Major League Baseball has been aggressively behind the scenes going over potential plans to attempt to get a 2020 season off the ground.
There have been plenty of proposals thrown out, but no decision has been made as to when an official announcement will come with the one plan that MLB officials think that make sense for all parties involved.
There are quite a few fans that still believe that a season that is going to make sense in 2020 doesn’t exist, and baseball (along with the NBA and NHL) are better off scrapping either the entire or in the case of basketball and hockey the remainder of the season.
But if there is one sport that has been outwardly vocal about having a season and doing it right, it is baseball, which started to talk about trying to get on the field back in the early part of April.
Since then the chatter has included a lot of different plans, but again nothing official.
Is it smart to move forward with a season whatsoever? Why put the players at risk, or the umpires that will call the games?
Today we look at the roadblocks that stand in the way for Major League Baseball, and if having a season really is a smart idea or if waiting for 2021 is in the best interest for everyone.
How Can Team Travel Be Deemed Safe?
While there has been proposals of having games in one location, there seems to be a recent push to having games in a couple of spots, which could potentially mean teams having to travel.
Yes these teams travel on their own charter planes, but it still seems risky having the players and whoever else on the team that normally would travel be on a plane for any amount of time.
The easy solution might be to have all 30 teams play in maybe two or three cities, limiting having players going from city to city.
Would No Fans in the Stands Make the Season Feel Real?
There’s no doubt that those television outlets that carry games of teams are excited about the prospect of baseball coming back, and the ratings for such games would be through the roof.
Super agent Scott Boras recently told CNBC that if fans have to stay away from stadiums, television networks would benefit the most.
“What would MLB pay for their game to be broadcast at a time when people can’t go anywhere? Ratings would be the greatest ratings baseball has ever had,” Boras said.
While most players would prefer to have fans cheering them on like normal, every proposal that has been thrown out there to date seems to indicate for 2020 that is not going to happen.
There was a game in Baltimore a few years back between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox that got played with no fans, and to say it felt different would be an understatement.
What if a Player Gets Sick with Covid-19?
Imagine it being announced that a star player on your favorite team suddenly is sidelined with the coronavirus and will need to sit at the very least for a number of weeks.
How would a player getting sick, more so one of high visibility, make other players around the game feel, and would some players just flat out feel that it’s not worth it to keep playing?
Player and team safety has to be the number one priority for the clubs, and it just feels next to impossible to make sure the players don’t get sick at any point and time during the shortened campaign.
Would Fans Be Invested Having to Stay Up in the Middle of the Night to Watch a Game?
It’s something that many people probably have yet to even think about, but if the season is playing somewhere in the west coast (Arizona or say California), than one factor is the fact it would be a three-hour time difference for east coast teams.
Sure Indians fans would put aside time to watch a game here and there and for sure the opener, but what if you have a job that has you reporting to work, home or on location, at say 8am?
Are you going to invest the time to stay up until say 1 or 2am to watch a game. Tribe fans are not the only one that would have an issue with games starting at 10pm EST, every team that plays on the east coast would have to deal with it.
If the Entire Season is Played in One or Two Places, Would There be Enough Room?
In reading about some of the proposals, most have players on lockdown in hotels when they are not playing.
If you take 15 teams (say half in one place and half in another) plus you add in each team’s TV and radio crew, you’re talking about a decent amount of personnel for each team.
You would imagine teams themselves would have the pick of the litter in terms of hotels, but is any city big enough to house half or even more so the entire league if that’s the route MLB wants to go?
Another big unknown would be media coverage as well, and how many reporters a team would allow to come to a city to cover a team if there’s limited space.
It would be close quarters for sure for teams and media alike to have to try to house into a city for an extended amount of time.