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If you had to bet right now, would you say yes or no that the baseball season will actually get started? – Brad C.
I actually got this question early last week while I was on vacation. The answer then would have been a hesitant yes. It is a no now, and without hesitation.
Opening Day is supposed to be July 23, and Major League Baseball is charging ahead with its plans, including formally announcing the schedule Monday night with a show on the MLB Network.
But July 23 is a long way from now when you consider how suddenly the COVID-19 virus can alter plans – and how those plans, even now, are being altered on an almost hourly basis.
Over just the last couple of days, we’ve had prominent players – including the Dodgers’ David Price and the Braves’ Nick Markakis – opting out of the season. Markakis cited a conversation with teammate Freddie Freeman, who is stricken with the virus, as a main reason why.
More prominent players, including the Giants’ Buster Posey, have indicated that they are still pondering whether their plans. Heck, even the best player of his generation, the Angels’ Mike Trout, has said he’s unsure he will play.
In the same span, several teams, including the Astros, A’s, and champion Nationals, have had issues with getting tests back in time and have canceled workouts.
And all of this is happening almost three weeks before the games are set to restart. There is so much that is going to happen in the interim, and it’s hard to believe that any of it will be good.
I don’t know what the tipping point will be, though. If Trout opted out or a superstar or two beyond Freeman tested positive, that might be it. But I suspect we are going to find out what it is.
We all want sports back in our lives. But it’s becoming clearer and clearer that MLB’s protocols aren’t exactly reassuring the players, and that sooner or later everyone is going to realize that the return is coming too soon.
I don’t think we’ll see a real MLB game again until 2021. And I don’t think we should.
What does everyone else think? I’ll hear you in the comments.