We've reached mid-January and, under normal circumstances, the spring training report date for pitchers and catchers would be about one month away. However, the idea of spring camps firing up on time feels like a pipe dream at this point. MLB and its players association still have yet to engage in serious discussions.
On the bright side, that is finally about to change. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported earlier this week that the two sides plan to convene and hold a bargaining session on Thursday for the first time in six weeks.
I wish I could say I was confident this meeting would result in rapid action, but I'm not. We all lived through the agony of following "negotiations" during the COVID shutdown in 2020, with proposals from each side repeatedly being scoffed at by the other.
I suspect we'll see a similar series of rebuffs in the weeks ahead, with the urgency and stakes growing higher as spring approaches and scores of free agents remain in limbo.
I've been using the downtime to fully take stock of the Twins organization as it currently stands, ponder the fallout of trade scenarios, and reminisce on Minnesota teams past. None of these activities serve as fitting substitutes for actual baseball news and the palpable excitement of spring training's approach but ... you work with what you've got.
To that end, I've been incredibly impressed by the inventiveness of our Twins Daily writing community. I come here every day and find multiple new articles covering interesting topics despite the total lack of anything happening. It's quite amazing.
I've read great stories about potential international signings, and Dereck Rodriguez returning to the Twins, and Jim Kaat's number retirement, and 2022 sleepers to watch, and a mother's perspective on two identical twins who happen to be start relievers, and much more. These are all from the past few days.
The passion of fellow Twins fans is helping to keep my impassioned disgust with Rob Manfred and the league at bay, for now.
When I helped launch Twins Daily a decade ago (10th anniversary coming up next month!), we envisioned it as exactly this: a refuge for lovers of baseball, even when baseball doesn't love us back. For me, it's been that and more. And it's honestly making a significant difference in my morale as this stupid lockout drags on.
There's a good chance I'd have checked out on baseball – at least for the time being – amidst all this stupidity, if not for the writers, readers, and audience here at TD. I'd like to let them know how much I appreciate 'em. But for now I can only tell it to you, dear journal, here in this extremely private, anonymous, discreet setting.
Anyway, seeya next week. Hopefully I'll bring news of any substance. I'm not counting on it.