We may be in for a bit of a treat. Baseball may survive this pandemic afterall. Jeff Passan reported on several different news developments that make it look like baseball will be back in June with regular season games beginning in July (and wouldnt July 4th just be poetic?)
Rob Manfred allegedly wrote to employees stating, “While I fully anticipate that baseball will resume this season, it is very difficult to predict with any accuracy the timeline for the resumption of our season.” Classic fence sitting, while at the same time pretty much saying it’s going to happen. These big wigs are business first. The last thing he would do is piss of the fan base with a quote that can be thrown in his face down the road.
Games will be played in more than just the originally speculated Arizona. Several cities and states are already lifting gathering bans. It’s not hard to imagine that we could see games in these states, while there is a possibility that hard hit city centers may play elsewhere for the time being.
Now, what would obviously need to take place is a redone spring training. Players, pitchers, catchers and the teams in general will need that time to get their bodies and the organizations back up to speed. This would involve not just players, but I’m sure organizations figuring out what their next steps are. I expect rapidly changing plans. But the fact of the matter is, the players want to play, and the owners want their dough.
With spring training out of the way, teams would have 2 major options. A condensed schedule, or a rapid, play all games by using double headers schedule. Either way, expect baseball in November and possible December at neutral, warm sites (hopefully not Tropicana).
According to one official, “”Give us 60 days and we could run an amazing tournament.” Imagine this. A complete ‘every game matters’ tournament. I’m not going to lie, I’m a “dont change baseball” guy, like hardcore, but this sounds wildly intriguing. Imagine how much more impactful every game is going to be?
Remember, this will happen pending a second wave of the virus shutting down the nation again. Why? Money. ‘MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman said the broadcasts for the NBA, NHL, and MLB generated roughly $1.3 billion from March to June 2019.” (CNBC.com) That’s something that Manfred, as head of this whole thing, cant afford. The almighty buck rules all afterall, so let’s all be optimistic that the season returns, and more importantly does so in a safe manner.
Finally lets all remember this. The MLB is not going to be responsible for a second wave of the virus. It’s only common sense that games would be closed to fans until full lockdowns are done. TV revenue is the majority of income, and I for one would be happy to watch any games, with fans or not. Humanity is more important then baseball, and I HOPE that there are leaders in the baseball world who emphasize this. Safety first.
-Dave Little (@DLittleMLB)
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