Some health officials and the Arizona governor announced some things in the last 24 hours that may lead to the start of Colorado Rockies, and the other 29 MLB teams, returning in 2020.
Colorado Rockies fans and fans of the other 29 MLB teams and MLB fans, in general, may have a glimmer of light in the possible return of baseball in 2020.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Arizona governor Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that he would be open to Arizona hosting the entire MLB season, with all 30 teams, when games return after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
"“I have had discussions with the commissioner of Major League Baseball,” Ducey said, referring to Rob Manfred. “While I want to hold the content of those discussions in confidence, I just want everyone to know that Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state, at the time that it would be appropriate for public health if Arizona were in a position to reopen."
He continued by saying that the state has the facilities and hotel space available but they want to “make sure that the metrics and data are proper before we are able to go forward.”
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also said (h/t Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times on Twitter) that he is open to baseball being held in Florida’s spring training stadiums as well. He went as far as to say sports are “essential business” for the state of Florida.
This had been talked about as a possible option for the return of baseball but still, nothing is set in stone. However, considering that the governor of the state has announced that he’d be fine with it, it could be more of a possibility.
When games do return, though, it is highly likely that games will not have fans in attendance.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of NIAID (National Institue of Allergies and Infectious Diseases) and one of President Trump’s top advisers on the Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview on Snapchat on Wednesday that he thinks that games should be able to return but no fans should be in attendance.
He also said that players would need to be “very well surveilled” and tested often (likely weekly) to make sure that they would not spread the virus to other players and, potentially, their families. The players would also have to be isolated in hotels.
When this would be able to happen remains to be seen but at least there is some form of a possible groundwork on what baseball will look like when it inevitably returns.