The Rockies are largely unable to act on their own for ticket policies, as MLB itself has deemed games in 2020 ‘postponed’ rather than outright ‘canceled’. Canceling games would imply tickets could be refunded right now—but postponing them prevents fans from currently receiving a return.
The issue that has prompted a lawsuit against MLB and all 30 teams.
The Rockies emailed all season ticket holders on April 17, saying “please be assured that you will not lose any payments you have already made for the 2020 season.” Those that renew season tickets year after year can be comforted knowing that unused payments could be rolled over to new tickets.
If over half of sports fans aren't comfortable in the stands once baseball gets the green light, a whole new series of challenges arise. Ticket value would likely decrease with lower demand; those trying to get money back on their tickets may be unable to get anywhere near the face value they paid for them.
The plan of action for other leagues in Asia may provide a general picture for how MLB can attack a return. There also remains a plan of action for different leagues in North America—some waiting it out, and some cancelling an entire season that is seven weeks away:
Major League Baseball has yet to announce plans for a return, but one marquee league in collegiate ranks, the Cape Cod Baseball League, will not field competition in 2020. Cape Cod fields 10 teams of college players in the summer over a 44-game regular season, independent of the NCAA. They were scheduled to begin on June 13 this year.
Some other premier summer leagues have yet to announce any significant postponements; the Northwoods League fields 22 teams over a 72-game regular season, and hasn’t made a ruling like Cape Cod has. A league statement last week said they will “consider multiple scenarios as each state determines its policies.” Their scheduled start on May 26th will need adjustment, at least for their first games in the state of Wisconsin.
Cape Cod has 10 teams in rather close quarters; their two most separated teams, Wareham and Orleans, are less than 50 miles apart. The proximity resembles what an all-Arizona MLB restart would look like.
Cape Cod and Northwoods players are college students, after all, and they aren’t discussing service time and player salary quite like the professional ranks are. It is understandable to feel that if any league in America is to return this year, it would be MLB first—and the actions of other leagues in America would thereby follow. For the optimism of baseball fans everywhere, we can hope that some degree of baseball can be upon us this year—and hopefully there can be leagues that don’t have to follow the same decision of Cape Cod.
The 2020 MLB Draft faces setbacks unlike ever before. If prospect-dense summer leagues are canceled, it keeps players from showcasing their stuff, as well as scouts observing them. Those implications could last well beyond 2020, and it will potentially force creative methods for players to be seen.
Sean Basile of Fansided raves about Trevor Story: “Give him another year or two and we could be talking about how [Story] is the best overall shortstop in baseball.” He does the same for David Dahl: an “under-the-radar guy” who “could just be the best lefty hitter in the league against lefty pitchers.”
Arguably the highest complement of the offense: “This team year-in and year-out houses three legit MVP candidates in Arenado, Story, and Blackmon.”
Shaun O’Neill of MLB.com points out “Since the advent of the three-division format, the National League West has produced the league’s batting champion in 17 of 26 seasons.” Charlie Blackmon is deemed the ‘top hit tool’ for Colorado.
Thomas Harding does the writeup for the Rockies in this article, pointing out how a “career-best 40.1 percent hard-hit rate last season” is reason for the plan to move Blackmon from leadoff to batting third. It also implies someone can fill the shoes in the leadoff spot: “David Dahl has Blackmon-esque bat-to-ball skills.”