The Coronavirus is currently taking over the world and has cancelled many major sporting events, does this mean the MLB season could be it’s next victim?
The Coronavirus pandemic has constantly been reaching new peaks, as seemingly every minute we pick up our phones there is a new negative update. The virus has now begun to severely impact the professional sports world as the NBA suspended their regular-season games in response to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive, Daniele Rugani, a defender on the Juventus soccer team has tested positive, and NCAA March Madness will be played with no fans in attendance.
With the MLB season two weeks away, baseball fans can only imagine what this means for Opening Day, let alone the entire MLB season. Could we potentially see the start of the MLB season be postponed? Or the entire season be canceled? As of now, it is too early to tell. The league office has been vigilant in their efforts to figure out the best methods to keep everyone as safe as possible. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has even been on record saying it has been difficult for him to take in spring training action because he has been swamped with coronavirus meetings non-stop.
In addition, New York state has seen more than 200 cases, with over 50 being in New York City. Even if MLB were to go about their business as usual, the high volume of cases in NY could have an effect on the Yankees home games to start the year. The unfathomable idea of playing home games in Florida has even been floated around the internet.
While a pushed back start date could be appealing to Yankees fans for a variety of reasons including starting the season with more healthy players, or even beginning the season in a bit warmer weather, the issue becomes much larger than our fandom. Players, team personnel and fans are all at risk with this virus being spread so rapidly. It is an uneasy thought to imagine all of the chaos that would ensue. Hourly-waged ballpark jobs would be no more, television schedules would be in disarray, and obviously, the baseball season itself would be affected. It is a lose-lose situation.
Commissioner Manfred and major league baseball sure have had a busy offseason leading up to the 2020 season. After handing down the punishments for the Houston Astros and finalizing the Red Sox investigation for cheating, they now have a much more serious issue to assess. As we creep closer to opening day, keep your eyes peeled (or twitter notifications on) for a decision.