Coby Mayo, the Orioles’ fourth-round draft pick who has reportedly reached an agreement with the team for a $1.75 million bonus, is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The 18-year-old Mayo, was a sophomore at the school on February 14, 2018 when a former student murdered 17 students and staff and wounded 17.
“That day was obviously is a day I’ll never forget,” Mayo said in a video conference call on Tuesday. “My community will always hurt from that. It will always be [in] recovery … I look back on it, and think, ‘I’m so lucky to be here today.’”
Mayo has used the tragedy as a motivator.
“Every single day, doing it for those ones that are lost. I play for those ones that are lost. I play for those because they can’t play. They don’t have voices.
“They couldn’t live [and do] what they wanted to do, and I can. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. Those people had dreams, too, and I want to fulfill their dreams by me fulfilling mine. The whole community needed something big to come out of it, and that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what happened on June 11 when the Orioles selected me.”
He decided to pass on a scholarship offer from the University of Florida to begin his pro career.
“The University of Florida was my dream school since I was a little kid,” Mayo said. “I knew that pro ball would start my career much faster and get me where I wanted to be much faster. Major League Baseball nowadays is all about the young talent. I want to be a part of that.”
The Orioles have held Zoom calls with their first five draft picks, and each has been thoughtful.
Meanwhile, the Orioles signed two more undrafted free agents — Duke right-hander Thomas Girard and right-hander Isaiah Kearns from Pitt-Johnstown.
Adult in the room needed: Despite nearly every national baseball writer decrying the standoff between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, the dispute drags on.
The writers are speaking for the fans, who are disgusted with the economic war over the start of the season.
It would have been interesting to see what the owners’ reaction would have been if the players offered a token, say 5-to-10 percent, reduction in salary for a shortened season. I wonder if that would have been enough to enable commissioner Rob Manfred to make a deal.
The players have stuck to insisting on full play for games played instead of the reductions the owners want.
Even if there’s a settlement in the coming days, and games begin in mid-July, a schedule of 60 games won’t be satisfying, Even less satisfying would be a 48- or 54-game schedule that would begin late next month.
While debate rages on who’s right, the majority of fans just want to see the right thing done.
Ultimately, Manfred, who guaranteed a season on June 10 and then backtracked in another interview on Monday, is responsible.
Manfred has the authority to unilaterally set a schedule and needs to make a deal to avoid being blamed for the possible loss of a season.
His predecessor, Bud Selig, will forever be known as the commissioner who canceled the 1994 World Series even though in the last 20 years of his reign, labor peace prevailed.
For the first time since 1995, games have been lost because of a labor dispute, and Manfred must spend the rest of his term trying to live it down as well as avoid the widely predicted lockout after the end of the 2021 season.
Under Manfred’s leadership, MLB is likely to significantly cut the number of minor league baseball franchises, something that could damage baseball in Maryland.
Because of the pandemic, Zoom calls have replaced face-to-face negotiations, and you can’t help wondering if the impersonal nature of the talks has hurt.
Fans and the media have been able to follow every move because negotiations aren’t taking place. Plans have been leaked and statements released.
There needs to be an adult in the room, and Manfred needs to be it.
He can be happy that even in these rough economic times for our country and his sport that TBS will reportedly pay $470 million annually for television rights beginning in 2022.
With the owners complaining about losing money for fanless games, it’s not a good look for Manfred.
International signing period update: According to Baseball America, Major League Baseball has changed the international signing period, which was scheduled to begin on July 2 and run through June 15, 2021.
Instead, the period will begin January 15, 2021 and extend through December 15, 2021.
The Orioles will have $5,899,600 to sign international players.