As the world of sports continues to drown in the uncertainty of when activity might return, the MLB and MLBPA are currently developing a plan which could secure the 2020 season Opening Day as early as next month in a best-case scenario.
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While specific details on the proper measures pitched (no pun intended) to make the season possible with meager risk to players have yet to be publicized, should the May return happen, it is likely we could find ourselves catching the playoffs while sipping on eggnog and celebrating the 2020 World Series Champions drinking peppermint mocha under the mistletoe.
As rumors of all teams playing out of Arizona continue to circulate, it is more realistic to expect baseball to return close to mid-summer with teams playing twice a day to accommodate a shorter season. Even if the league lowered the number of games typically scheduled per season, it would be inevitable for the post-season to be played during the holiday season.
Though it’d be ideal for the season not to go further into Fall due to usual bad weather, baseball fans are eager to settle for the best they can get by watching from home while wrapping Christmas presents.
But who is complaining?
Let’s face it, social distancing would be bearable if fans could find something to look forward to during the day besides human interaction. What better way to come home from work as an “essential” during this pandemic and relax in front of the T.V.? For the “non-essentials” quarantined at home, a change of routine to live sports would be much preferred than "The Office" reruns on Netflix.
If we’re going to be deprived of a proper summer this year, spending it inside watching baseball double-headers would help the situation. However, after overcoming the hurdle of creating a realistic plan to keep players safe, the next step would require to assemble every player to reach a new agreement.
While most players are just as impatient as fans to start the season, it is also expected not all players would consent to play ball under quarantine conditions. Using all Arizona training facilities would require players with families to leave them behind and self-quarantine in a hotel room in the duration of the season stretching into the holidays.
According to a report from New York Daily News, a Yankees player who wanted to remain anonymous expressed his concerns.
"I'd have to hear a lot more about the plans for these issues," he player said. "I want to get back, but my wife wasn't exactly excited about the idea of me going away for four months. I don't like the idea of not seeing my baby for that long either."
Of course, not every player is a dedicated family man, but the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in lack of proper social distancing during games would be enough reason for some to reconsider taking part in the 2020 season.
Regardless of whether some will want to play ball because they trust the league will provide proper safety measures or because they need to play ball to provide for their families, it’s obvious all anyone can do right now is wait. Whether the season starts in May or mid-Summer, fans will surely welcome a baseball-filled holiday season.
Until an official statement is made, watching our favorite players post content on social media to get our MLB fix will have to suffice.
Featured Image: Morry Gash / Associated Press