“Baseball-Arizona….Good Idea or Bad Idea?”
They all want to get on the field, but at what cost.
Day-by-Day, new fragments of information surface as Major League Baseball tries to configure a way around the Corona-Virus-Crisis, to get teams back together, on the field, and playing games.
The latest, the Monday-Tuesday conference calls involving different committees, about the idea to bring all 30-teams together in Arizona.
They would use Chase Field, the Diamondbacks home, and 10-other Cactus League sights, to stage a two week spring training camp, and then open the season, with locked out Stadiums.
There are all kinds of flags being run up the flagpole on this idea.
Assign 3-teams per spring training camps, which all have multiple lockerooms that could be used as headquarters, and as many as 8-different practice fields for workouts at each facility.
MLB would want to open the season on June 1st, and play at least the first month of the season in locked out spring training stadiums. Just players, staff, baseball officials, the media, and no one else.
The goal, get games in the books in June, with the hope the Virus-Crisis would be gone by July’s hot weather and all teams could return to home stadiums for a July 4th celebration open to the fans.
But for this to happen, lots of things have to happen. Lots of questions have to be answered.
You cannot request baseball be ‘open for business’ while the rest of the nation sits at home, can you?
Is using medical people to tend to baseball players, more important than doctors, nurses, police, Med-Evac people? How is that perceived in the nation?
Can you secure a large enough supply of Virus-test kits to make sure you can test everyone in your facilities daily?
Where do you lodge the players-a team hotel, or let them stay in apartments? Is this for players only, asking them to be separated from their families for at least two months?
Can you secure this ‘Baseball Bubble’ in your facility and in hotels, but what do you do about all the people who have to service a franchise on a logistical daily basis?
This is more than a 29-man roster, it’s everyone around who helps make a game-day go.
What happens if a player, a trainer, a club exec tests positive during the process. Do you quarantine a team, what happens to your schedule then?
Do you use the ‘laboratory idea’, including 7-inning games for doubleheaders, and even the electronic strike zone? Do you cancel video reviews of plays because it involves more personnel? Do you invalidate the credibility of the actual game if you chop some rules?
Do you think sitting players 6-feet apart in the stands, rather than in the dugout, is actually enforceable?
Where are you going to feed these players? You going to think players won’t want to go out on their own time away from the yard.?
Do you think limiting mound visits and limiting other rules, helps the game?
All this sounds novel, unique and different. It matches where we are today as a society.
But the bigger question.
Owners want to make money, players want to be paid, but at what cost? Are you going back into the discussion ‘risk-vs-reward’ if you start games up?
Is this for the fans, or the owners, or someone’s bank account?
I’d rather wait to the all-clear is sounded by medical and science, not the President, and I’d be prudent. Let it start July 1st…August 1st…whenever the virus is totally shutdown…so society can start up again without fear of relapse of risk.
For the first time in my baseball life in the media, I don’t care about how this looks in the record book. You will put an asterisk next to this season. So who cares if its 140-games…100-games…3-months or not.
These sub-committees discussing this on conference calls, for the first time ever, should understand, the decisions you make are not about baseball, but society too.
The games financial health has been hurt. American’s health is now paramount. Batting averages, payrolls, the standings and scoreboards, have been superceeded by death counts, body bags, morgues and mass burials.
Getting back not ehe field should less important than America getting finally healthy.
Baseball owners owe that to society first and then their fans too.
Baseball in Arizona, right now. Bad idea.