Derek Shelton's taking a healthy approach to a decidedly unhealthy situation.
The Pirates' new manager popped onto a conference call with a bunch of us Pittsburgh reporters yesterday from his home near Bradenton, Fla., was candid and conversational as ever ... except when it came to projecting how his summer strategies might play out.
"The big thing I'm trying not to do in any regard is to speculate on anything we're gonna do," Shelton spoke once, but it might as well have been his answer to a half-dozen such subjects. "There are just so many unknowns about what the game's gonna be like when we come back. I have thought about a lot of different things but, until we have an outline for how things are gonna transpire, I really don't want to make any assessments or judgments."
Given the apocalyptic setting at hand, that sounded just about right. I mean, picture the man penciling out potential lineups when no one can say with certainty when -- or even if -- there'll be an opener.
At the same time, that stance set me off to wondering: What if Major League Baseball did invest some of this idle time into thinking about how to grow its game?
Meaning, you know, right when it comes back. Because hey, as the politicos like to say, never let a good crisis go to waste.