Bronx, NY- Today should have been Game 7 of the 2020 MLB Baseball season and the game is dark as we all isolate with the onslaught of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
We at Latino sports hope you and your families are safe. Please follow the guidelines as we continue the fight. After talking to numerous baseball personnel, there is a prevailing attitude that the season is in jeopardy and any resumption will mean revisions of the schedule as there will be many obstacles to overcome.
Talking about baseball and other sports towards a possible resumption is good, but there is so much more to overcome with the onslaught of this Coronavirus Pandemic. We have not reached the Apex of this crisis and those in baseball are taking this day-by-day.
Here in New York, Yankee Stadium is dark. The bars and restaurants, along with merchants across the street from the stadium have closed their gates. Merchandise not sold will cause a major loss of revenue.
The parking lots at Citi Field in Queens are now medical stations for those seeking to be tested for the Coronavirus.
Yes, the stadiums are dark. Employees that work for teams are isolated at home. Stadium personnel that maintain the ballparks, including concession workers and security security staff, are patiently waiting to reach their local unemployment offices for assistance.
This is a waiting game as we all miss baseball and all of the sports that have been shut down.
June, July? It is all up in the air. How will a revised schedule go forward that will constitute a legitimate season and assure a fair postseason that would stretch into November?
Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner, on a Thursday radio program, suggested doubleheaders and an extra innings format of a home run derby to determine the outcome.
Quickly, a baseball purist, as you truly are, knocked down this suggestion so we will leave this to those in charge at Major League Baseball if there is any resumption of the 2020 season. But as each day passes without baseball it is obvious that a season is in jeopardy.
Many involved with baseball operations are in isolation at home as we all are. They are in communication with MLB, staff, the players. The worst possible scenario is a season that resumes with empty ballparks as fans are a major source of revenue with ticket sales, parking and concessions.
Another concern is resuming operations and a possible second wave of the Coronavirus causes another disruption of the schedule. There are the regional networks that also are a main source of revenue and they are taking a loss.
“The thing about baseball, it’s every single day and nobody knows,” said a high ranking NL executive.
He said, under discussion, another brief round of spring training would need to begin around June 1. There has also been discussion of safety concerns in New York, a hotspot, and main epicenter of the Coronavirus.
There are also concerns about travel from city to city, the caution of one or two players testing positive for the virus and what you do at that point.
And this goes beyond the Major League schedule. There are issues with a minor league schedule, the amateur draft that is scheduled in June, and that all important international pool of players that leads to building the structures of minor league affiliates.
All of this is in jeopardy and leads to more questions about where the game stands when this crisis is past us.
The consensus, from those contacted here, is a priority of safety first and the financial losses will come later. All that were contacted said the season of 2020 remains to be determined.
“Start thinking about the finances,” said another executive. “That’s the drop in the bucket. Major advertising, ESPN and Fox and all that kind of stuff. How are they going to pay the salaries? Is there going to be minor league baseball what happens to all the prospects not playing?”
Baseball has those billion dollar deals with the networks under their current contracts that are due to expire and up for renewal.
This hiatus is two-fold on every spectrum of the game. Finances are one aspect, and the other is an impact pertaining to the development of prospects and how it will affect their status in an eventual draft.
That same executive, one who monitors the prospects for his franchise, said, “They totally get screwed, high school and college kids and do they go back to their senior year.” .
Baseball executives are looking at the economy and where we stand in another month. The airline and hotel industries, two key components as services for the game, have been hit hard.
Some sanity with the schedule, economics, and safety has to come back to the game before there is any talk about a resumption. The players are anxious to get the season started. We are aware at the same time, if and when, that baseball will be a great diversion.
And there is the second cycle of preparation. Spring training would need to resume prior to any start of a schedule.
A consensus is another spring training for a two or three week period. There would be expanded roster, more than the 26, that was changed this coming season under a new agreement with players and owners.
“Say we have spring training for two-three weeks they will have an expanded roster,” said the NL executive who was quoted earlier. “Say one or two players test positive for the virus? What do you do at that point? How are teams going to travel?
These things are all a part of it and the logistics are beyond the scope of anyone’s imagination.
A bulk of MLB players, in contact with their teams, they want to play. They will play through Thanksgiving in November if that can be arranged in other venues such as domed stadiums or at spring training venues in Florida or Arizona.
These are the ideas that under discussion Until we know, we have to take this day- by day. Until then STAY SAFE.
Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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