Manfred Getting MLB Fans Back Into Ballparks Might Be Baseball's Biggest Challenge in 2020
Fans of Major League Baseball have been waiting for any type of news over the last 48 hours or so as to when we might see players on the field again playing in a game that counts in the standings.
Monday the remainder of spring training baseball in both Florida and Arizona was scrapped, and commissioner Rob Manfred stated that the start of the season would be pushed back “at least two weeks.”
Manfred was likely grasping at straws when it came to that two-week window, as all indications are there’s basically no way we are going to see a regular season game on April 9, two weeks after the scheduled opener of March 26.
One doctor I spoke to in Cleveland said it wouldn’t be a shock to him to see the season not get started until June.
He said that it’s not just getting the “all clear” and you are playing ball the next day. You need to get teams back together, get a few practices in, and the league itself needs to figure out where in the schedule the season is exactly going to start and how that might affect divisional play.
About the closest season we have to compare this year by at this point would be 1995, when the Indians and others played a 144-game season.
That season started on April 25, and the Indians rolled through the Majors with an offense that gave pitchers nightmares.
The Tribe ended the season 100-44, and buried the rest of the division, beating the Kansas City Royals by 30 games to clinch the newly created AL Central.
April 25 right now seems like a long shot for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact we’re not just dealing with Major League Baseball being on strike and the rest of sports going on.
This is a worldwide situation, and it comes on an almost daily basis where someone on twitter puts out a tweet like this:
All that aside, the ballparks have to be ready, roster decisions have to be made, and in some respects teams have to figure out what players are going to start the year on the roster.
While mentioned prior that it should help currently injured players like Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco and Oscar Mercado, you have a roster full of other guys that are ready for 2020 to get started.
How this is handled and how fast Manfred and the league’s authorities can get the game back on the field the better.
Otherwise the game that fans know and love remains on hold, and with no end to the games even getting started it could be a long start to the spring and summer indeed.