MLB continues to jump through hoops with the ways and means to have a 2020 season. Lives and livelihoods are at stake, though, and there’s no turning back…
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), motivated by greed or a genuine desire to give the people what they want, it’s hard to tell, is gearing up for a Fourth of July kickoff to the 2020 season.
Symbolic are the calls coming from everywhere, even from crusty ole Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
They signal that it’s the player’s patriotic duty to take the field to bring America’s National Pastime back where it belongs.
Meanwhile, common sense and science say – don’t do it.
We all miss our baseball. What’s a morning cup of coffee without a scan of the box scores from games the previous night and a check on the latest standings?
Who’s hot and who’s not? Who threw a no-hitter in Detroit last night? It all plays into the rush to judgment by MLB, and the prevailing thought there must be baseball, any which way you can – this year.
MLB And The Matter Of Logistics
The trouble is, though, it’s not Mitch McConnell, or Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball, or Scott Boras, the player’s agent who never saw a microphone to walk away from, or any of us who are the risk-takers in making the season happen.
Nor is it only the players who are being asked to take a journey into the eye of a pandemic, despite all the assurances from MLB that safety is the priority.
Rightly so perhaps, the players garner all the headlines and the provisions to ensure their safety.
But there is an undercurrent of hundreds of others who perform essential tasks in, around, and away from the ballpark to make a major league game happen.
There are clubhouse attendants, clubhouse caterers, team trainers, and medical personnel, coaches, umpires, TV technicians, plus radio and TV announcers.
Add groundskeepers, MLB replay personnel, hotel workers, flight attendants, bus drivers – need we say more?
MLB Should Know – Murphy’s Law Applies In Spades
If anything can wrong, it will, especially in an environment where a virus is a boss.
Here’s a question for MLB and its supporters. Imagine a (very likely and possible) scenario in which the Chicago White Sox host the Cleveland Indians for a game on July 10.
Two days later, a player from the White Sox tests positive for the coronavirus. What are the implications of that single event?
First, the player must be quarantined for fourteen days and contact testing performed on anyone he has come in contact with, including family, waiters, the bookstore he visited, the movie theater he went to, and so on.
Second, each player on both the White Sox and Indians must be re-tested and cleared before they can play in another game.
Plus, the players on the Minnesota Twins, together with all of their satellite staff, who played the White Sox the next night, must also be tested and cleared before they can resume play.
In the meantime, as many as five teams are forced to the sidelines, interrupting the MLB schedule again with postponements with no provisions for make-ups.
MLB: A Camoflagued Season Is No Season At All
A camouflaged season is no season at all. If the charge moves on, MLB will have its 80 games in the books, together with some kind of a discombobulated postseason crowning a “Champion.”
But who’s fooling who here? Oh, there will be a Cy Young and MVP in both leagues, and so on until all the awards are handed out. But players know it won’t be the same – like the asterisk stuck on Roger Maris by Bowie Kuhn for his 61 in 61.
And if teams like the Mets get to play the “season” with a universal designated hitter (DH), as likely to happen to enable the use of Yoenis Cespedes, where is the value in that?
I’ve been saying all along there is no reason attached to trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
I want my baseball, and I want it bad. I’m not alone.
But as each day goes by, I see this as a “Hail Mary Pass” by MLB, destined for failure, and even worse, lost careers with exploding Tommy John surgeries for pitchers rushing back too quickly.
MLB shut it down. We’ll understand. Soon, the NBA and NFL will see the folly of their ways as well.
Ironically, at this point, standing down is the only sure way to protect our National Pastime. I can wait for a 2021 season that will set the sports world afire…