MLB And The COVID-19 Pandemic

A difficult environment.

In two days, the boys of summer are supposed to begin the training process to start the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Sports is coming back and that is good news for sportswriters and sportstalk radio as people in those industries need to push a product to financially survive. But is it a smart decision to bring back sports with the narrative of a return to normal pre-COVID-19 life? Major League Baseball has teams in hard hit COVID-19 infested areas in Miami, St. Petersburg, Florida, Arlington, Texas, Houston, Phoenix and in Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego, California. COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in Arizona, in California, in Florida and in Texas. COVID-19 is growing in 15 of the 27 metropolitan areas in the United States that have baseball teams. Toronto is another problem in that everyone has to go into isolation for 14 days after entering Canada, if they can get into Canada. The United States-Canadian border has been locked down for months except for essential business.

Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have one-third of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams. Houston and Phoenix are particular problems with COVID-19 testing indicating that there is massive spread in the two areas and hospitals could be overrun with infections. Yet in Houston, Astros owner Jim Crane is hoping that he can get customers in the stands to watch his Astros play baseball. But Crane backtracked and said he would not open his business for fans until it is determined that fans can be safe. The Texas Governor Greg Abbott before the expediential COVID-19 outbreak in Texas indicated that he would allow fans in the stands. Phoenix is in the same boat. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants Marlins games played in town. Gimenez boasted that his area’s hospitals can handle widespread COVID-19 infection. Baseball is back.

New York Yankees president Randy Levine.. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)