Greetings and salutations, Baltimore Orioles fans! We’ve all heard the potential contingencies for getting the season started, and there are positives and negatives to them all. The question is where exactly do we stand?
You can go on message boards and Facebook sites and get a wide array of opinions. From some saying “shut it down” and “we just have to accept that there’ll be no baseball maybe until 2021 or even ‘we,” to “play now with fans in the stands.” My personal opinion on the matter is that this is the moment to at least discuss what MLB will be in 2020. The curves do appear to be flattening. So it’s worth discussing.
Baseball’s in a much different and frankly better spot than sports such as hockey or basketball. They were in the home stretch of their respective seasons. But baseball would have just begun a couple of weeks ago. Baseball also has the ability to schedule doubleheader’s, thus getting in more games. That doesn’t happen in other sports.
I’ve advocated the idea of scrapping the AL and NL for one season, and playing the Grapefruit League against the Cactus League. My Pearson’s view is that’s a better alternative than the entire league going to Arizona. Teams have their own facilities in those respective places, and it would still give them a sense of playing “at home.” Not totally, but at the very least you’re playing in a ballpark that you feel is “yours.”
This past week we also hear another idea, that of putting the league into regional divisions and you play games in your division only. The O’s would have been lumped in with Washington, Philadelphia, both NY teams, and probably Boston. Something along those lines. It’s unclear exactly how the standings and/or post-season would have worked, but I digress. This would also allow for teams to play games in their home ballparks.
The one thing that all of these plans (and presumably the contingencies of which we haven’t heard) has in common is that they don’t allow for fans. Teams would be playing in empty ballparks. And I think it would have to be that way – at least at first. I don’t deny that it’s possible (albeit unlikely) that teams could admit fans later in the summer. But we would have to cross that bridge when we would get there.
What happens remains to be seen. But America needs sports. People can say it’s not essential and so forth – and that may be true. However it gives people repose from the real world. So my hope is that one of these plans, or one of which we haven’t heard, moves forward. And soon at that.