The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically impacted not just the sports world, but all of society as a whole.
Many states have temporarily banned large gatherings to help curb the spread of the virus, leading to schools, restaurants and other social hotspots closing its doors for the time being. Of course, the precautions being taken have also led to many professional sports leagues suspending operations as well.
Major League Baseball cancelled all remaining Spring Training games and indefinitely delayed the start of the regular season. While there is no timetable on when play will resume, some have identified the middle of May or even June as potential timeframes for Opening Day.
Retired Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is optimistic that once baseball resumes, it will help the nation return to a bit of normalcy, via Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times:
“If baseball starts up, we’ve got this thing beat and we can go about our lives,” Scully says. “Baseball is not a bad thermometer, when baseball begins, whenever that is, that will be a sure sign that the country is slowly getting back on its feet.”
“We’re not going to have a full season because this thing is burning up days like an express train,” he says. “But somewhere along the line, I hope and pray that baseball will start up, that will be so wonderful, that will be a rainbow after the storm, that, yeah, things are going to get better.”
While a lengthy delay to the baseball season isn’t ideal, it was necessary to ensure the health of players, team employees and fans. Scully has been encouraged by society being helpful during the coronavirus pandemic, with many people practicing social distancing.
Though the hope remains to play a full season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently acknowledged it may no longer be likely and there is a point in the calendar when MLB would have to decide on possibly cancelling the entire year.
MLB has twice delayed the start of the 2020 season, with the latest timeline making May 11 the earliest possible date.
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