When will MLB tell the sobering truth about the 2020 season? Try as we might, we can’t put a square peg in a round hole. Be safe; we’ll see your next year.
MLB gets high fives from players, fans, umpires, and ownership for their efforts to revitalize the 2020 baseball season.
But there comes a time when a parent must admit to a querying child – I’m sorry, sweetie, there is no Santa Claus. But you can bet we’ll still be celebrating Christmas with the exchange of gifts.
Deep down as you read this, with all that is going on around us, does your head tell you there is a way for the 2020 baseball season to carry on amidst the chaos and health hazards – real baseball I’m talking about – free of manipulations to “make it work”?
I know your heart is there – mine as well. But that’s not enough.
The Baseball Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony scheduled for July 26 in Cooperstown has been canceled and rescheduled for 2021.
Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, and Ted Simmons, as far as I know, are not on a suicide watch. Life goes on.
What hurts MLB more than anything right now is the constant raising of hope with a new plan to resume the 2020 season introduced almost weekly. Each one looks good until the devil in the details is revealed—spinning wheels.
MLB 2020 is a season lost. Yes, even in May. Let it be and move on. Because we can, and we should. Santa will be back next year.
But, and it’s a big but, because there can still be baseball as a source of entertainment as summer moves on.
MLB: Shine The Light On The Players
MLB is a source of entertainment for one reason – the players who can do things on a baseball field; only 600 men are gifted to do. Without them, MLB is an office on the Avenue of America’s in New York City.
Once the 2020 season is put to rest, MLB can turn their attention in another direction with ideas and spectacles designed to retain and perhaps even augment its fan base.
Here are a few ideas off the top of my head.
MLB’s Million Dollar Hitting Skills Competition
Televised nationally, the competition focuses on the “professional” hitters in baseball today – and their ability to contribute mightily to their respective teams with situational hitting.
Baseball fans know that in an age of free-swinging power-hitting sluggers, this is rapidly becoming a lost art in baseball.
But what if we can shine a light on the talents of a Jeff McNeil, DJ LeMahieu, Xander Bogaerts, and a host of others who have mastered the art of “hitting ’em where they ain’t.”
MLB can set up a contest in which each of the thirty teams gets two players to represent them. Draw chalk lines from home plate to sections of the field to represent a successful hit and run and a drive into either gap.
A ‘home run” equals a batted ball within the confines of those lines. Draw up the details, but you get the idea. No?
MLB: Bring Back Home Run Derby
The standard-bearer of MLB today is the home run. So why disappoint?
Bring back a 21st Century version of the Home Run Derby, a television series that captured baseball fans in the 1960s. Excuse the technology, but you’ll get the idea here in this video.
Imagine Pete Alonso, miked up and squaring off against Mike Trout.
Giving way to present circumstances, the new Home Run Derby has no catcher or umpire. The hitter takes his swings in the batting practice cage, and “Iron Mike” is always ready to deliver pitches. Safety comes first.
Moral Of The Story – Do Not Manipulate The Game
An MLB 2020 season that is manufactured to make it fit the confines of the coronavirus is not baseball.
Seven-inning doubleheaders, a DH in the National League, and a runner on second to begin each frame in an extra-inning game are all good ideas that deserve our ongoing attention.
But each is an aberration that boils down to grasping at straws to make the MLB 2020 “work.”
The two ideas presented above offer an opportunity for premier major league players to show off their skills for a full month on National television seven nights a week.
That’s only the beginning of each tournament as team representatives are eliminated while others move on to the next round – and onto the ultimate “World Title” round.
MLB Can Take The Lead And Still Come Out Ahead
Apparently. The NBA is ready to play its season surrounded by Mickey Mouse and Goofy at Disneyworld in Florida.
Good for them. Have at it.
I can’t imagine the sport I’ve grown to love for more than a half-century stooping that low.
MLB needs to cancel the season (ouch) and move on by shining a light on the players, the cogs in the engine that makes baseball our National Pastime.