Major League Baseball is in the midst of a more than a two-month long hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While 10 weeks of the regular season have been lost, all indications point to a 2020 campaign still being salvageable.
The league has reportedly discussed a multitude of scenarios but remains at odds with the Players Association over a financial plan for this year. The two sides also have to agree on health and safety protocols, though that isn’t considered to be a significant obstacle.
If play does resume it is looking increasingly likely that teams will be able to play games at their home ballparks this year. Beyond that, very few details are known as to what a potential 2020 season may bring.
One certainty, however, is that fans won’t be allowed to attend games — at minimum during the early going. It’s an unfortunate, but necessary requirement to ensure the safety of the general public.
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger opined that while it will be difficult playing in games without fans, MLB players are at an advantage based on past experiences, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s going to be different. I think baseball players, throughout the Minor Leagues, you don’t play with any fans. In high school you play in front of your parents and teammates’ parents, so I think we’re used to playing — not now in The Show — but in the past we’ve all played with no fans. It’s definitely harder, you’ve got to create your own energy and adrenaline, but I think it can be done.”
Walker Buehler shared a similar sentiment and believes his Dodgers teammates will just have to deal with the likelihood of playing in fan-less environments.
Dustin May recently chimed in on the topic and revealed that he prefers to play in front of fans, but is willing to sacrifice the luxury in order to speed up baseball’s return.
Justin Turner has said the Dodgers will need to self-create more energy and also find alternative means of celebrating with one another if MLB is to impose various physical distancing guidelines.
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