MLB is trying to please everyone but pleasing no one. As an avid fan for over a half-century, I want my baseball. But not this year and not at this price.
MLB has been a part of my life for more than a half-century. I miss my baseball, and I want it back – yesterday.
But when it comes back and games are played, I want the real thing and not some half-baked scheme they’ll call a season. And that’s why I implore MLB to do the right thing, which in this case is to cancel the season.
I’ll Shed A Tear Too – But
It saddens me to say that. But the health and safety of American citizens continue to be at considerable risk. Beyond today, virtually everyone in the science and medical community is screaming – This is only the first wave of the COVID-19 virus.
We already see that in China and South Korea, when what first looked like a flattening of the curve is merely a lull while storm re-forms.
Much like the flu, Dr. Fauci warns that COVID-19 is almost sure to become a seasonal virus, returning next winter.
The vision of sugarplums dancing on NFL’s gladiator fields in August is ridiculous, and the nonsense has to stop.
It ain’t gonna happen, my friends. Check that – it shouldn’t happen.
No Vaccine = No Baseball
The march is on to find a vaccine that neutralizes COVID-19. Estimates range from six to eighteen months, with most falling on the upper end of the curve before we have a thoroughly tested, safe, and readily available vaccine.
Cheerleading and wishful thinking aside, would you feel safe taking your family to a game in August or September?
Are you happy with MLB games that last seven and not nine innings, with twice-weekly doubleheaders scheduled to maximize the “regular” season?
Aside from the novelty, does the idea of Game 7 of the World Series played on Thanksgiving Day, following the annual clash between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, have genuine appeal to you?
Do regular season MLB games played on neutral sites in Arizona on Spring Training fields sound appealing?
How much are we willing to surrender in the name of the 2020 MLB season?
MLB: First Things First
How can any professional sport be played while practicing “safe distance”? I suppose golf and tennis might qualify, but yes, the list is a short one.
Baseball is undoubtedly better than basketball (the worst), football, and hockey. But MLB would need to contrive a way to eliminate the home plate umpire’s contact and breathing down the catcher’s neck.
Do you want the robot umpire? – Okay – go for it and we’ll have “baseball”.
And what happens if one – just one – player, coach, or clubhouse worker tests positive? Does that mean MLB cancels all games on the team’s schedule until everyone is fully cleared to resume play? What a nightmare. Why even go there?
MLB Players – A Burden Shared Equally
MLB owners, for good reasons, look at canceling the 2020 season as a road to perdition and for some teams, financial ruin.
However, a season not played is a season not worked, and the players need to answer to that.
For me, it’s almost heresy to suggest, but it falls on the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to assume a portion of the teams’ revenue loss.
But that’ll mean players at the top (i.e wealthiest) of the scale can afford to give up more than those making the minimum, which is not peanuts either at around $600,000 per season.
Yeah, I know – we’ll see how that flies. But make no mistake, that’s where the stars align – or not.
We are seeing players stepping up to donate considerable sums of money to various foundations to help the needy. Negotiations to reduce their salaries this year follows that line, especially if this loss in pay can be treated as a tax deduction.
Have We Ever Faced Bigger Choices
I can’t remember a time over 72 years on this planet where fans of baseball have faced more significant choices. 9/11 was short-lived in the short term, and baseball came back in due time, and a sense of normalcy immediately re-engaged.
Even World War II barely caused a ripple in Major League Baseball. But ask yourself – why?
The answer lies in the fact that this coronavirus war is being fought on our soil while WWII was being waged overseas in Europe and Asia – that’s big.
Hearing of soldier’s deaths in Burma is far different from hearing of the death of a neighbor in a hospital in Elmhurst, Queens in New York City, or a nursing home on Main Street in Ames, Iowa.
We can’t afford to mess with this thing. For now, it’s bigger than we are.
We’ll get our baseball back, but when we do, we should be sitting next to each other offering to buy the next round of beers…