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.”

SportTechie: 8 Ways MLB Is Leaning on Technology to Keep Fans Engaged This Summer

SportTechie: 8 Ways MLB Is Leaning on Technology to Keep Fans Engaged This Summer. “Major League Baseball’s delayed and truncated season will be largely contested without fans, making the execution of its technology roadmap especially crucial for fan engagement following its acrimonious labor negotiations with the players. In a Monday afternoon Zoom call, leaders of the league’s tech operations walked the media through a briefing of its 2020 updates, including the long-standing plans (enhanced replay and Statcast) and what’s being created on the fly (artificial crowd noise and increased digital signage). Here’s a rundown of what to expect when MLB holds Opening Day for all its clubs on Thursday and Friday.”

Mashable: The Mets-Yankees game was filled with cardboard cutouts and some Very Good Pups

Mashable: The Mets-Yankees game was filled with cardboard cutouts and some Very Good Pups. “It was Saturday night at the Mets’ Citi Field stadium in New York City, and the crowd was hushed. It wasn’t a particularly tense moment in the Mets-versus-Yankees scrimmage that had the heads dotting the stands holding their collective breath, but rather the fact that the cardboard cutouts that have replaced real attendees in the age of the coronavirus have no breath to hold. Oh yeah, and then there were the dogs.”

Sports Chicago: How to watch White Sox-Cubs exhibition: Time, TV schedule and streaming info

Sports Chicago: How to watch White Sox-Cubs exhibition: Time, TV schedule and streaming info. “The 2020 MLB season gets a little extra Crosstown this year. Because of the delay to start the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB teams are preparing to start the season in July when normally the season is eclipsing the midway point. Teams are putting on a mid-summer Spring Training at their home ballparks and will play three exhibition games before beginning the season.”

Houston Chronicle: How to get cardboard cutout of yourself in stands at Astros games

Houston Chronicle: How to get cardboard cutout of yourself in stands at Astros games. “When baseball season resumes next week, you won’t be in the stands at Minute Maid Park, but the Astros are willing to substitute your body with a cardboard cutout. For $100, you can send the Astros a photo of yourself and it will be turned into a cutout and placed in an outfield seat during home games. Proceeds will go to the Astros Foundation, the team’s official charity.”

Binghamton Homepage: Federal funding granted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum for educational programs

Binghamton Homepage: Federal funding granted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum for educational programs. “The funds will support Safe at Home virtual programming, including the delivery of sixteen baseball-themed curriculum units in mathematics, American history, fine arts, and science. The money will also support the expansion of the museum’s digital collection, which includes oral histories, museum artifacts, and more.”

Dodger Blue: How To Watch Or Live Stream Every Dodgers Intrasquad Game At Dodger Stadium

Dodger Blue: How To Watch Or Live Stream Every Dodgers Intrasquad Game At Dodger Stadium. “With the Dodgers playing an intrasquad game at Dodger Stadium seemingly on a daily basis, the team has also made those available to fans for viewing. Moving forward, every Dodgers intrasquad game leading up to Opening Day of the 2020 season will be televised by SportsNet LA and live streamed on the team’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.”

An Unlikely Source of Catharsis for a Black M.L.B. Player: Social Media (New York Times)

New York Times: An Unlikely Source of Catharsis for a Black M.L.B. Player: Social Media. “Social media can be a challenging venue for tackling sensitive subjects with nuance. But for [Tony] Kemp, one of the few African-American players in Major League Baseball, sending that tweet felt like placing a bar stool at his kitchen island and inviting anyone to join him for a conversation about the issues roiling the country.”

Bloomberg: Baseball’s Return in Peril After Champs Shut Down Training

Bloomberg: Baseball’s Return in Peril After Champs Shut Down Training. “The World Series champion Washington Nationals have shut down their spring training after just three days, and their players and front office are questioning the wisdom of baseball’s return to play. In a statement Monday, General Manager Mike Rizzo said the team canceled its morning workout due to a delay in receiving test results from Major League Baseball’s lab. The Houston Astros, the Nationals’ opponent in last year’s World Series, also canceled workouts on Monday after test delays.”

Baseball is coming back: Dates, locations and how to watch MLB’s return (CNET)

CNET: Baseball is coming back: Dates, locations and how to watch MLB’s return. “After the coronavirus postponed the start of the baseball season, and shut down nearly everything else, baseball is finally set to return with a 60 game season mandated by Commissioner Rob Manfred. Negotiations between the league and the MLB Players Association haven’t been pretty, with weeks of back-and-forth proposals that played out in the media without reaching a resolution before a season was finally imposed. Even now, a handful of players including the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman have announced they’re sitting out the shortened season and more might follow. There is still a lot to be sorted before the first pitches are thrown, but here’s everything we know so far about the MLB’s eagerly awaited start.”

EXCLUSIVE: Lawyer representing 15 minor league clubs suing insurers over coronavirus damages maps out case (AM NY)

AM NY: EXCLUSIVE: Lawyer representing 15 minor league clubs suing insurers over coronavirus damages maps out case. “Up to 15 minor-league baseball teams are suing five-different insurance companies to recover financial losses experienced during the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit, which will be held in the US District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is being led by Robin Cohen of McKool Smith and Andy Sandler of Mitchell Sandler.”