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Coronavirus Presents Opportunity For MLB To Grow The Game

With the fears over the outbreak of the coronavirus, Major League Baseball is starting to take preventative measures. Different teams have prevented their players from signing autographs for fans. When it comes to the spread of disease and the health of their players, you understand why teams are doing this.

For Spring Training, this is troublesome. This is a time where fans get more access to the players than at any point during the year. That is all the more the case with expanded netting around ballparks. With the reduced access to players, fans get less time to interact and to get autographs.

Some teams are sensitive to that, and as a result, they are having their players sign some items, and those items are going to be distributed to fans. This is something teams should think about doing year-round.

For young fans, batting practice presents an opportunity to get autographs. Unfortunately, not every player takes batting practice, and some of the better players have team obligations pre-game which stands in the way of their ability to sign and take pictures with fans before games.

As a result, some young fans aren’t going to get autographs or get to see the players they want to see. To a certain extent, that’s life. Kids are just going to have to suck it up and grow from it. However, that doesn’t mean teams shouldn’t now be thinking outside the box and using this idea to grow the game.

Take the Mets for an example.

Every Sunday, the New York Mets have Family Sundays. On Family Sundays, there are some fun activities outside the ballpark for young fans. After the game, those young fans have the opportunity to run the bases. Perhaps, the Mets could also give away some player signed items to young fans at games.

Maybe it is a box of pre-signed baseballs given to young fans as they enter the game. It could just be random giving kids a chance to grab a Pete Alonso or Paul Sewald. Perhaps, they could do themed days.

One week could be rotation week with a ball signed by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, and Rick Porcello. Another week could be the outfield with autographs from Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and whoever else lands in the outfield. With the 20th anniversary of the 2000 pennant, there could be a ball signed by players from that team including Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Hampton, Al Leiter, and Mike Piazza.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be balls either. It could be baseball cards, or it could be other items teams have in stock and are just trying to move. In fact, you usually see that at the end of the year with the team having a wheel for fans to spin to win a “prize” which was really nothing more than a promotion they never could give away.

In the end, Major League Baseball is adapting to the threat of the coronavirus, and they are trying to make the game experience safer for their players and fans. They could take what they learned from this, and they can carry the policy through the season. If done well, they could make the game experience more fun for kids and help grow the game.

6 thoughts on “Coronavirus Presents Opportunity For MLB To Grow The Game”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Omigod, you keep getting stupider.

    Anyone who takes their kids into a crowd at a spring training game right now is a moron. And if players are infected without symptoms, coronavirus lives on surfaces for days. Flipping signed balls into crowds of kids is going to go down as one of the most idiotic moves in history as soon as their is a case where it is suspected, which is probably going to be damn soon. Might as well be flipping used kleenexes.

    Do some basic reading?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Awesome takedown of something I never said.

      Great job

  2. Oldbackstop says:

    Rofl…MetsDummy strikes again.

    You want to “distribute signed items to young fans at games.” If a Mets player, or whatever Mets employee(s) are involved in that, are infected, they may be asymptomatic for days, or perhaps forever.

    Are you saying the balls, players and employees will be tested, scrubbed down, and go through a sterilized process? Should have mentioned it in your BizarroWorld article.

    Corona is thought to live up to nine days on surfaces (like baseball cards and balls). Are you only concerned with the players?

    Gosh, what an opportunity for the Mets and MLB!! Rofl…

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195670120300463

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Should I change all of your posts to reflect your new self imposed moniker metsdummy, or are you sticking with OldBackstop?

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        You have gone from being amusingly befuddled to dangerously ignorant. You should correct this article to advise parents to not take “items” from strangers, since strangers may harbor the virus without knowing it and infect surfaces for up to nine days.

        Did all the stories pictures and news clips of surfaces being disinfected elude your notice?

        Is there anything you write that is not only bizarre and incorrect but now potentially deadly that you will correct?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          This level of stupidity and trolling is not surprising

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