Slowly Realizing There May Be No Baseball This Year
No, this is not an April Fool’s Joke. Rather, looking at everything happening, you do have to wonder how it can be possible for Major League Baseball to play games in 2020. Right now, we know the NCAA Tournament was canceled, and the MLB, NHL, and NBA seasons are currently suspended. However, it is more than that. Look at the events which have been currently postponed:
|Masters||April 9, 2020||TBD|
|Boston Marathon||April 19, 2020||September 14, 2020|
|Kentucky Derby||May 2, 2020||September 5, 2020|
|PGA Championship||May 11, 2020||TBD|
|Preakness||May 16, 2020||September 2020|
|French Open||May 18, 2020||September 20, 2020|
|Indy 500||May 24, 2020||August 23, 2020|
|2020 Summer Olympics||July 24, 2020||July 21, 2021|
In addition to these events, there is growing speculation Wimbeldon will have to be canceled. There are two reasons for the expected cancelation, both COVID19 related. First and foremost, no one has any idea when we can resume our normal lives and attend sporting events. The other reason is with the COVID19 outbreak the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club is unable to be maintained. With it not being able to be maintained, it is difficult to ascertain when the courts can be brought into safe playing condition.
That last point hits home with baseball. There are 30 Major League ballparks which are presumably not being maintained. As a result, in addition to the time players need to prepare to start playing baseball again, there is also the time ground crews need to make fields playable again. That may not make much time, but it is a factor.
More important than that is the public health. With the Olympics being postponed a full year, we see organizers are not confident they will be able to host events from late July into August. Considering the scale of the event, you can understand an earlier cancellation, but in the end, this is the first sign we’re probably not going to see sporting events this summer.
On that note, take a look at the events which have been rescheduled. The April and May events which are being postponed are mostly being scheduled for September. Right there is an indication as to when organizers of these events believe we can reasonably return to seeing sporting events being played.
If events cannot be held until late August or even early September, you have to wonder when or if baseball can return. Remember, baseball needs to get maintenance crews to attend fields left not maintained for months, and they need players to get back into playing shape withe some form of a Spring Training.
That is all before you realize MLB initially said it will not return to play until it was deemed safe for spectators to attend events. That is becoming increasingly unlikely, and perhaps that is why Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported MLB is now investigating playing initially without crowds to play as many games as possible.
At this point, baseball isn’t even contemplating playing before mid-May and with each passing day that becomes unrealistic. At this point, everyone needs to begin asking themselves, fans or no fans, can they even play baseball in 2020?
That answer might be no.