Well, we’re almost a month into not having live sports. And there really doesn’t appear to be an end date to the coronavirus pandemic.
But some news broke late Monday when ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Major League Baseball and MLB Players’ Association were working on a plan that would have season activities begin in May with games following shortly thereafter.
Yes, as in next month.
All MLB teams would play at Chase Field in Arizona and the players basically only would be able to travel from their hotel to the ballpark and back to the hotel.
Now listen, I want baseball back just as much, if not more than anybody. I live for baseball and count down the days to when pitchers and catchers report. But is May — just weeks after the peak of the coronavirus is expected to hit the United States — too early to get players — hundreds of them — together in order to get games going again?
The short answer is yes.
I’d give my left arm to be able to watch some live baseball. And even though this plan “has the support of high-ranking federal public health officials who believe the league can safely operate amid the coronavirus pandemic,” it just doesn’t make sense.
Players would have to be away from their families for an unspecified amount of time. Some of these players are expecting children this summer and/or already have young kids at home. For Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale, seeing his kids through video chat for months at a time is something he’s unsure he could do.
“I think that’s going to be a case-by-case issue,” he said, via The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “That’s going to be tough. … I don’t know if I can look at my kids through a screen for four or five months.”
There’s also the weather to think about, which easily reaches 100 degrees in Arizona during the summer. And if you’re going to be playing seven-inning doubleheaders to get to as close to 162 games as possible, scheduling these might be an issue.
But the most important thing, of course, is the health and safety of everyone involved — players, staff, hotel employees, ballpark grounds crew members, umpires etc.
We’ll hopefully have a better read on the COVID-19 situation come May. But for the time being, the pandemic comes first. We don’t want more players or anyone who comes in contact with them to get sick.
They say patience is a virtue. And I (the least patient person in the world) am beginning to learn that each and every day.
I want sports back as much as the next person. But it needs to be done when it’s 100 percent safe. And it’s great the reported plan (which MLB released a statement about), would take measures to try to ensure social distancing.
But what happens when a player needs to be tagged out? What about holding a runner on first? Ever notice when a pitcher licks his hand during his outing? That same ball could get thrown around from player to player each inning.
As David Ortiz said Tuesday: “Stay together, and continue fighting. We’re going to get through this. I know we’re going to get through this.”
— Torey Krug held a Zoom conference call Tuesday and spoke about a number of things: what he missed the most about being around his Boston Bruins teammates, his thoughts on the current NHL situation and, most notably, his contract with Boston.
The defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent once the 2019-20 season wraps up, but has expressed a desire to remain with the Black and Gold. Krug even said he’d consider taking less money to remain with the club.
But he noted during the call that the season pause has not given him “any clarity” as to whether he’ll be in a Bruins uniform next season. He also said he hoped he did not play his last game in the eight-spoked B.
— Sale had his Tommy John surgery a week ago and will begin his year-plus-long journey to get back to the mound. But his rehab already is off to a unique start.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, he’s not sure he’ll be able to safely get back to the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Florida when it’s time to begin his rehab. So he’ll do some workouts to help get his extension back over FaceTime from the safety of his own home.
— Boston always will be Ortiz’s (expletive) city.
And he reminded Bostonians of that Tuesday when he sent a supportive message to the city.
“People in Boston are getting close to the plate and coming clutch, coming through. Clutch. That’s how we do it. We are the City of Champions, Boston. We are the City of Champions. We have been down before, but we know how to bounce back up. Because this is our city, and we’ve got to stay strong so we can go back and do the things that we love doing.”
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 7, 2020
— NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hinted Tuesday the NHL may not be able to salvage the remainder of the paused 2019-20 season. Tuesday would have marked the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“The best thing, and the easiest thing, would be if at some point we could complete the rest of the regular season and go into the playoffs as we normally do,” he said. “We understand that may not be possible, and that’s why we’re considering every conceivable alternative to deal with whatever the eventuality is.”
— Former Bruin and current Edmonton Oilers center Colby Cave is fighting for his life.
We’re sending all the thoughts, prayers, strength and good vibes to Cave, his family, friends and teammates during this time.
Video of the day
Well, this is just adorable and should brighten your day.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 7, 2020
Stat of the day
Just your yearly reminder that the New York Mets will be paying Bobby Bonilla for a long, long time.
Cal Ripken Jr. and Bobby Bonilla hit back-to-back home runs in the 4th inning of this game on September 6, 1995.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 8, 2020
Tweet of the day
Nike now is helping healthcare workers on the front lines in a big way.
The company announced Tuesday it will be producing full-face shields.
Kudos to @Nike for transforming Nike Air to create PPE.
Using sneaker collar padding, cords, and the TPU from Nike Air units, the brand is manufacturing full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect healthcare workers against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/mvWY1Xifsy
— Jacques Slade (@kustoo) April 7, 2020
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images