There is joy in Mudville – Major League Baseball will rise from the ashes of the coronavirus and, like a sports phoenix, will have a shortened regular season of 60 games.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has agreed with Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s plan for the shortened season. There had been a rather contentious back and forth between MLB and the MLBPA in recent weeks, and hopes seemed to fade that a deal was possible.
The good news is that players finally accepted the plan that includes provisions for the safety of the players as they return to the field. Spring training – or really summer training – will commence on July 1st, and the season will start around July 23 or 24th according to the plan.
While the shortened season may not be everything fans want – attendance at games is probably not going to happen – it does give us baseball. A summer without baseball is like Christmas without Santa Claus, and we all need a little “Ho-ho-ho!” right now considering the grim months that we have lived through after the shutdown due to the coronavirus.
As a seriously addicted New York Mets fan, I have been relegated to watching reruns of games on SNY – despite knowing the outcome of the games – because I need something to fill the void. It has been fun in a way watching the old games, especially the World Series games, but it’s just not the same knowing the outcome.
This is vitally important for kids as well as adults. I know my own family has felt deprived of many things during this unprecedented time. My kids lost the end of school, swimming, time with friends, and so much more. The ability to watch baseball again is the prescription for their recovery from the void in which they have been forced to live.
Is this solution perfect? No, far from it, but it is better than nothing. There are many things to think about; however, the joy of seeing live baseball outweighs them all.
Besides being happy for myself, my kids, and all fans, I am happy for the players because they will not lose an entire season. Yes, their statistics are going to be compromised, but at least they will be able to put up some numbers instead of none at all.
Hopefully, this is a good sign that we will have other professional sports in the future. I know there have been conflicting stories about whether we will have National Football League games this year, but this news is encouraging and paves the way for football, hockey, and basketball in the months ahead.
Yes, it really sucks that I can’t take my kids to a game and buy some peanuts and Crackerjacks, but at least we can watch the games on TV. It will be kind of surreal to see Citi Field and other venues empty during games, but maybe they can add “fan sound” to the audio just as old comedy shows had a laugh track.
As of now, I am happy that we will have a baseball season, and many people I know (including my kids) are happy too. It will be so wonderful to be able to say “Play ball!” and see my Metsies on the field once again. Lets Go Mets!