NESN Diary: 2020 Without Baseball Could Be Possible (And Other Random Thoughts)


March 27, 2020

Each day during the sports pause stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, will publish a diary full of random thoughts, opinions, takeaways and other cool tidbits we’ve stumbled across in the absence of actual games. Because why not? We’re all in this together.

Week 2 without sports is in the books. How’s everybody feeling?

Some good news is that it’s the weekend and your Netflix binge can be in full swing (I’m starting “Tiger King” on Friday, we’ll see what I’m in for). You’ll also be able to watch NASCAR … kind of. The league announced it will broadcast the remainder of the iRacing Pro Invitational on FOX Sports after its inaugural event drew in 903,000 viewers.

But the bad news? There’s no baseball. There’s no hockey. There’s no basketball. Which is just a giant bummer considering the Boston Red Sox were supposed to open their season Thursday, the Boston Bruins probably would have clinched the Atlantic Division by now (and David Pastrnak most likely would have reached the 50-goal mark), and the Boston Celtics would be continuing to cruise.

It’s a weird time, to say the least, for sports fans. And while most every season is on hold, Major League Baseball took steps Friday to try to plan out the 2020 season.

Super agent Scott Boras proposed a plan to play Game 6 on Christmas Day. If you ask me (an avid baseball fan), I’m all for it. But baseball is the longest season with 162 regular-season games alone. So playing anywhere close to that probably isn’t likely the longer this pandemic continues. (And if you keep licking trains — looking at you, Orange Line — we very well may not see baseball this year.)

Anyway, ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Friday reported some details of the agreement that was reached between MLB and the MLB Players Association. The biggest takeaway was that it doesn’t appear either side wants to play games until any ban limiting large gatherings of people are lifted.

So it sounds like they want to avoid playing in empty stadiums at all costs (though commissioner Rob Manfred said the “use of appropriate substitute neutral sites where economically feasible.”)

I don’t know about you, but I’d watch baseball in an empty park if it meant being able to watch it at all. Of course, it is a priority to get the coronavirus under control before the athletes can get back to work.

— Marcus Smart was one of the NBA players (and only member of the Celtics) to test positive for COVID-19. But head coach Brad Stevens said the feisty is guard is “doing really well.”

As for Stevens? He’s keeping busy during the hiatus by going on a lot of walks.

Gotta get that fresh air, right?

— Speaking of positive COVID-19 results, legendary NBA broadcaster Doris Burke revealed Friday on Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Woj Pod” she contracted the virus. Needless to say, Twitter had a meltdown upon hearing the news.

Thankfully, she since has recovered. Phew.

— How awesome is this? Bauer, a popular hockey equipment manufacturing company, is stepping up in a way major way. The company is producing face shields for healthcare workers on the frontlines.

Video Of The Day
David Ortiz sent a heartwarming message to Massachusetts General Hospital staff Friday, thanking nurses and doctors for their tireless efforts as they battle COVID-19 head on.

?Thank you very much. God bless all of you,” Ortiz said. “We all know how much you guys are sacrificing your family, your friends and yourself to continue helping people. ? We are all cheering for you, everywhere in this country, because we know how great you guys are, especially me. I know how wonderful you guys are at Mass. General Hospital, so thank you very much and God bless you.?

Of course, Ortiz recovered at MGH over the summer after he was shot in his native Dominican Republic in June. So he certainly knows firsthand just how amazing the staff is.

Stat Of The Day
We already know Drew Brees is an incredible human being, and the New Orleans Saints quarterback further proved that with an incredibly generous donation to help keep Louisiana afloat during these trying times.

But he’s also dominant on the football field, something we’ve known for over 10 years. And if you take his regular-season wins, combine them with those of Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Ryan, then we could see some pretty cool history once the 2020 NFL season kicks off.

Tweet Of The Day
Listen to Julian Edelman.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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