Each week when I sit down to write this article, I do what I can to find positive stories from throughout the sport. I see it as a way to keep my spirits high in a world devastated by a pandemic without the usual escape of sports.
This week proved a little more difficult.
Although the owners approved a plan to get the season started in July yesterday, the majority of headlines surrounding the story were focused on the grueling talks that would occur in the coming weeks before any plan was confirmed.
The good news here is that there’s a good chance Prince Fielder makes the most money in the MLB this year. Even though he hasn’t played a game since 2016. And won’t be playing in any games this year. So whoever wins the battle between players and owners is really just playing for second place behind Mr. Fielder.
So instead we’ll turn our attention to the player safety protocol document that MLB has developed. It’s rumored to be 80-100 pages long which means it isn’t just a throw away! And player safety is something the league is actually focused on.
During the course of this pandemic, we very quickly went from “there might be a second wave in the fall” to “it is likely there will be a second wave in the fall” to “there is definitely going to be a second wave in the fall” and this is exactly what the MLB is preparing for as one part of their player safety plan.
Declaring the postseason must be finished completely before the second wave will lead to a shorter season than what we may have expected after rumors of a December World Series were thrown around earlier in the spring.
I think it’s safe to say most baseball fans would take any sort of season at this point, even if it means playing nearly half the games of a normal year. Even if it means being forced to watch games played in empty stadiums.
While only a vaccine or highly effective treatment will solve the issue of empty stadiums, TV Networks are doing everything they can to prepare for a world with no live supporters.
There have been talks of VR being used to create realistic looking fans, which if done well, could help us forget that we’re going to have to watch ten people run around a diamond in an empty stadium built for 45,000. But in my opinion there’s a much more entertaining solution.
Mic the players back up. The same way they do it in Spring Training. I thought about explaining why I think this is a good idea but the videos speak for themselves.
The New York Mets:
And the best for last...
Mookie Betts: “I ain’t gettin’ this one boys”
Not only can these guys play ball but a lot of them have funny things to say throughout the course of the game. I think getting this implemented for the season would be a great way to increase the entertainment value and help offset the lack of fans. Let’s make this happen ESPN.