POLL QUESTION – AUGUST 2
By Leo Haggerty

WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SUSPENDING THE MIAMI MARLINS SEASON DUE TO A COVID-19 TEAM OUTBREAK, DOES MLB NEED TO PULL THE PLUG ON THE ENTIRE SEASON

It’s Sunday!!  Poll Question time and this one has split our staff just like it has divided the entire country.

Here’s this week’s topic.

WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SUSPENDING THE MIAMI MARLINS SEASON DUE TO A COVID-19 TEAM OUTBREAK, DOES MLB NEED TO PULL THE PLUG ON THE ENTIRE SEASON

Take a few minutes to check out the passionate and diverse opinions of our 17 staff members.  Enjoy.

MIKE SIMZAK – AFC NORTH CORRESPONDENT
They don’t need to pull the plug but they should be near the outlet. That this happened less than one full week into the season is a serious problem and MLB needs to take it seriously. They opted to forgo the “bubble” that Basketball, Major League Soccer, and the NHL created and that is their decision to make. Soccer Leagues in Germany, England, and Spain all returned and played in their normal stadia with few issues, so it can be done. However, Baseball needs to do a serious investigation into this situation to see how COVID got into to Marlins’ clubhouse to ensure this is a one-off situation and, if necessary, strengthen their requirements to ensure this remains a one-off situation.

DARREN PODOLAK – KSP HOCKEY ANALYST
The Marlins have suspended their season until at least Sunday August 2, but there have been no reports that I’m aware of relating to players or coaches/staff in the Marlins organization expressing any interest in “sitting out”. There have been reports of NFL players electing to sit out the 2020 season, and I don’t doubt that’s what’s going on with the Marlins that helped influence those players’ decisions. At the end of the day, the league will have to work with the players association to figure out what the right path forward is, but if 16 Marlins are positive (which is true as of today’s reports) we’ll get a good glimpse of how significantly an outbreak like this will affect the players confidence in being able to recover and continue to compete. If players start dropping out, that’s when the league should seriously consider pulling the plug on 2020.

STEPHEN FOX – PHOTO JOURNALIST
Hate to say yes and I see no chance of other teams not getting infected.  When can they play postponed games?

JOHN LENTZ – NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ANALYST
More people die from the regular flu. There won’t be any pro sports this year. Biggest reason is to many lawyers!  Also, have gotten used to other things!  I’m getting to the point I don’t care! These people are high-paid pampered and spoiled! More people die from the flu than this and nobody canceled anything. Why, in  2008 and 2009 with swine flu, didn’t we cancel anything maybe because Obama was in office! Who knows.  I do know I don’t watch ESPN anymore!

JEFFREY NEIL FOX – PUBLISHER OF ITS SPORTS MAGAZINE
Yes, MLB should postpone season until the pandemic is under control.

LARRY “DIGGER” DIBIASE – NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ANALYST
As much as I hate to say this, I don’t see how other teams are not going to have the same issues! Thus, it’s gonna get cancelled..only question is when.  “Book it Dano”..and pull da plug!

DAVID ALEXANDER – AFC WEST CORRESPONDENT
They can’t have another incident like the Marlins situation. The Nationals didn’t want to spend time in Florida and that’s not going to change. Now you’re dealing with some teams not playing 60 games. A tough situation that may only get worse.

BARRY JENKINS – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
No, not yet, but can’t have too many teams get wiped out. They may have to eliminate some teams, for the benefit of all.

JIM THIES – NFC NORTH CORRESPONDENT
It may not be over yet, but it’s awfully close. I think to keep everyone safe, MLB should stop play now. I can understand the desire to keep playing, but safety has got to come first.

ROB KRIETE – ITS SPORTS MAGAZINE SENIOR WRITER
No, they need to keep with the vigilant testing and protocols.  As they cancel games for cases or for precautions, MLB will use winning-percentage to decide playoff teams.  This is never ideal, but also not unprecedented.  So keep them safe and keep them playing as much as possible with keeping the players’ ability to opt-out at any time.

TROY ODEGAARD – AFC SOUTH CORRESPONDENT
No; Major League Baseball should not pull the plug on the whole season.  We, as a country and Professional Sports organization, are testing at record numbers; so of course we are going to see an increase in cases. Plus combine that with the fact that people sign up, wait in line, get tired of waiting in line and two weeks later get a letter in the mail saying they are positive.  We are being FEAR PORNED into how serious this is.  They are professional athletes and that lifestyle allows them the best professional medical care available. The rosters of these teams have been expanded to allow for athletes to get it, the “NEXT MAN UP” philosophy.  We, as a nation, do not have Influenza A under control or a vaccine in place for it.  NOW, all of a sudden, we have a new virus and it has become the plague from the middle ages of world history.
If the athlete has an “at risk” situation that they go home to everyday then, by all means, give them the option to opt out and not play. Then it comes down to the owner of the team and the player because they know the situation better then we as outsiders do.  I like baseball in empty stadiums; you can hear stuff you normally get covered over. They are playing hard and competing.  LET THEM PLAY!
TRACE CRISP – PHOTO JOURNALIST
In my opinion, Covid-19 has gone political.  My wife loves baseball.  Her love for baseball affords me the opportunitY to go out with my buds or whatever and have a good time, just be back when the game(s) are over.  Because of that, I love baseball.  My wife is not going to watch baseball at least for this season.  Why you ask?  Because they, as well as other sports, have introduced “Politics” into the game.  Baseball is no longer Baseball, it has a large dose of politics mixed in and it matters to those that love the pureness of the sport.  Mom, Apple pie, and Chevrolet are gone.  They are on the back shelf with Cream O’ Wheat and Mrs. Butterworth’s.  My Papa would turn over in his grave.  Papa followed the Arkansas Travelers.  It was minor league, but their field was a 5 minute walk from his house, $2 to get in.  A Coke and popcorn was .50 with one free refill.  They had a hole in the scoreboard that paid $100 to a batter if he could hit a ball through it.  The crowd, and man they were always packed, held their breath when a ball was hit towards it, Crack …. Clunck…. “Awe” the people would yell.  It was amazing, it made the hair on  your arms raise up in anticipation of being at the game when it happened.  It was rare, but it always seem to happen when you weren’t there.  Eye’s wide open, “Maybe tonight Papa, huh”?  He would grin back, “Maybe so, Horse collar, maybe so”.  Never understood why he called me that, but it made me feel special.  That was 50-odd years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.  Once in a while, the Mayor or some political person would come to the game, it was fun to boo them with everyone else and laugh at them being removed from the mic.  “Papa, why do they boo?”  “Baseball is the most pure sport in the world, politics has no place here Horse collar.  This is where you come to escape your problems and the problems of the world.  No sir, politics and baseball don’t mix”.  No matter.  Whether you like politics or not, it has no place in Baseball.  My Papa said so and Grand-Pa’s are always right.  So now I’m stuck at home doing “honey dos” or going shopping for the latest shoes.  Guess what, I miss my Papa, I miss my freedom, and I’m being forced to spend too much time with my wife.  The players are too sensitive now days.  Bill Dickey, the catcher for the Travelers, would never had let the flu stop them.  It was once said, “Dickey isn’t just a catcher, He’s a ball-club.  The Men in those days were rough, tough, and had a heart for the Fan’s.  No way they would have locked the fans out and they shouldn’t now.  Take the politics and the babies out of the game.  Maybe one of them will hit the ball through that hole in the scoreboard, “Gee whiz, It pays $100”!
RICK MOORE – NFC WEST CORRESPONDENT
No. Give it a chance. The situation ebbs and flows.
MARK PEARCEY – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Yes, cancel now or wait for the same thing to happen to the other teams.
LEO HAGGERTY – EDITOR OF ITS SPORTS MAGAZINE
MLB is the “Titanic” of pro sports and what was that result?  Not good, right?  Time to cut losses and admit defeat before it gets really ugly!
SEAN OSBORNE – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
There’s NO WAY this season makes it through the month of August..It’s almost daily that more and more BAD news of more positive tests and it feels forced to begin with ..
When will they realize with no fans, sports have no meaning .The players play for the fans..The people are the pulse of sports .The game is for the spectator ..Period ..I understand any sports is somewhat better than nothing but definitely not the save vibe.
MIKE GORMAN – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Sports provide us a window into the virus and our behavior.  The NBA took a very strict approach in the bubble (which can always burst, but for the moment is holding), and MLB took a fairly open approach, though spectator free, and is suffering.  Aside from sports being a microcosm of society, it is tough to see a viable season actually taking place.