By: Billy Lewis
With the calendar turning to July, Major League Baseball is getting ready for “Spring Training 2.0.”Of course, the traditional Spring Training was cut short back in March due to Covid-19. Since then the MLB, NBA, and NHL have look towards plans towards restarting their respective seasons.
Major League Baseball was about two weeks shy of the scheduled Opening Day. The suspension of sports left many to wonder when, and seemingly more importantly if sports would return. It looks as though the end of July will be when we see the Major Sports again. Major League Baseball is set to open July 23-24, with the NBA and NHL following at the end of the month.
Major League Baseball’s Squandered Opportunity
The road to the return to baseball was a rocky one at best. MLB and the MLBPA were at odds with each other throughout the entire process. Though that would be understandable if the main concern was the health and safety of the players, the biggest sticking point was money.
Owners were trying to cry poor due to the fact fans will not be permitted in ballparks this season. Players were staying strong together, fighting to get the money they signed for. With business closures and unemployment numbers exponentially rising due to the Covid-19 virus, fans did not want to hear an argument over money between “billionaires and millionaires”.
Major League Baseball could seemingly be looking at an Opening Day being this upcoming July 4th weekend. Which would also give them about a month to showcase their sport before the NBA and NHL possibly resume. While Rob Manfred has been toying with different ideas to try to grow the game with the younger generations, he had a golden opportunity to do just that.
Manfred had an opportunity to show it is possible to safely bring back the return of sports. Instead, he oversaw a dispute over money keep baseball in the news for all the wrong reasons.
The virus will have the ultimate say if sports can return at the end of the month or not. Safety protocols would have made for an understandable argument. Major League Baseball showed it was tone death by having money be the main point of contention. Especially for a game trying to grow itself to a younger audience.