Tuesday, so that means, true or false.

True or false, the University of Georgia has the clearest most no-doubt No. 1 overall player in school history of any SEC school.

True or false, nothing screams summertime like a ripe tomato or a really good watermelon.

True or false, there will be MLB this year.True or false there will be a professional game played at AT&T this summer.

True or false, Bryan Adams' social media post was racist.

True or false, Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do, I Do for You" from Robin Hood is the worst title movie song ever.

Answer some T or Fs, leave some T or Fs.

As for today, well, it's May 12. Hope everyone is safe.

Did you know it's National Limerick Day? (Keep that diddy 'bout the old man from Nantucket to yourself Spy.)

On this day 26 years ago, Pulp Fiction debuted at Cannes.

Yogi Berra would have been 95 today. Wow it's too late to do an entire Yogi segment, but I should have.

Homer Simpson is 64 today. Rushmore of Homer, and be creative.