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Morning Mound Visit: MLB remains opportunistic

MLB uses the pandemic to get what it wants; Don Mattingly turns 58 or maybe 59; Monte Irvin is remembered

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Normandin | Baseball Prospectus: Before the pandemic hit, MLB wanted to shorten the draft, condense the minor leagues to 120 teams, and replace international free agency with an international draft. Marc Normandin details the ways MLB is using this time of uncertainty to get exactly what it wants.

Sam Miller | ESPN: Baseball players lie about their age all the time, but they usually do it to make themselves appear younger. Why then did Don Mattingly’s Topps baseball card back read, “Don’s birth certificate states he was born in 1962, not 1961 as shown in most baseball records?” Sam Miller cracked the case of how old Don Mattingly really is.

Bill Ladson | In an alternate timeline, it was Monte Irvin who broke MLB’s color barrier. Irvin was the owner’s first choice to make the jump from the Negro Leagues to MLB, but Irvin served in WWII from 1942-45 and suffered from PTSD in the coming years. He wouldn’t make his debut in the majors until 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers.