MLB's 2020 Season May be Lost Before it Starts
Arguments between players and owners aside, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time to try figuring out a way Major League Baseball could be played in 2020.
Sure, it was and continues to primarily be a money grab for team owners--but in theory it was supposed to be something to give people overwhelmed by an endless barrage of bad news something to look forward to.
Once both sides decided they'd try and play, MLB came up with an elaborate, 100-plus page plan to make sure players--and teams were sufficiently protected from the risk of coming in contact with the Coronavirus.
Except it appears, it isn't enough.
Despite claims by sophomoric, ingenuous and truly idiotic politicians claiming COVID really isn't much of a thing, the fact is....it's very much a thing. It's on the mind of almost everyone as the amount of people coming in contact with the virus has exploded due to sheer ignorance or denial by said politicians.
Baseball teams started practicing over the past week or so in anticipation of playing games somewhere near the end of July. Teams and players comprised of some 55-60 people began the ramp up to being ready for games.
And then the reports began:
Atlanta Braves star 1B Freddie Freeman and 3 teammates test positive. The teammates--2 were "Asymptomatic"...Reserve IF Pete Kozma had very mild symptoms and Freeman was legitimately sick, struggling with every symptom we've read about, according to his wife, barely able to get out of bed.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price, arguably one of baseball's best. He decided it was not in his or his family's best interest for him to run the health risk, so he backed out too.
Several teams had problems over the holiday weekend. Some didn't get test results back, some had nobody to conduct the tests. All were concerned about losing time on the practice field and not knowing if they or a teammate might have come in contact with the virus.
Listen, despite what some say, you don't want anything to do with this virus if you can avoid it. Sure, being "Asymptomatic" likely means it won't have much of an impact on YOU....but it sure the hell doesn't mean you won't pass it on to someone else who it could easily impact.
And that's the issue nobody bitching about the incessant hype seems to either care about or understand. Yeah, sure, it's fantastic news that people aren't dying from COVID. It really is. But it doesn't eliminate people from getting really sick from it either. The blatant disregard of other people and their lives is the part that makes MY blood boil.
Getting back to the topic at hand. This all has and is factoring in the ramp up to Major League Baseball. 60 games in 62 days. Playoffs and more.
It's not going to be the same. Even IF they play, which I still question...will it be the same? Without some of the games biggest stars, who either opt out...or in the case of Freeman, may be too sick to play--does it make the games worth it? Who gains from this? Who wins? Do the players profit? Well, they get a pro-rated salary. Yeah, it's more than you and I make for a full year, but we aren't professional athletes or qualified to be one. Will they get the virus? Maybe. Maybe not. But they'll be at risk for three straight months as they travel from town to town, staying in hotels and being around other people.
Owners: Well, they may not profit. But by playing the games they'll get paid too. They'll get their lucrative playoff money from TV Networks if we make it that far. And really, that's the only thing a majority of them care about.
Don't misconstrue my argument here: I'd be ecstatic to see baseball games if it means everyone involved is healthy and able to perform at their best. But ponder a couple of things.
The question was raised this week: What happens if a star player tests positive at say, The World Series? What then?
It's a question for MLB as their current policy says that players has to isolate from their team and teammates for 14-days. Period.
Sure, the timing would suck and arguably could cost a team the World Title. But hey, that's the risk you run for trying to squeeze in games in a world where we have such an infectious virus with no vaccine.
It's the risk you run in a country where the only semi-cohesive strategy by people in power seems to be willing it to go away by the power of Twitter. Which despite the reaction in some corners, isn't really enough to make such a change.
And that....at the end of the day is what I think is going to end the 2020 season. If not now, then soon. Unfortunately it may not just be baseball as we only just recently crossed into July.
College and Professional Football....you're on the clock. Decision time for you is coming....
Very, very soon....