We may be seeing some Boston Red Sox baseball soon as reports suggest that the league is targeting the end of June as a launching point for the 2020 season.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s desperately missing baseball right now. I’ve been scouring YouTube for as many Red Sox games as the MLB has made available. But there’s nothing like that new game smell to really scratch the itch, is there? Luckily for us, we may be getting some of that hot new baseball real soon.
Per reports from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the league is targeting the end of June as the most likely start date to the season. Nothing is set in stone as the world is changing every day thanks to the ever-evolving nature of the coronavirus. Player and personnel safety is the main priority for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and his team. If they rush things back and positive tests start popping up, they’ll be in for a headache no amount of aspirin could cure.
So, what exactly would this season look like if the league is able to launch ahead of the Fourth of July? Well, that’s a great question that I don’t think anyone has a solid idea of just yet.
A few weeks ago we heard that they were entertaining the idea of holding the season solely in Arizona. Then it was a matter of splitting the league between Arizona and Florida, similar to spring training. Today’s report adds a new dynamic into the mix and it’s one that makes far more sense.
The league would be broken up into three 10-team groupings that would allow teams to play in their home stadiums. This would be a huge development as it would allow players to go home after the game and not be quarantined to a set hotel away from their families.
When those initial ideas were floated around the baseball world we saw quite a few stars hate the thought of being away from their families, Red Sox ace Chris Sale being one of them.
Per Nightengale, the three regions will essentially be combinations of the AL/NL divisions with some teams being shifted around based on their locations. Again, this makes great sense geographically as travel will be limited and players will get to sleep in their own beds most nights.
Obviously the success of this plan falls solely on the need for COVID-19 testing. This is an issue that’s gripping not only the US but the world over, and it’ll be tricky for the league to get that many tests secured. The other caveat to the proposed opening of the MLB season in June would be the lack of fans in the ballparks.
With things up in the air still, as far as the coronavirus is concerned, I just can’t see fans being in any parks or arenas anytime soon. We’re currently under a mandate to not be in a social setting of more than ten people within six feet of each other, I can’t picture 30,000+ getting the green light. As someone who owns tickets to games this season, I’d sure like to know if there will be a refund policy set in place, and soon.
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So how will this affect the Red Sox for 2020? Well, it would shake things up and we could see some more liveliness in the East. On the other hand, we could see multiple teams be effectively eliminated shortly after the season begins, I’m looking at you Baltimore and Miami. Starting the season right before July would also allow for an 80-100 game season, leading to the World Series coming just before Christmas.
I never thought I needed to see a Christmas-time World Series, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought it sounded pretty damn interesting. I’m not sure if this plan will pan out and we’ll be enjoying our beloved Red Sox in a few month’s time, but I’m going to stay optimistic. The team just beat out a sign-stealing witch-hunt and is ready to turn the page towards a new season, let’s get it going.
This report could easily change in the span of the next 24 hours and is still very up in the air. But it feels like the closest thing to an actual idea that may come to fruition. If the league can implement this rumored idea in a manner that keeps all involved as safe as possible, then I’m all for it. At this point I’d be willing to watch the Red Sox play 162 games of Wiffle-Ball, I need my fix.