Thursday, April 30, 2020

MLB 2020

The Hall of Fame announced they would postpone their induction ceremony this summer and make it part of the 2021 event. It was scheduled for July 24-26. Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, and Ted Simmons will have to wait for their moment. (The late Marvin Miller is also on the docket.)

Wimbledon, scheduled for June 29 to July 12, will be played next summer.

The Olympics, scheduled for July 24 to August 9, will take place next summer.

The Indy 500, a American Memorial Day Weekend fixture, has been re-scheduled for August 23rd.

The Masters, originally scheduled for April 9-12, is now set to take place November 9-15.

What's going to happen to Major League Baseball? We've seen some ideas floating around about a possible re-start to the season but nothing is firm. I'm not convinced that any of the things I've heard about are practical, and in fact I would not be surprised if MLB, at some point, just pulls the plug on 2020. That would be unfortunate but probably for the best. I like that people are being creative and trying to imagine how to get the season going, though. When confronted with new problems you have to generate new solutions, and I appreciate the optimism and enthusiasm of the folks involved.

I suppose my main concern is the re-direction of health care resources. As we know testing for COVID-19 is still an issue (although LA just announced all its citizens can get tested for free) in many places and I'd hate to see ballplayers and MLB folks get prioritized over ordinary citizens. If entertainment venues and industries can implement the strategies needed to hold events without taking people and supplies away from hospitals and other care facilities then I could go along with it. Obviously there can't be any fans, at least at first, which seems silly to me. Fans are part of the game! I have little interest in "lab rat" sports. Perhaps limited audiences with strict social distancing might work, but everyone will still use the same entrances, same toilets and washrooms, etc. Doesn't sound very appealing to me. If baseball does re-start, I think eliminating sports-casters would be a useful improvement. They are pointless. I'd rather have a raucous audience than a goddamn talking head.

I feel for the stadium workers, the concessionaires, and all the seasonal and ancillary businesses (the pubs and restaurants near the parks, for example) that are getting hit hard by the closures. MLB will survive this--some of those folks will not. For their sake alone I'd like to see baseball come back. Don't get me wrong, I miss baseball too, but I don't NEED baseball. No one "needs" sports, fer chrissakes! I really hate all that "we need sports more than ever now" nonsense. People found ways to entertain each other long before professional sporting events took over the public consciousness.

Will the Indy 500 really run in August? We'll see. And if that looks like it will work, maybe MLB will resume in August as well. I miss my Giants, that's for sure, but I'll survive. I'm happy that the lights are on, the water is flowing, the grocery stores are open, and I can Zoom with friends and family. I'm fortunate to be in a position where the crisis has not hurt me much but I am certainly aware of the impacts it has made on many people and their families, and I hope it gets better soon. Lots of things will likely be very different when we "get to the other side" of this mess.

So, readers--what do you think?