There will be baseball in 2020.
No one knows.
But a lot of people have “sources” who would love to speculate about it. Monday was Jeff Passan. Let’s take a look at some of the others.
According to this plan discussed by “major league officials who want to remain anonymous,” the season would start in late June, and teams would play 100-110 games. Each team would play only within its division, with divisions realigned as follows:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- New York Mets
- Miami Marlins
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Washington Nationals
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Colorado Rockies
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- San Diego Padres
- San Francisco Giants
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Atlanta Braves
- Chicago Cubs
- Chicago White Sox
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Minnesota Twins
- St. Louis Cardinals
OK, this is an interesting plan. But I’m a little unclear on how just having shorter travel distances solves anything. Plus some of the “shorter travel distances” include Toronto to Miami (2,400 miles) and Seattle to Houston (2,300 miles). I’m not sure just handing players masks and telling them to socially distance on those 2,400-mile flights from one hotspot to another makes sense.
To break it down:
- No isolation for players
- Wouldn’t require double-headers outside in Arizona in July and August
- Potential for some fans to be allowed in for postseason games
- It’s baseball, and players would be playing it
- No fans, at least to start
- Hasn’t actually been approved by medical experts
- Depends on testing being abundantly available
- Exposes players/coaches/staff to a lot of risk
- This article was written by Bob Nightengale
According to “sources,” a few options include starting baseball in 10-20 home parks and then expanding.
Or maybe they’ll start in Arizona, Florida, and Texas and then take a break after five weeks or so to discuss expanding.
“One club official” says fans could even be allowed once the virus is under control, so maybe in August or September. Of course, fans would have to wear masks and gloves and have their temperatures taken as they entered ballparks, and they’d have to sit at least six feet away from one another.
All of the plans would probably involve playing postseason games at a neutral site, possibly into December. As Rosenthal points out:
Such a plan would hold particular appeal for the league’s national broadcast partners if the college football season is abbreviated or canceled, creating more programming slots.
But we must do whatever is necessary to start playing baseball, with fans in attendance. Because America. And morale. And because:
It is “not practical” for the league to play without fans for an entire season. League officials say teams draw about half of their local revenue from game-day expenditures, such as tickets, concessions, merchandise and parking.
To break it down, this article seems to be saying:
- Teams make money
- Broadcasters make money
- We don’t even have a start date yet!
- Might be hard on pitchers
- Not actually enough testing available
- Challenges are “almost insurmountable”
I’m going to add a couple of my own cons here:
- This article makes Ken Rosenthal look kind of insensitive
Joel Sherman’s source mentions officials are still just brainstorming possibilities for baseball’s return: “One executive emphasized the word ‘roadmap,’” which is, incidentally, not a word, “noting the continuing absence of firm plans.”
Officials are allegedly discussing at least five to 10 different scenarios that involve playing at one or two locations, but teams really want to play at their home parks, so officials are trying to come up with a way to make that happen. Basically, they’re entertaining all possible options. No word on whether the moon is being considered as a possible location.
Sherman makes a number of good points about these ongoing discussions. Mainly:
- MLB doesn’t need to have a plan just yet—there’s still time to discuss possibilities
- By saying they’ll probably play in July, they could easily push back to August if necessary (versus saying they’ll play in August and trying to move the date to July)
- Everyone is motivated to make baseball happen
- Player safety
- Staff safety, especially if fans are allowed to attend games
- Travel issues
- I actually have to recommend reading a New York Post article
- Again, it’s “road map”
Mr. Nightengale graces us with his presence again today to tell us that this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be postponed, so Derek Jeter and that other guy will have to wait an entire year to be inducted. The horror.
To break it down:
- Derek Jeter doesn’t get COVID
- That other guy doesn’t get COVID
- No one else gets COVID
- This year’s inductees will have to wait another whole year to be inducted
- They may have to share their induction ceremony with Curt Schilling
- Comma splices
★ ★ ★
Here’s a recap of today’s Rockpile:
- Cranky writer
- Optimism that is somehow very pessimistic
- No mention of Nolan Arenado
- Also no cookies
- Opportunity to hate on baseball writers
- Bullet points make things easier to read
- Photo poll!
Hey, yeah! Let’s do a photo poll!
We’re just going to do one again this week, but due to the National League Top Dog finals, you’ll still get two inconsequential photo polls to vote on.
Best Little League Photo
Remember Little League? Remember Little League photo day? It was the day you got great pictures like this:
OK, well, some people got great pictures like that. Others got pictures more like these:
1. Brendan Rodgers
Please tell me he doesn’t actually swing like this.
2. Raimel Tapia
It’s hard to get a bad picture of Raimel. And yet, here we are.
3. David Dahl
Just a totally natural pose.
4. Ryan McMahon
Ryan looks like he knows he looks super awkward holding the bat here.
5. Antonio Senzatela
“Hold the ball like this...now tilt your head just a little more this way...”
Best Little League Photo
This poll is closed