Yom Kippur: Minor League ballpark transformed into open-air synagogue (WABC)

WABC: Yom Kippur: Minor League ballpark transformed into open-air synagogue. “The COVID pandemic didn’t stop a Jewish congregation from hitting a home run on their holiest day. It wasn’t a catcher, but rather a cantor standing behind home plate at TD Bank Ballpark in New Jersey. On this Yom Kippur, the home of the Somerset Patriots Minor League baseball team was transformed into an open-air synagogue.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Coronavirus has minor-leaguers struggling to adapt to a summer without baseball

San Francisco Chronicle: Coronavirus has minor-leaguers struggling to adapt to a summer without baseball. “Two years ago, Chris Shaw arrived in San Francisco as a broad-shouldered beacon of hope for the Giants — big and strong, with a powerful left-handed bat and a future bursting with tantalizing possibilities. Most of this virus-ravaged season, Shaw lived with his parents at their home in Lexington, Mass., a once prized prospect suddenly without organized baseball for the first time since age 10. Shaw, like other young players chasing their dreams in the Giants and A’s systems, scrambled to adapt to life as a minor-leaguer adrift in the Year of Covid.”

Washington Post: Baseball has never been so lonely, and players are feeling the strain

Washington Post: Baseball has never been so lonely, and players are feeling the strain. “During normal times, there are aspects to a major league season that don’t lend themselves to top-notch mental health. Work is nearly every day. Struggles are laid bare for the public to see. Travel is constant. Baseball is a team sport, but at its worst, there’s no overstating the potential for isolation. And now, here lies the novel coronavirus-shortened 2020 MLB season, unprecedented in so many ways. The star of this show isn’t Max Scherzer or Juan Soto. Rather, it’s the coronavirus pandemic. It has altered American life in ways that, seven months ago, we could not have envisioned. And it is affecting this season in ways we could overlook.”

SportBusiness: MLB rolls out expanded digital video archive

SportBusiness: MLB rolls out expanded digital video archive. “Major League Baseball this week is widely debuting the MLB Film Room, a new digital video archive product aimed at enabling far greater user customization and distribution of the the league’s extensive film library. Powered by Google Cloud and a specific outgrowth of a large-scale deal struck earlier this year between MLB and the technology giant, the MLB Film Room will feature a publicly accessible library with more than 3.5m baseball highlights and nearly three dozen filters to locate specific plays.”

The Athletic: MLB TV ratings increase over last season, led by women and youth

The Athletic: MLB TV ratings increase over last season, led by women and youth. “That Major League Baseball TV ratings are up in the first month of the abbreviated 2020 season is somewhat of a modest surprise, given the sport is competing with NBA and NHL playoffs and a crush of political and pandemic news — not to mention the longstanding narrative of a graying sport in decline. But what is even more notable is the demographics fueling the rise: women and younger people, two groups that did not exactly flock to baseball in recent years (if not decades). The increases are seen in both national ratings, such as ESPN’s, and across the regional sports channels that air the bulk of MLB games.”

Sources: MLB commissioner warns of shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed (ESPN)

ESPN: Sources: MLB commissioner warns of shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed. “Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.”

Bob Nightengale: Marlins Players Went Out on the Town in Atlanta (The Big Lead)

The Big Lead: Bob Nightengale: Marlins Players Went Out on the Town in Atlanta. “Bob Nightengale blew up the Miami Marlins coronavirus outbreak story on Tuesday. The veteran USA Today baseball writer claimed a few members of the team went out in Atlanta while they were there for a two-game exhibition slate with the Braves last week. If that’s true it adds an even deeper layer to the mess the Marlins are in.”

Washington Post: Nats learning that the coronavirus sets the terms, and the terms are constantly shifting

Washington Post: Nats learning that the coronavirus sets the terms, and the terms are constantly shifting. “The Marlins were temporarily shut down because up to 15 players and two coaches have tested positive for the virus. The Nationals were scheduled to play in Miami this weekend, took a stand and never had to go any further. In one news release Tuesday, MLB shelved the Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies and set up a matchup between the New York Yankees and Orioles in Baltimore. The Nationals keep finding themselves at the center of this rocky restart.”

Vox: What the Miami Marlins’ Covid-19 outbreak means for the MLB season, explained by an epidemiologist

Vox: What the Miami Marlins’ Covid-19 outbreak means for the MLB season, explained by an epidemiologist. “On Monday, news broke that 11 of the 33 Miami Marlins players who traveled with the team to Philadelphia for the opening series that took place from Friday to Sunday tested positive for the virus, as well as two coaches. That news prompted MLB to postpone two games that were scheduled for Monday evening: the Marlins’ home opener against the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia’s contest against the New York Yankees. (The Yankees will be using the same clubhouse that the Marlins did over the weekend while the coronavirus was apparently spreading among the team.) Miami’s scheduled game on Tuesday has been postponed as well. Then, on Tuesday, news broke that four more Marlins players tested positive, bringing the number of team members with confirmed cases in recent days up to 17.”

USA Today: Dr. Anthony Fauci first-pitch baseball card breaks Topps record for sales in just 24 hours

USA Today: Dr. Anthony Fauci first-pitch baseball card breaks Topps record for sales in just 24 hours. “It was on sale for only 24 hours, but it broke company records. The Topps NOW limited edition baseball trading card featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, set an all-time print record run for the franchise, selling 51,512 cards, the company said.”

Washington Post: Every sport has a coronavirus plan. MLB’s lasted four days.

Washington Post: Every sport has a coronavirus plan. MLB’s lasted four days.. “With lots of inherent social distancing, baseball was supposed to be the easiest major American team sport to resume, just as leagues in Japan and South Korea have functioned smoothly for months. But MLB couldn’t go even a week without the serious prospect that its 60-game season should be canceled.”

Report: Red Sox’s Eduardo Rodriguez Dealing with Heart Issue Related to COVID-19 (Bleacher Report)

Bleacher Report: Report: Red Sox’s Eduardo Rodriguez Dealing with Heart Issue Related to COVID-19. “Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez remains out of action because of ‘a condition involving his heart,’ according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke confirmed July 7 that Rodriguez had tested positive for COVID-19.”

CNET: Fox will put virtual baseball fans in the stands for MLB games

CNET: Fox will put virtual baseball fans in the stands for MLB games. “In an age of social distancing, Fox is figuring out how to put fans in the stands for Major League Baseball game broadcasts. In a tweet Thursday, the network showed off a video featuring virtual fans who can wear team colors, cheer, boo and even do the wave.” I dunno, I kind of like the cardboard cutouts.

CNBC: ESPN’s MLB Opening Day games draw average of 4 million viewers, up 232% from last year

CNBC: ESPN’s MLB Opening Day games draw average of 4 million viewers, up 232% from last year. “Major League Baseball started its Covid-19 regular season Thursday night with a record average 4 million viewers, the most-watched regular-season MLB game on any network since 2011, according to ESPN, which aired the opener.”

Opening day amid virus: Masks, empty parks, social justice (AP)

AP: Opening day amid virus: Masks, empty parks, social justice. “A baseball season that was on the brink before it ever began because of the virus outbreak is set to start Thursday night when excitable Max Scherzer and the World Series champion Washington Nationals host prized ace Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees. When it does get underway — the DC forecast calls for thunderstorms, the latest rocky inning in this what-can-go-wrong game — it’ll mark the most bizarre year in the history of Major League Baseball.”