Buckle up, folks. This could be the most interesting MLB season of all time.
Plenty of people have lined up with ideologies of how to make America’s pastime more exciting on a yearly basis; one of those ideas has always been to shorten the season. However, no one thought it would be due to a worldwide crisis.
MLB does believe that it can put together a shortened season out in Arizona, with Chase Field and 10 other Cactus League ballparks in the surrounding area serving as the perfect landing spot for the league to begin play.
“It allows for immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America,” said superpower baseball agent Scott Boras. “I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.”
Now comes the hard part – hammering out all the details and logistics of a monumental overhaul of the schedule. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote an article that was published on Saturday, outlining the local, state, and federal government’s cooperation and resources to make this happen with all 30 MLB teams in one 50-mile area.
“You’re going to be largely separated from your families, and you’re going to have to function in a very contained way,” said Boras. “It’s not a normal life, this idea.”
In addition to getting MLB back on track, the rest of the country could begin to heal as well.
“You talk to a psychologist about it,” Boras continued. “And they say it’s really good for a culture to have sports and to have a focus like that, where for a few hours a day they can take their minds off the difficult reality of the virus.”
Lots To Work Out
MLB was hoping to get this up and running by mid-May, but it appears like that’s not ready to happen just yet. For this to work, things will need to move at a much more rapid pace.
Not only does everything need to be planned out articulately, but the players need to go through another version of spring training again.
One good thing that does come from the proposition of a shortened season is more players being called up to the major leagues; more games played in a short span of days (with the possibility of numerous double-headers) will force MLB to add more players to the roster. MLB was already adding a 26th player to rosters this season, but the new idea is that it could even go to 28 now.
In recent days, the NBA and NHL have proposed ideas on how to finish out the remaining regular season and playoff games. Those leagues could perhaps have an easier time of getting things back on track, considering the number of teams (those out of the playoff race) could potentially be left out of the continuation plan.
Fewer people, at this point, is the best thing for social distancing.
Everyone wants to see baseball back on our television sets. Of course, as spring rounds into full form, we would love to be out at our favorite team’s ballpark, with a beer and hot dog, indulging in one of our favorite activities.
While fans probably won’t be able to enjoy baseball in person until 2021, seeing it on television is the next best thing.
Plus, it’s much better to bet on than Russian ping pong.