Major League Baseball is simply not working. Forget about the fact that members of the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies tested positive for Covid-19 this week, forcing cancellation of several games. I'm talking about the fact that there are no fans in the stands, no announcers in the press box and basically no excitement at all. Managers and coaches are wearing face masks and the whole scenario looks more like something that is post-apocalyptic than baseball as we know it.
I've tried to watch a game or two and I just can't get into it.
First of all having cardboard cut-outs sitting in the stands doesn't work and neither does the recorded crowd noise. I had to snicker a bit when New York Yankee star Aaron Judge caught a fly ball for the third out and immediately looked to the stands for someone to throw the ball to and no one was there. Baseball has always been about the players and the fans and, when the fans aren't there, it's simply not good.
A 60-game schedule was the best that MLB could do and, if the shortened season is finally completed, if a world champion is indeed decided, it will never be legitimate. Starting the regular season in late July was a real stretch but America needed baseball and we still do. Our country also needs football and basketball and all other sports, but at what cost?
Covid-19 cases continue to increase nationwide. In fact, 21 states are now considered to be in the "red-zone." Close to 150,000 Americans have died from this coronavirus, with many more deaths still to come. The fact that the Marlins and Phillies have been forced to halt their seasons after one week does not fare well for the sport in general. If Major League Baseball can't get out of the gate, then how will football be able to have a successful season? Several of the games' biggest stars have already opted out for the 2020 season and, as far as college football goes, many of the smaller conferences have already cancelled the season.
High schools, with the exception of Tennessee, seem to have a plan in every state to open the season. In fact, while Georgia is starting the season after Labor Day, Tennessee has been given the go-ahead to begin on time in August. Never mind that positive cases of Covid-19 continue to spiral out of control. Seasons will begin presenting a united front just like baseball. Hopefully, football seasons will go more than one week before games start being cancelled. That wasn't working well anyway.
Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org