The Tuesday Discussion: Baseball in Florida?
This week we asked,
“What are your thoughts on the proposal to have the 2020 season take place entirely in Florida and Arizona?”
Here are the responses from our writers:
Lincoln Mitchell – This is a better idea than having the season only in Arizona, but I am still not confident it can happen. There are too many uncertainties about when we will be able to resume the activities necessary to support the idea. Moreover, there is no guarantee that once started it would be possible to finish the season without interruption.
Tamar Chalker – As someone who is at least 2 hours away from the closest MLB park (which is Fenway, and I don’t have the money to afford one of the 12 good seats at Fenway) and who has bad asthma making me pretty high risk for COVID-19, it was pretty unlikely I’d get to see the Yankees play in person this year. If getting some baseball on tv means they play in Florida and Arizona, I’m totally down for it. I had also just started to get my partner into baseball at the end of last season and now that we are both working from home it would be a great time to keep that going. To me, it doesn’t matter where they play, I’ve now spent most of my life living “away” anyway.
Ed Botti – As much as I want Baseball back, I do not see it (the “bubble league”) as a viable plan. I think it will cheapen the season. The games will have to be played in extreme heat as summertime Arizona and Florida get very hot, and they are planning many double headers. They will have to realign the divisions based on where teams spring training sites are located. How will they account for the families of the players? Will the players be in quarantine for the whole season? Maybe they can come up with a better solution, but as is, I do not like it.
Patrick Gunn – I think that the upcoming MLB Season should only occur if it is completely safe to do so. As such, I feel like the option of quarantining players in Florida and/or Arizona is too risky at this point. They would have to maintain regular testing and not be able to see their families for months, which is difficult for any athlete. As such, I would be against MLB rolling out this plan at this current time, even though I do miss baseball.
Derek McAdam – I would love for baseball to come back as soon as possible. However, I do understand that there are several barriers to get past before baseball can resume. Some players would have to end up staying in a hotel or with another teammate, since many players do not have a home in either Florida or Arizona. That can be a very risky situation for the players. Second, the players are going to have to go through an entire Spring Training before they begin the regular season. Best case scenario, the regular season would start in mid-June… but that is an absolute best case scenario. I would love to see some kind of baseball, even if the games are played in front of no fans in Florida and Arizona. Safety is, and should be, Major League Baseball’s priority.
Matthew Cohen – I think that Major League Baseball should do whatever it can to play as much baseball as quickly as it can while minimizing risk to players and other personnel.
People are starved for something to watch and focus on besides the latest death counts. Everyone will understand if the normal rules have to be thrown out the window. And if it’s an asterisk season, no one will care.
Mike Whiteman – It seems like forever since the Yanks signed Gerrit Cole and the optimism of 2020 was so high. Times are so much different from that time that was not so long ago. The start of baseball, even if totally in Florida and Arizona. would represent a step towards normalcy, and a step towards healing as we as a country emerge from the horror of the pandemic.
Paul Semendinger – Assuming that baseball can do this safely, and assuming that the necessary medical care that comes from playing a sport competitively is available and won’t take away from others that need the care, I would love to see baseball return in some form. I think the game is important and it helps show the country’s resilience and strength and that it’ll be a great distraction for so many at a time when a positive distraction is needed. The 2020 season is already one that can’t be considered a typical season, so if the leagues are changed for one year, just to get the games in, even if it hey are n empty stadiums in Florida and Arizona, I’m all for it. They key, though, would be that they have to be able to do this safely in regard to the health concerns that have shut down the season to date.