With the current state of affairs and the COVID-19 situation, the sports world is holding its breath, as is much of the world, as to when this crisis will end and we can all return to a somewhat normal daily life routine. I suppose one thing we can take away from all this, is that we sometimes don't realize what we take for granted when things or needed items become harder and harder to come by.
As with changes to many sports during this time, owners and other officials are trying to come up with ways to best handle this predicament and still have a satisfying season for fans.
It's springtime. Springtime means summer is around the corner. It also means baseball. The MLB had spring training cut a little short and a delay to Opening Day. The MLB has reportedly been in talks with the players association and have discussed several options, including doubleheaders and extending the season into October. The talks appear to becoming more real of the possibility of playing without fans in the stands (at least initially). Originally, Opening Day was scheduled for March 26. That was pushed back at least two weeks. Here we are at the end of April. With the spread of COVID-19, the current shutdown is currently to last until at least mid-May.
I can't imagine, at this point, the season starting in a couple of weeks.
I suppose if baseball is to have any semblance of a season, they may have to have games without fans in the stands. I know it would feel different having a real game without anyone there as a spectator. Talks of no fans have already been happening. Setting three or four ball parks as designated places to play have also been discussed. This would reduce travel time and wear and tear on the teams having to go all over the country, especially in a condensed season. It also is proposed as a way to limit the contact of the COVID-19 virus.
At this point, I don't see baseball being "normal" this summer. They are probably going to have double-headers and several games together to get in as many games as they can in a shortened season.
There was even talks earlier about extending the season into October. With the World Series already being played into late October – early November, is that really a good idea? If they were to start the season in a few weeks and extend the season, would they still have the playoffs and World Series? Because then, baseball would be going into November/December? That doesn't seem to be an opportune time to be playing baseball. I mean it's cold enough sometimes in February/March for spring training and such to be playing baseball.
And now as I am writing this, an article was published early Tuesday afternoon by Dayn Perry from CBSSports reports from Ken Rosenthal:
"The most realistic time range for Opening Day – somewhere between mid-June and July 4, in the view of most officials – would allow for an 80- to 100-game regular season, with the schedule running through October. An expanded postseason at neutral sites might follow, with the World Series ending in late November or early December."
So now it looks like MLB is gearing for something like that. I don't guess it's official as of yet, but it certainly looks that is the direction they are going. I ask again why? Here is an answer – MONEY.
I understand there are personnel and players that need to be paid. And I understand it is a sport, a game, but it is also a business in some respect, so pay is obvious in the situation. But, to have players play in late fall and winter? That just doesn't seem logical. This agreement has to be between the MLB and players, so the MLBPA has to agree to this. I guess if they do then everything is okay, right? We it might be right in their eyes because the players would be getting paid through then.
Perry writes, "The goal for both owners and players is to maximize the number of games in the season and thus maximize revenues."
However, I guess there are ballparks located in warmer climates or that have retractable roofs. Perry does point this out as well. But still. Baseball in November/December? That's also getting into the second half of the NFL season and its playoffs. If there will be a NFL season. Good 'ol Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL might need to figure out a way to have a football season if this pandemic continues. Because personally, I don't think it's going to end by the summer or even by the time football season rolls around.
Now I'm not trying to be pessimistic. It's just a feeling. If these protests keep happening, and other people continue to ignore or disregard what's going on, it's just going to continue until there is a vaccine. Of course, that's just a thought too. I could be wrong. I hope this does pass soon.
I don't know. It just seems off to me. But I guess that does kind of go with all what is going on. It all just seems off. We seem to be continuing a journey on uncharted waters. And again, time will tell how this will all play out.
I just hope they make a decision and stay with it. Not change it here and there. Think it through, make a plan, execute that plan, and stay the course. And maybe everyone will be able to enjoy some sports now and in the coming months.