by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
PHOENIX, AZ — While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a massively dark shadow filled with uncertainty and fear in our daily lives, the sports world is doing all they can to find a silver lining and resume their seasons.
No ideas are off the table. UFC president Dana White was trying to secure a private island to host UFC 249 (now has decided to vacate the idea); NHL commissioner Gary Bettman entertained the idea of finishing the season in North Dakota; and there are rumors the NBA could resume their season in Las Vegas.
The common denominator is isolation: a remote location that isn’t heavily populated, low amount of CoronaVirus cases, and of course playing these games without fans.
While these other leagues are working to finish their seasons, the MLB is trying to start. They already lost the first three weeks and it will likely be three months, if at all, before they have an Opening Day.
It was reported that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLBPA are working on a plan to have all 30 teams play throughout Arizona starting in June utilizing Chase Field, the home of the Arizona D’backs, and various spring training facilities in neighboring cities to play games without fans.
While everyone is itching to end this social distancing and see these sports leagues resume, we have to be conscience not to rush back into things, because a second wave of this outbreak is possible.
Without rapid-result testing equipment, it would be very difficult to test all of these players, coaches, and various team and medical staff members to ensure the health and safety of all-involved before a season could start.
Those types of tests aren’t readily available and are going to locations or “hot spots” that clearly need them more.
Not to mention are players going to be comfortable being away from their families for potentially four months and essentially continuing a different form of isolation.
While owners and players want to salvage their season and avoid losing money, this pandemic is a much bigger issue than money.
Instead of trying to force a season, the MLB should consider canceling the 2020 season for the simple reasons of health and safety. Manfred and his staff should put the protection of players first before the interests of owners.
Yes, we all want to get back to normal and if nothing else, provide an escape from our grim reality to which sports has always been an escape for, but not at the cost of putting people’s health at risk.