MLB July 1 Start Date Seems Hasty And Unrealistic
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Major League Baseball is starting to make plans to renew Spring Training on June 10 and start the season on July 1. It should be noted that’s not set in stone as much needs to be worked out, but that appears to be the general construct.
At the same time, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the inability to get widespread testing necessitates team practice facilities remain closed. It’s an opinion other NBA owners share.
Mark Cuban told @bdameris and @MFollowill on their podcast that the inability to test for coronavirus is the reason the Mavs have no immediate plans to open their practice facility. pic.twitter.com/1w7l5TeUWj
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 7, 2020
The Cuban point is a valid one not just for the country or pro sports. It’s valid because Major League Baseball doesn’t have any answers.
As noted by Passan, when a Cleveland Indians player asked about the plan for the (inevitable?) event a player tests positive. There was no answer provided, and there is no answer as to everything else which needs to be put in place.
Owners seemingly want players to reduce salaries more than previously agreed. There needs to be approval from the players, public health officials, and governmental approval.
All told, the only thing we know is the owners are pushing to return to play. Like them, we all want baseball back, but there is just no way baseball can realistically return anytime soon.
Schools in the tristate area are closed through at least June, but somehow we’re supposed to believe baseball games will be able to be played less than two weeks after in Citi Field, Citizen’s Bank Park, and Yankee Stadium?
That’s just the situation in the Northeast. What about California? Cuban is saying the NBA can’t even practice in Dallas, but somehow they can play games in Arlington and Houston?
What exactly is the thought behind all of this? What’s the motivation?
Is this just a contingent of broke owners (i.e. Wilpons) who are so desperate for revenue and a cut in player salaries they’re willing to return to play before it’s even safe? Is this just a way to get bargaining power and leverage? Is this just a way to keep their name in the news to stay relevant?
There’s no way to be sure. To a certain extent, this perfectly describes these times – no one can be sure. With that in mind, perhaps baseball should be focusing on humanitarian aid and funding testing and research to help them get back on the field.
It’s a better and more realistic plan to just randomly choosing a start date with no real contingency plans or any understanding of when it will be safe to play again. When you do things like that, you jeopardize the health of your players, employees, and their families.
The very last thing baseball wants is Mike Trout or another star like Jacob deGrom on the IL with COVID19. They also don’t want their elderly owners and employees potentially contracting the disease and dying. As long as there is insufficient testing and no real defined treatment or vaccine, that’s the risk.
To even talk return without those things in place, the talk of a return to play anytime soon is nothing more than hubris and stupidity.