PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – JUNE 15
By Leo Haggerty
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING
First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.
Ok, so I butchered the rationale behind the restart of the National Hockey League along with the National Basketball Association. Both professional entities need to just pack it in for the 2019-20 seasons, as I suggested in late March, because both their plans are disasters just waiting to happen.
Now, I will give the NHL and the NBA an A for effort, At least they are trying to relaunch their campaigns. Major League Baseball can’t even get the rocket to the launching pad and have become the laughing stock of professional sports in North America.
It’s understandable that MLB was not been able to start the 2020 season. The coronavirus hit with a vengeance right around the middle of March. The Big Leagues had no option other than postpone the start of their season that was schedule to begin in less than two weeks.
A quick reminder to all my loyal readers. I was the first person, before the end of March, that suggested that Major League Baseball should not even consider attempting to play ball in 2020 but to concentrate on coming up with a plan for 2021.
Well, in the months that followed, MLB tried to come up with an agreeable way to proceed but negotiations between the owners and the players have been a lesson in futility. The thought of sequestering players, without their families, for almost five months was ludicrous. The wives and significant others of players were going to veto that idea from the start.
Then, the owners didn’t just want to prorate the salary of their players but deduct another 25% of that figure because the games, in all likelihood, would be played at empty venues. As expected, the Players Association nixed that one in a New York minute.
So, where are we today almost midway through the month of June? No closer to the first pitch being thrown as when the pandemic struck.
I’m sending the same memo I sent to the NHL and the NBA to MLB. Hang up 2020 and move on. It over so deal with it and come up with a plan on how to get 2021 off the ground on time.
Hey, National Football League, trust me when I tell you that you’re not outside of my crosshairs on these issues. I hope your watching the “crash-and-burn” of the other three professional leagues and learning from it.
Look for my ranting on The Shield later this week especially if there is no logical plan to proceed with opening the regular season either on time or delayed. If the NFL doesn’t, the chance to live long and prosper in the 2020 campaign will be slim and none and Slim just got quarantined in Dallas. Even Mr. Spock sees that, too.