Major League Baseball announced on Monday it is considering starting the 2020 season in May with all games being played in spring training locations in Arizona. It will be exciting for fans to have baseball back, at least on television and radio.
Arizona only has 10 spring training locations. With 30 teams playing in 10 stadiums, at least five stadiums will have to host two games every day with four different teams. Some games could also be played at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Other possible locations for games to be played are Grand Canyon University’s ballpark and Phoenix Municipal Stadium where Arizona State University plays baseball. Those stadiums have ideal dimensions to be considered a major league ballpark.
MLB could move some games to spring training locations in Florida, but with Arizona having less COVID-19 cases than Florida, it is probably safer on the west coast.
With the coronavirus spreading around the United States, how will the players, coaches, and officials maintain social distancing?
Despite not having thousands of fans cheering, the dugouts are not big enough for every player to stay six feet away from each other. They could have only nine or 10 players in the dugouts with five pitchers in the bullpen since they only need nine players on the field.
As for people who work at the stadiums during spring training, they probably won’t be needed because there will be no fans needing peanuts or crackerjacks. There should be security in case someone tries to break in and watch the game.
With all that being said, is having regular-season baseball starting in May a good or bad idea? For fans, many of them would love to see baseball back with the games starting to count towards the playoffs despite not being able to attend.
One thing that makes this a bad idea is that MLB won’t be making any money off of concessions or ticket sales. Instead, they would be paying players, coaches, and officials, which probably won’t last if they keep playing with no fans. Also, all the clubs will be either gaining or losing money depending on how they play.
With the league wanting to start the season in less than a month, we could expect a decision to be made within the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see what MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says about this plan.
preview photo credited to arizonasports.com