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Tuesday Bantering: Could baseball be back in May?

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Passan tells us that MLB and the MLBPA have a plan to have the 2020 baseball season starting in May. Some of what would happen:

  • All games would be played in Arizona using Chase Field and spring training parks and maybe other fields.
  • Players would be isolated in local hotels and would only travel to and from games.
  • They would be separated from their families.
  • No fans would be in the stands.
  • Robo umps would be used for balls and strikes (to allow the plate ump to be at a safe distance). How catchers and batter could stay at a safe distance is a different question.
  • Officials do not believe that a positive test alone would necessarily be cause to quarantine an entire team or shut down the season.
  • No mound visits.
  • Players would sit in the stands (when not playing) staying 6 feet apart.
  • They would mic on field players for TV.
  • There would be 7 inning double headers to try to get in as many games as possible.
  • Roster sizes would be expanded and extra players would be close by to fill in for players who might test positive for the virus.
  • They will be doing a lot of testing.

Teams would be doing without the money from fans coming to games, but would get TV money. There is large differences between local TV contracts, so there would be changes in revenus sharing. Of course you have teams like the Blue Jays who get less money from TV because the team and the TV network are owned by the same folks.

I don’t know. If I’m a player, it would be a tough choice to leave my family in a crisis. I would think baseball would have to allow players to decide to opt out of their contracts for a year. Of course, if someone like Mike Trout says ‘No way am I leaving my family’ that would cause problems.

If you were a manager or a coach, making far less money than players. Being older. Maybe not being in perfect health. Would you happily go to Arizona, leave your family and put yourself in a (likely) worse position than you have in your own home. I don’t know.

I mean if SB were to say ‘you are going to Arizona to cover the games’ (they won’t, but stay with me on this), ‘You have to leave your wife and family for the next 5 months’ (my wife is nodding her head already), would I do it? Not likely.

And what happens if Arizona become a hot spot for COVID. What I see on a Google search is that they have 2,456 cases yesterday. Do you still send players, coaching staff and support their if the numbers jump?

The plan would not include starting up MiLB seasons. So teams will have to have some minor league players with them in Arizona. Working out, keeping game ready. Able to come in and play if there is an injury. That wouldn’t be easy with the extra players not getting live game play. I’m not sure how they would work it.

They will also have to have a method for taking players to hospital when injuries happen on the field. A player who gets hurt might not be all that thrilled with being taken to a hospital that is dealing with hundreds of virus cases.

I’m sure there are many more obstacles to this plan.

Speaking as someone who would love to see baseball and wonders how long he can keep writing about something that isn’t happening, I’d love to see the game come back.

What do you think? Is this a plan that will work?


Will baseball be back in May played in Arizona?

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