Embed from Getty Images ESPN and MLB insider Jeff Passan dropped a bombshell yesterday, One that has sparked a lot of debate. “NEWS: Major League Baseball and the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) are focusing on a plan backed by federal health officials that could have players in training camps by May and games soon thereafter.” Passan wrote. Is it possible during the Covid-19 pandemic?
First we need to back up a little bit. Last week United States President Donald Trump said he wanted to get people back in their jobs around Easter. Guess what? Here we are the Holy week in upon us and now MLB is working on a plan.
Last Saturday Trump had a conference call with the heads of all sports owners, general managers, player reps. With one goal. Getting back to work. It was a four hour call that most likely came with a framework.
Back to Jeff Passan, who said the framework would be for all MLB teams to head to Arizona. The teams would use spring training complexes as well as college ballparks. There would be no fans in the stands but games would be televised.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, the main question is can extended spring training and games be played safely? The batter is close to the catcher, the catcher is close to the home plate umpire. A runner on base is close to the nearest defender.
Meeting on the mounds and pitching changes have people within inches of each other. How can MLB during a global pandemic do this in a safe manner? Listen my love for baseball knows no bounds. But this is (to use a baseball term) a pickle. Peoples lives and well being are on the line. As are their family members.
Unless, the President and health officials know some things they have not released as of yet. Then this looks like a tremendous gamble. Again, the President gave a time frame.
Millionaire owners and the current President have something in common. They are all businessmen. People who work and direct deadlines. They are also creative in how they get their business done.
With players, coach’s, umpires, trainers, field crew and others lives at stake. This will have to either be really creative or better yet, postponed to July or August when it is safer.