The world around us is in turmoil. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the country are being secluded to their homes in fear of becoming sick.
In times like these, people often look to sports as an escape from the real world problems around us. Take 9/11, for example, as the country was in a state of mourning after thousands of people were killed.
What did people turn to? Baseball. America’s pastime. Mike Piazza’s home run in the first game played in New York allowed fans to remember that we as a nation will fight back.
That won’t be happening anytime soon this time around. Baseball, along with the other three major sports, is suspended until further notice. We are a couple of days away from what was supposed to be Opening Day 2020.
Instead, the absolute most hopeful date we will see baseball being played is in mid-May. So, where do we stand now?
Extended Spring Training?
If and when we do get baseball this year, we are going to have to go through spring training all over again. With the guidelines laid out by the CDC, and what MLB is doing to combat the coronavirus, players have virtually no access to training and staying in shape.
Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shaprio held a conference call with reporters where he said, “Knowing that so many players are not even having any access to throwing at all or hitting at all, but most importantly just throwing, and probably limited access to just training and exercise, it’s hard to imagine we could get ready in less than four weeks.”
Everyone on Toronto’s big league roster has headed home, with the exceptions of Hyun-Jun Ryu, Shun Yamaguchi and Rafael Dolis, all of whom have nowhere else to go.
MLB Announces Relief Efforts for Players and Employees
MLB also announced how it would be compensating minor league players, as well as team employees. Although we are awaiting more details on the logistics, a 30-team, $30 million effort was announced to help all the ballpark employees during this time.
MLB and the MLBPA also announced that every MiLB player not already receiving major league allowances would get a lump-sum valued at what they would have made through April 8.
According to a press release from MLB, they are “remaining in communication with the clubs on the development of an industry-wide plan for minor league player compensation from April 9 through the beginning of the coming season.”
Sale opts for Tommy John Surgery
If the MLB season does get canceled, there is one team that probably won’t be too mad, that being the Boston Red Sox. After trading Mookie Betts for pennies to the Dodgers, they have now lost Chris Sale for 2020.
There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not Sale would be able to play this year as it was. Now, with the delay in the start of the season, Sale decided Tommy John surgery was his best course of action.
Sale could certainly use the rest after a 2019 season that saw his worst win/loss record since 2013. Last year, Sale also posted the worst ERA of his career at 4.40.
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