As players and owners work on negotiating a financial accord to allow for the start of play, opinions have trickled in from all reaches of the baseball-sphere with personal stances about how best to reboot gameplay. After Blake Snell set off a bit of a firestorm with his concerns about returning to the field, many players have chimed in to support the lefty hurler. Obviously, many players are justifiably concerned about what gameplay would mean for their safety and the safety of their families. No one understands this as much as Yoan Moncada, whose 1-year-old daughter was recently hospitalized. She’s doing better now, and Moncada, despite the scare, is ready to return to play should that become a possibility, per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Van Schouwen provides a quote from Moncada, who said, “[My family is] concerned, as everybody is. But if the conditions are safe, they’re going to be good with it. But it is a concern no matter what.” Obviously, everyone has been affected in some form or fashion by this pandemic, and players face difficult personal decisions ahead before returning to play. Of course, COVID-19 has hurt not just the players and owners…
- While most of the focus has remained on the league’s attempts to return to the playing field, the consequences of the shutdown are hitting home for many professionals in the field. The Reds, Rays, and Marlins have announced furloughs that are to begin in June, and the latest from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter) has the Angels among the teams considering the same. Officially, the Angels are still on the fence. It is nonetheless an unfortunate and troubling development for those involved. Hopefully, some of the larger market franchises will be better equipped to weather the storm for their employees.
- Beyond the question of will-they-or-won’t-they play a 2020 season, there are ancillary questions that need answering in the event of a shortened 2020 season. Joel Sherman of the New York Post runs through a whole host of those issues that will require answers at some point. Among Sherman’s inquiries are topics ranging from a potential trade deadline to drug testing to the practical concerns of the games themselves. Baseball is in a better position than heavy-contact sports like basketball and football, but the game still cannot be played with players keeping a 6-foot distance from one another. It helps that the primary action takes place between a batter and pitcher standing 60 feet and 6 inches apart, but there is plenty of potential for in-game contact, as well as the mere fact of shuffling 26-man rosters from stadium to stadium together.
- The Red Sox will be able to resume play at Fenway Park this season according to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. There are, of course, a number of conditions to meet before play resumes at Fenway. For instance, fans will not be allowed in attendance, per Michael Silverman of the Boston Globe. There will also be safety measures that the city of Boston must sign off on before play resumes. Still, it may give players a welcome sense of familiarity to be able to play in their home ballparks, even without fans in the seats. The number of teams that will be able to resume play in their home parks remains up in the air for now, though that does seem to be the goal for most teams.