The Los Angeles Dodgers had plenty of reason to be optimistic at the outset of Spring Training, as president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman completed a blockbuster trade to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox.
They were formally introduced at Dodger Stadium the day before pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch, which further fueled excitement that was surrounding the club. Betts and Price stood out during Cactus League play, but that ended prematurely.
As Major League Baseball operations remain suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s unclear if and when the 2020 regular season will begin.
Despite the uncertainty hovering over the sport, Friedman is encouraged by all parties involved being committed to playing some semblance of a season, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s obviously tricky in that there are so many unknowns. I think each week something else changes and we look back at what we thought the week before and can’t believe we thought that. Things are pretty fluid right now. There’s a lot of spitballing of plans.
“I think the Commissioner’s Office is doing a great job of staying connected with teams and just bouncing different scenarios off, trying to get a feel of what’s more viable than others. As we continue to learn more, certain plans will kind of go by the wayside and others will get some legs to it. There’s a lot of spitballing, a lot of different ideas.
“The thing that leaves me the most optimistic is the fact that everybody wants this to happen: players, owners, Major League Baseball, the union. Everybody’s interests are perfectly aligned for this to happen. So I can’t imagine we can’t be industrious enough to figure out something that works and allows for the best players in the world, for the people at home to at the very least be able to enjoy them on TV.”
Friedman’s optimism was previously conveyed by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who noted a collective focus on putting a season together. Multiple players have highlighted that factor as well.
While it remains unclear when Opening Day will be held, it’s likely to take place in one or limited centralized locations, and without fans in attendance.
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