Leading today’s Morning Briefing: History was made on Friday Night. Friday night was a historic one for baseball. For the first time in Australian professional baseball, a female took the mound in a game. Seventeen-year-old Genevieve Beacom threw one scoreless inning for the Melbourne Aces in Australia Friday night, making baseball history. [Tweet Link]. Talking about history and Women in baseball. Rachel Balkovec, who was hired by the Yankees as a minor league hitting coach in 2019, will serve as the manager for the Low-A Tampa Tarpons next season, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.
Thankfully, the Nationals Finally Figured out the Catchers Position. With the recent acquisitions of Riley Adams and Keibert Ruiz and with Tres Barrera already being in the Nationals minor league system the Nationals are for the first time in a long time are set at players to catch the next new wave of Nationals pitching rotation and it’s nice after years of Matt Wieters underperformance and the steady-but-uninspiring upgrade to Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki, the Nationals have their most exciting catchers’ room, perhaps, in franchise history. Read the full article here.
New York Times to buy sports site the Athletic in $550 million deal. Yesterday, the New York Times Co announced that they are going to purchase the sports website The Athletic. Meredith Kopit Levien, president, and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, said, “Acquiring The Athletic puts us in a position to be a global leader in sports journalism and offer English speakers around the world another reason to turn to the Times Company to meet their daily news and life needs. The Times already provides distinctive sports coverage for a general-interest audience as part of our core report. As a stand-alone product, The Athletic will enable us to offer much more — extensive coverage for fans who seek a deep connection to and understanding of their favorite teams, leagues, and players.” Read the full article here.
Fanatics announced the purchase of Topps Cards. In the press release, the company announced that they have completed the acquisition of Topps trading cards, the preeminent licensed trading card brand that has serviced collectors, fans, and retailers for more than 70 years. The acquisition of Topps’ sports & entertainment division includes all parts of its iconic worldwide trading cards and collectibles business – both the physical and digital divisions – which sells in more than 100 countries and has physical operations in 10 countries, including the UK, Germany, Brazil, Italy, and Japan. Read the full article here.
ICYMI: Max Scherzer Details MLBPA Wants in Latest Interview. Max Scherzer breaks down what players are seeking in the new collective bargaining agreement with MLB owners. From our article “During the interview, there was a discussion about the additional new sources of revenue that owners are receiving through media deals and gambling and how the players aren’t necessarily interested in getting a piece of the new revenue streams.” Read the full article here.
ICYMI: We asked the question: Should the Nationals draft right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker? From the article: “After not being able to agree with the New York Mets, Right-Handed Pitcher Kumar Rocker could be an interesting draft choice for the Nationals in 2022. As of now, MLB.com is projecting that the Nationals will draft OF Elijah Green from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), however, with pitching now being a need for the Nationals things could change and it might be a good idea to draft another stud pitcher that could help the team in the long term, is Kumar Rocker a good fit?” Click here to read the full article. We have also written about another interesting prospect that the Nationals should take a look at shortstop: Jacob Berry.
We are a couple of weeks away from the start of when teams can start to sign International players. In early 2021 we took a look at Cristian Vaquero who might be one of the players that the Nationals might sign during the signing period. Cristian Vaquero is a top-five international prospect. Get to know him here.
Does Josh Bell Look Like A Trade Candidate For The Second Straight Offseason? The Answer is Complicated. We take a look at the possibility of Josh Bell being traded at this year’s trade deadline or even before Opening Day. From our article “Bell is entering his final year of club control and the Nationals are in a midst of a ‘re-tool,’ and might not make the playoffs or come even close this season so could Bell be a piece that the Nationals trade at the deadline.” Read the full article here.
Science of Baseball: Louisville Slugger Hitting Science Center and V1 Sports Announce Baseball/Softball Partnership. V1 Sports (V1), developers of the leading video analysis, ground pressure, performance tracking, stats, and game management technologies for coaches and athletes across multiple sports, today announced a partnership with the Louisville Slugger Hitting Science Center – the world’s first true diagnostic and analytic swing lab for baseball and fastpitch softball players – to deliver video analysis software and revolutionary ground pressure mat technology to baseball and softball coaches and players. Read the full article here.
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