MLB 2020: A Chance For Us To See Beyond The Robotons Who Entertain

MLB on the way back - it's a matter of time or pure luck (

The MLB 2020 season promises to be unlike any other. But nothing has more intrigue than the chance to see the humanness of players performing under stress.

The MLB 2020 season may or may not be played with the presence of Mike Trout, the best player on the planet today.

He’s not injured, and he’s still able to leap outfield walls in a single bound.

It’s just that he’s wrestling with the kind of a dilemma major league players deal with every day, in between signing balls in the clubhouse, talking to reporters, and making sure a 99 MPH fastball ball hits the sweet spot on your bat.

The MLB 2020 season for Mike Trout is giving him a bad case of agita. (video)

Barely able to restrain himself, Trout announced in a Tweet: “Baby Trout due August 2020!! I don’t even know where to begin….from seeing your heartbeat for the first time to seeing you dance around in mommy’s belly… we are truly blessed, and this is only the beginning!”

So what is a man supposed to do? Should Trout go off to war amid a global pandemic, risking not only his health but that of his wife Jessica and their son, who is on the way?

The MLB 2020 season is still a question mark Mike Trout, and he has yet to advise the Angels with his intentions.

MLB 2020 Season: Thanks, But No Thanks

Following intense discussion with family and team officials and thought, several players, including those listed below, have chosen to bow out for this year.

The list is expected to grow as individual players “feel out” the process and requirements of playing baseball amidst a myriad of dos and don’ts. (Felix Hernandez opted out today)

For some, to err on the better side of caution will make more sense to them than risking it all to merely win what MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred infamously described as “only a piece of metal” when protests arose to take back the trophy won by the cheating Astros.

Brett Gardner: Another MLB 2020 Baseball Story

But for most, the competitive spirit burns bright. Humanness is still there, and it can’t be ignored as in the case, for instance, of Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner.

Brett Gardner - All Out All The Time (
Brett Gardner – All Out All The Time (

Gardner first put on a Yankees uniform and was treated to a World Championship title in 2009 on the back of CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira, who was imported by George Steinbrenner as a last-ditch attempt to end the team’s misery.

Gardner could not have known then that was the last ring he would win as the Yankees labored through years of rebuilding.

Followed by narrow misses in recent years, ironically, the fire is still burning in Gardner, now 36. This, even though he may be watching more games than he plays if the Yankees’ starting outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge remain healthy.

Despite the motivation to “do it just one more time”, the human element in Gardner is not hidden as he spoke to the New York Daily News:

“I just think that there’s a lot of uncertainty with where things are right now and not for myself but just, just as a whole, I mean I think a lot of things are going to have to go right for, for all this to work. I’m optimistic, but I’m also, you know, cautious and a little hesitant at the same time so um yeah just take things one day at a time, and enjoy everything that comes along with this and like I said, we’ll see what happens.” Kristie Ackert, New York Daily News

Mulling It Over – Sign Of The Times

“We’ll see what happens”, along with words like cautious, personally, and hesitant coming from Gardner doesn’t sound like the Robotron ballplayer we are used to watching as he wears down a pitcher, never giving away an at-bat, and always in a state of high-level competition.

His 2020 salary of ten million dollars, prorated to about 3.5 for a shortened season, is a small dose of family security when measured against the $82 million Gardner has collected throughout his career.

Gardner’s is a private decision to play this year. As a fan of the Yankees, I can wait to see Number 11 in action – perhaps for the final time this MLB 2020 season.

But by no means does my admiration for this Yankee warrior vary if his choice had gone the other way.

The MLB 2020 Season Digs Down To Baseball’s Barest Bones

The players we see on the field are not real. They can do things on a baseball field we only dream about as fans, allowing us to re-live the “Glory Days” (video) of our youth.

Until that is, we are thrust back to reality to (please) “Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready To Play” (Centerfield video)

Thoroughly human and enticing is the spirit of just wanting to play the game. What would we have endured to be given a chance to be a part of The Show – even for only one day?

Gerrit Cole (right) as a young Yankees fan (Photo: Newsday)
Gerrit Cole (right) as a young Yankees fan (Photo: Newsday)

Awaiting Gerrit Cole’s emergence as the ace of the Yankees staff in the MLB 2020 season is tempered by the welcoming of his first son, Caden, born in January to the Cole family. Reality cannot and should not be avoided.

Thirty-one players have tested positive with symptoms related to COVID-19. Rest with the good news if you wish – that is only a bit more than one percent of all players tested.

MLB 2020: One Day At A Time

But if anything is to act as a measurement of the MLB 2020 season, the axiom of one day at a time must prevail.

Mets rookie manager, Luis Rojas, was steady, calm, and confident yesterday following the team’s first full-blown attempt at a Summer Camp workout (

Luis Rojas - Not Rushing Into Anything (AP)
Luis Rojas – Not Rushing Into Anything (AP)

Tomorrow, who knows? In the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks have closed down all pre-season activities due to what is thought to be the spread of the virus.

Basketball players, baseball players – as God-given as their talent seems to be – they are not immune, and neither are their loved ones.

The MLB 2020 season is a test of will and endurance to finish a season that many wishes were thrust aside many weeks ago.

The MLB and MLBPA said no, and here we are.

If we know but one thing at this moment, it should be that there are no heroes who choose to play the sport we love and miss, only to fall victim to the virus down the road. Instead, opting out is not a “sin,” and teams and teammates are treating that way.

One Day At A Time

The MLB 2020 season, if reduced to the essence of man and womankind, stands on the precipice of a mountain seeking only the way to survive.

Overdramatic? Don’t sell it short – because one way or another we’ll never forget the MLB 2020 season.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.