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Podcast episode 2103: The start of spring

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MLB owners would rather not pay for a full season again

MLB: Spring Training-Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This week on the podcast we talk about the conveniently-timed letter from the Cactus League to MLB, asking to delay the start of spring training, lining up perfectly with exactly what major league owners want.

Mostly this is just a continuation of what has been a very clear stance of MLB owners since last year: they don’t want to pay players for games that won’t be played in front of full stadiums. Only now there is no national emergency to allow the league to act unilaterally, and with other sports leagues playing, some even with fans, any credibility that might exist with MLB’s wishes to delay the start of the season for health and safety reasons doesn’t hold a lot of water.

Also on this episode we talk about how the split of expanded postseason money will be the key to any negotiations between players and owners for the 2021 season, plus the death of Hank Aaron, and both Kiké Hernández and Alanna Rizzo leaving the Dodgers.

Please send all of your questions to tblapodcast@gmail.com, or tweet us at @ericstephen or @jacobburch. Thanks as well to producer Brian Salvatore for making us sound halfway decent.

Dodgers rewind

With Hank Aaron fresh in our minds and hearts, this week our look back is to Charlie Hough, who had one of the most remarkable careers in baseball history. Aaron reached base seven times in nine plate appearances against Hough, all coming in 1970, 1973, and 1974. Aaron homered, doubled, walked four times, and was hit by a pitch against Hough, against whom four of his nine plate appearances came in extra innings.

Thanks to 1980 Topps, I learned that Charlie Hough’s dad Richard played in the minors from 1928-38.

Hough was drafted by the Dodgers in the eighth round in 1966, and was on the PCL champion Spokane Indians in 1970, managed by Tommy Lasorda widely recognized as one of the best minor league team of all-time. Hough pitched mostly in relief for the Dodgers in his 11 seasons (1970-80), with 385 of his 401 appearances with the team coming out of the bullpen. Sold to Texas midseason in 1980, Hough eventually became a starter at age 34, and despite the late switch still managed to start 440 games in his career.

Hough started the first game in Marlins history in 1993, against the Dodgers, was later the Dodgers pitching coach in the majors in 1998-99, and was a longtime minor league coach in the system.

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