• phil cantor/@osgphil

So, maybe Sports can't be played safety in the COVID world after all



So, maybe waxing poetic about the return of Major League Baseball this past weekend wasn't such a great idea.


For all the sighs of relief that one of the "Major" sports was able to relaunch, comes news after the first three games we have a problem.


Don't get me wrong, Major League Baseball for all of their odd behavior sometimes didn't do anything wrong. They had, according to most reports one of the most comprehensive testing and isolation protocols anyone could have come up with.


And still there are problems. A handful of players have already gone on the "Injured/infected" list, now we have two games postponed due to outbreaks. The worst, 13-plus, so far, cases on the Miami Marlins. The outbreak has caused their game with Baltimore to be postponed and quite honestly, considering isolation protocols, it's likely the next three games the teams are scheduled to play will be postponed too.


Then there are the Philadelphia Phillies, through no fault of their own other than playing the Marlins this past weekend, who now also have to be isolated. It means their series with the New York Yankees is likely in jeopardy too.


Did I mention we just started the baseball season?


Meanwhile, the NBA Bubble experiment in Orlando continues and the league fully expects to play their upcoming regular season games. There's been a big uproar over a handful of players having to leave the "Bubble" for a variety of reasons and a bigger one when Clippers Guard Lou Williams, who was already on leave, was photographed eating at a Atlanta area strip club.


No, I don't really care about Williams inhabiting Magic City for food or whatever he might do. It's the idea he broke quarantine protocol which is what most seem to be angry about.


Sure, it may end up being much ado about nothing--but most seem to be aghast at the thought of a guy going to a strip club for food. Really, who cares where someone goes for food, it's not for any of us to cast judgement on that part of it.


The big difference between the two leagues is the NBA largely has control over pretty much every aspect of the daily lives of people within their "Bubble". MLB does not.


If you are a Professional Baseball team, how do you keep a leash on a 23-year old with a ton of money, time and nothing to do in a visiting city? Or their own city? Without watching players 24/7, you have to trust their judgement. However if you monitor who the huge spike of COVID cases, most are attributed to the age demographic athletes occupy.


Think about it, if you're a College Football team, how do you keep your 19-year old athletes away from people? How do you protect their every interaction with people not within your program.


Same for the NFL, who by the way is starting Training Camp this week.


All the testing in the world is not going to stop people from being people, well intentioned, ignorant or otherwise. Pandemic behavior is not something ANY of us have had to deal with or live with before and not everyone seems to be able to or willing to handle it the same way.


After seeing Major League games on TV this weekend, I want so-so badly to believe we're going to get professional sports and College the rest of the year. I just don't see how they're going to be able to do it.


As much as every single person wants the virus to go away, the fact is, it isn't. There is no "HERD" Immunity or immunity at all. Will we all get it? I don't think so. Will all athletes get it?

Probably not. But we've already seen athletes in the sports trying to re-launch get it and it's a problem.


Don't believe the Twitter trolls and "Social Media" experts for a second when they tell you COVID is all hype. Just because people aren't dying en masse hardly means it's a "Minor" illness. Just ask someone who's had it.


If you want to know why we have so many precautions--talk to someone who landed in the hospital. Ask them how their lungs felt and still feel. Talk to someone who spent a week or two on a respirator. Did they recover? Yes, will they ever be the same? No.


Just ask Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, age 27, if it's a "Minor" thing for an under 50-year old athlete. Is Rodriguez, who had the virus earlier in the year, still hasn't been cleared to play due to the myocarditis (heart inflammation) he still suffers from his bout with COVID.


I hope, really, I pray that everything I've said about this is wrong and we resume normal behavior and activity sooner rather than later. I know way too many people who have either lost their jobs or been sick because of this and I want it to stop. Yesterday.


I really, really want to see my sports the next few months. Why? Because I've been working from home since April. I haven't eaten in a restaurant since then either. I've made ONE trip to a local brewery in that time period and we sat in lawn chairs away from every other person there. I've visited with friends once (this past weekend) only because I know they've been following similar precautions. My life revolves around my wife and I cooking at home or ordering takeout with the neighbors (who also have stayed home). It revolves around watch Netflix and old TV series when I'm not online or working.


That's life in a Pandemic. I don't know that Sports are going to be a part of that life, I hope they will.


It sure doesn't look like it though....

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