MLB is suitably distracted by the immediate impact of COVID-19 and the need to keep step with the CDC. But soon, these questions will need to be answered.
MLB (Major League Baseball) has pledged to keep in step with the recommendations and directives emanating from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Accordingly, all levels of the 2020 baseball season are shut down at least until May 15. It’s made clear that it is an estimate looking at the glass half-full, but there are no guarantees life will return to normal by then.
MLB teams are freed to decide what they do in the interim. The Miami Marlins are the first to shut the door completely, closing all facilities and sending all personnel home.
Other teams like the Yankees try to play it half-way, keeping their Spring Training complex in Tampa “open.” But yesterday, manager Aaron Boone was seen leaving and heading to his home in Connecticut.
Generally, it’s day-to-day for all of us. A few like Yankee’s player rep Zack Britton will be heading to his home in Texas to reunite with the family he hasn’t seen in a month, but the plan is to return to Tampa following that visit.
How much is that plan worth when Britton declares to himself “mission accomplished,” but it’s time to get back to work now?
MLB Questions: Let’s Kick It Up A Notch
MLB and its member teams may be doing the best it can, but time never stops.
Here’s a snapshot of upcoming events on the official MLB 2020 Calendar.
MLB Hurdle Number One
Toss aside the London Series because the only one who seems to give a hoot about it is Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Baseball. But then, look at the rest.
To be determined is the status of the MLB College Draft scheduled for June 10-12. Far enough away – who knows?
What we do know, though, is the College World Series in Omaha has already been canceled as are the prelim tournaments leading up to the college classic.
Lives and futures are on the line here for the countless ballplayers who have trudged their way through little league, high school, travel leagues, and college on a path that is supposed to lead them to the promised land and a reward for their efforts.
I don’t have an answer; I’m only asking the questions.
MLB And The 2020 All-Star Game
The Los Angeles Dodgers have waited their turn, and they are supposed to be the host team for the 2020 All-Star Game on July 14.
With few exceptions, All-Star teams are composed of players who are having an exceptional year as determined by the numbers put up during the first three months of a season.
But with a season now best projected to begin on Memorial Day (giving time for players to ramp up), a four to six-week sample is, at best, a watered-down excuse to carry on with the game.
Postpone the All-Star Game? Cancel it? Or, assuming we are pretty much back to normal by then, let the spectacle go on, complete with the Home Run Derby.
Derek Jeter‘s Day In The Sun
One can only hope and pray that, by the time July 26 comes around, there will be no question why 30,000 or more fans can’t gather in Cooperstown, jam-packed in the way it always is for the hall of fame induction event.
Manfred and MLB can probably defer this one to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which operates as a separate entity from the Commissioner’s Office.
Given all that’s on MLB and the Commissioner’s plate at the moment, the HOF Board Of Directors is probably best suited to deal with this one.
The dilemma is super-loaded with an economic nuclear bomb as the tiny village in Mid-State New York draws from this event to support the mom and pop souvenir shops and restaurants in the area.
MLB: Take A Breather – But These Questions Are Looming
Given the nature of these times, we can’t, or at least shouldn’t, expect perfection from anyone.
Our environment is not secure, and to use a baseball metaphor, consider this.
On a one-two count to Batter A, you execute a perfect down and away slider the batter swings over, missing badly.
But, on the next batter, you execute the same pitch on the same count, and you can only turn to watch the bludgeoned ball disappear over the fence. What happened?
Maybe nothing. Or perhaps everything and it’s incumbent on MLB to not only keep in step but to have the presence to look ahead as well.
Rob Manfred: Good Luck Because You Are All We Have
The virus doesn’t know or care what day is shown on the calendar. The PGA Masters and the Kentucky Derby have already been canceled.
What about the items noted before on the MLB calendar? Again, I can only ask questions.
As fans of baseball, we miss tethering to the boxscore in our morning paper and the daily chatter and news stories from our favorite team.
But somewhere deep in the bowels of MLB headquarters at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, there has to be a team devoted exclusively to how the season is resumed in an orderly way, once the “all clear” is issued.