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Yes, We Want Baseball But The Right Way

Photo: Nicole Pérez/Latino Sports

New York: Like you, I am starving to see baseball. I miss the crack of the bat and sound of the crowd as a home run is hit out of the yard. From a personal perspective there is a void this time of year.

The routine is different. No live baseball and watching classic games, I will admit are nice and fills the void. But no baseball at the ballpark and probably not going to see and hear the sights and sounds anytime soon.

No ballpark, no watching batting practice from the dugouts and missing colleagues you see on a daily basis. And of course there is missing that interaction with the players.

Honestly, how did we get here? Why are so many in pain? The loss of loved ones, the feeling of being helpless from a Coronavirus that has become a secret enemy.

The answers are difficult to understand. The daily press briefings are not making you or me feel any better, though they say that curve is at a peak. A curve that we would rather see coming off the arm from one of our favorite all-star pitchers is what we want to see and hear.

Leave that curve from a pitcher for another day. Because, my friends, baseball at the ballparks will probably not be a reality this year. And who knows where things will stand a year from now?

In other words, as this has to be understood, baseball and all sports is not a priority at this point. Our health and well being is more significant as much as baseball and sports would be a diversion.

And this all about the safety of players, personnel, and the fans. Until then, ballparks will remain dark.

Until there is proper testing in place, and that is not clear, baseball and other sports will not see fans in those stands. Fans are the backbone and major streams of revenue with the network and regional television deals.

So the latest proposal to resume baseball in 2020, one that has been discussed by MLB, is far from being a reality. Realigning two leagues of teams in Florida and Arizona, players in quarantine, seven-inning doubleheaders, robot umpire at home plate, players in stands and not in dugouts?

Those concepts in discussion are not baseball.

Latino Sports spoke to a few players about the concept of splitting a Grapefruit and Cactus league in Florida and Arizona. The consensus, and from a majority, was to wait until next year.

Away from families, they said, and in quarantine was not the proper route to go. They want to get back on the field but not at the risk of resuming a different and short season, and the possibilities of a player, coach, or personnel testing positive for the virus.

They are willing to see months without payment to their contracts and are looking at restructuring their deals. Most of all they don’t want to be at risk and playing baseball without fans at spring training facilities and Chase Field.

Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, would be the lone MLB venue that would be shared by teams in Arizona and all of the ballparks are in vicinity of each other in both states.

But, it comes down to this, baseball would not be played the right way. And there would be expanded rosters, no minor league systems in place to call up players in the event a roster spot opens due to an injury.

No All-Star game, that’s not an issue. This, more importantly, is about the safety and assuring that players are properly tested on a daily basis.

Play ball, we all want that to happen in 2020. But not now. And if this means waiting until 2021 let that be. The mission, be safe and well. That is a priority.

Comment: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio Pabón

    April 22, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Good and timely piece. Thanks Rich

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