Just as Major League Baseball prepares to start workouts – the Oakland A’s have their first workout on Saturday – comes news from south of the border that Mexico has cancelled its baseball season.
The Mexican Baseball League announced Wednesday that for the first time in almost a century, the country will go without baseball this summer. The much-delayed season had been scheduled for an Aug. 7 start.
The shutdown in Mexico will hit a number of one-time Major Leaguers, including former A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell and former A’s outfielder Rajai Davis.
MLB and the Mexican league aren’t twins; what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. But as baseball north of the border starts up, what can be learned from the shutdown south?
The 16 Mexican club owners said they regretted the closing but that they could not guarantee the safety of fans and players.
And while both in the U.S. and Mexico, current regulations forbid sporting events to have spectators, in Mexico at least, the owners are saying baseball isn’t feasible without fans in the stands.
MLB, which gets the bulk of its revenue from television broadcasts, hopes it can get by without fans in the stands. In much the same way, in Mexico, soccer is the dominant TV sport, and it will try to get by without revenue from fans. Mexican baseball doesn’t have that fallback, hence the move to quit.
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
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