MLB’s plan to resurrect the season is on today and off tomorrow. This one belongs to the players, the gladiators entering the arena. All else is noise.
MLB’s interest in re-opening the 2020 baseball season amidst a pandemic, by definition, is a daunting task.
Whether it’s the players, fans, owners, TV networks, beat reporters, and even as we saw yesterday,
Dr. Fauci, who misses rooting for his hometown Washington Nationals – all have a common goal – we want our baseball back ASAP.
The trouble, of course, comes when the debate turns to how and when to resume the 2020 season.
MLB: Too Many Teams In The Game
Of the competing interests, fans and reporters have little say. TV networks only care about the when part of the question, and with all the television money on the table, FOX and ESPN would happily send their crew to Death Valley to cover a major league game.
The real players are the players and, to a lesser extent, team owners and Major League Baseball (MLB).
MLB can recommend, as they have done with the plan to have a Florida Grapefruit League and an Arizona Cactus League, with each league broken down into three divisions. (more on the details here)
Now, the latest proposal nixes games and teams playing in Florida, moving everything to Arizona with all 30 teams playing on neutral sites and Chase Field.
Where this came from is anyone’s guess, but clearly, it’s another cook adding his recipe to the pot.
Dr. Fauci, a respected member of the COVID-19 White House Task Force, offered that he sees a way for the MLB 2020 season to resume – “sometime this summer.”
This throws a wrench in MLB’s hope the season could be underway in late May. To MLB’s credit, it has pledged to comply with the recommendations of the CDC and the Task Force, but this means that it isn’t happening.
MLB: For The Players – I Object
On top of that, the players are decidedly not thrilled with being under quarantine for four months, living in hotels, entirely apart from their family. Who can blame them?
On this, there has to be some compromise in favor of the players. After all, do we not have a situation today where most players have back home and living with their spouse and children for more than a month?
Why not permit the players the same privilege, using the recommended weekly testing procedure to head off any abnormalities?
Everyone Say It – Baseball Exists Only Because Of The Players
Some may refer to them as pampered and overpaid, and in truth, some of them are. But there would not be baseball if not for the players.
Unless, of course, you or I would pay to see the Long Island Ducks play the Sugarland Skeeters, at Yankee Stadium in the name of a 2020 MLB season.
We wouldn’t stand for it, in the same way, that we rebelled against the troops of minor leaguers and semi-pros who masqueraded as the real thing during the player’s strike in 1995.
We are thankfully nowhere near that now. But the point is the game of baseball is not in any way the same unless the players are totally on board.
Otherwise, it shouldn’t have mattered if Seth Rogan instead of Marlon Brando was cast as Don Corleone in the Godfather.
MLB 2020: Ignore The Noise
I have a plan, you have an idea, the guy on the barstool has a plan, Dr. Fauci has one, and if my wife was interested, she has one as well.
But none of it cuts through coming to grips with the players, who in the case of playing live MLB games this year, cut through it all.
The players are the “first responders” – the essential service needed to make the MLB 2020 season possible.
Back to the drawing board, though, because this whole thing is a mess with no apparent direction home to the only sound we want to hear – “Play Ball.”