When Jeff Passan and ESPN dropped the big news last night, the range of emotion was all over the place for baseball fans. Of course, that big news was that MLB and the player’s union were discussing a bevy of plans, one of which had baseball returning in May and all teams playing in the sweltering heat of Arizona.
Understandably, there’s a variety of hurdles to clear in that scenario — including the fact that players would have to isolate from their own families for months — but it still brought forth some hope for fans.
— Ankit Shah (@AnkitJimmyJohn) April 7, 2020
As speculation ran rampantly, Major League Baseball issued the following statement on Tuesday morning.
MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so. While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan.
While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association. The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus.
Basically it feels like a bit of
C.Y.A. the league covering itself from people in protest of the discussed plan. And that’s understandable.
If baseball were to return in May, it would certainly be the first major sport to come back… but being first isn’t what’s most important. The health and well being of all is paramount in any situation where sports would return to us. And with how far behind we still are when it comes to containing coronavirus, this May plan feels like a pipe dream at best.