One month before a proposed start to the 2020 Major League Baseball season and it appears the Colorado Rockies and other MLB teams are no closer to taking the field than they were a month ago.
It’s June 4 and one month before what has rumored to be the start of the 2020 MLB season would begin. The Colorado Rockies and the rest of America’s national pastime potentially returning to the field on July 4 seems, at this moment, to be a dream that’s almost too good to be true.
With MLB rejecting the MLBPA’s proposal of a 114-game season on Wednesday, it seems the two sides are deadlocked once again. Will the season be 50 or 82 games or some other number in the middle? Will the 2020 season even happen? These are the questions all baseball fans want to know right now, and we’re all anxiously scrolling through our social media feeds for the latest updates and hoping for some good news.
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Despite the stalemate, there have been some positive signs in the last couple of days as well. Milwaukee’s David Stearns, the team’s president of baseball operations, stated that he “firmly believes” there will be baseball in 2020. Arizona owner Ken Kendrick told a Phoenix radio station that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has assured both players and owners that baseball will return this summer.
Those words are good, but there is still much to work out, both in terms of health and money, for teams to return to the diamond … and the clock is ticking. If teams need roughly three to four weeks of regrouping and actual spring training (which would officially extend into summer) workouts, then time is absolutely of the essence. It’s been made very clear that baseball in November is not what is wanted (also stated by Kendrick, from a television rights or potential worry over a “second wave” of COVID-19 standpoint).
So where does that leave things? With the days counting away and the sides still very far from a conclusion, it’s clear that each day is critical to whether there will be a baseball season in 2020. Despite assurances, the simple reality is that the business side of the game is dominating the conversation right now … and that has rarely been good for baseball in the past.
If and when baseball returns, we know it will be different in 2020. There’s no question about that. A shorter season, no fans in the stands, and no National League pitchers hitting will make the game an oddity compared to years past. The essence of baseball, however, will still be there. Those things that tie generations together through a game will all be there. They may be different, but they’ll still be there. That’s one of the biggest reasons why baseball fans are so passionate about the game’s return, provided it can be done safely.
Yes, if the games returns in 2020, it will be different, but we can all still gripe about who’s in the lineup or why a pitcher was used over another one, just like in seasons past. However, for that to happen this year, baseball needs to solve a lot of issues very quickly. The clock is ticking and a world filled with baseball fans is watching.