The recommendations of the CDC have driven MLB’s 2020 season. Donald Trump says, what do they know? Is this the opening MLB has been looking for?
The MLB 2020 season, along with all of the major professional sports league schedules are in chaos. I have a date; you have a date, everyone has a date when there will be normalcy and players on the field again.
Major League Baseball (MLB) has religiously adhered to following the guidelines put forth by the Center For Disease Control (CDC), a think-tank of the best and brightest scientists and medical personnel working on behalf of the United States.
Unprecedented in American History, the White House in the name of President Trump has officially buried those guidelines in favor of “opening up” the U.S. economy, going as far as saying:
“Will some people be affected? Yes,” he said on a trip to Arizona this week, his first outside of the Washington area in nearly two months. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.”
Will Mike Trout, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, or any of the 780 players listed on the active rosters of MLB teams be “affected badly”? As in contracting or spreading the virus – who can say so definitively now?
MLB 2020: Judgement Will Come Later
History will judge the actions of Donald Trump, and it is not my purpose to do so here.
But MLB is definitely in my crosshairs as to whether or not they choose to follow in pursuit of an opening presented by the White House to get the MLB 2020 underway – any which way they can.
Team owners have zero revenue coming in with player salaries already committed to, plus their executive staff that filters down to the guy who sells Budweiser at home games.
How hungry must they be now?
ESPN, FOX, and local networks like SNY (Mets) and YES (Yankees) are reaching the bottom of boring re-runs of games played yesterday. They need to broadcast live games played today.
The march to open the season can be on with one announcement from Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Baseball. He can say as has been widely reported that a regular-season schedule will resume on July 1. Players will have three weeks to get ready.
MLB 2020: The Only Players In The Game
Oh yes, the players – the mercenaries thrown into a battle, not necessarily of their choosing. Yes, players who have major life decisions to make for themselves and their families.
Forget the “players” and think about the person as an individual, just like you and me. And ignore the salaries we can only dream about.
These are men who signed a contract for X amount of money to play baseball this year.
Just like you and I, they budgeted accordingly. They have mortgages on a new home to pay, the landscaper they contracted for in December, and the contractor that’s waiting to install a pool in their backyard.
They’re not like us, but if you scale it down, they are just like us, trying to find our way through a very trying time.
So, what happens when it becomes open season on the MLB 2020 season?
There Will Be Blood – If MLB Lets It Happen
I don’t want to see it, and all I can tell you is that it’s going to be ugly.
The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) will need to authorize any plan put forth by ownership in the name of MLB.
And there will be blood, which is perhaps precisely what ownership is hoping for in place of the upcoming negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA to finalize a new contract, which expires in December 2021.
Can you see the division emerging between those at the top of the salary scale and those at the bottom making the major league minimum of around $600,000 yearly?
And if that’s the case, where is the motive to support the players toiling in the minor leagues for $800 a month – for six months and what after that?
This is a serious business that is highly charged politically. What happens next when the MLBPA is presented with an up or down vote to resume the MLB 2020 season is anyone’s guess.
MLB 2020 – Let It Be
I miss my baseball, and I suspect you do as well. But at what cost is the season worth it if it means giving the middle-finger to the CDC, the ones who know – or at least struggling to find answers.
My hope is MLB will not take the bait emanating from the White House that everything is under control, and the CDC recommendations are “overblown.”
Wishing that life was so simple…