As the country grapples with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, people around baseball are becoming pessimistic that a 2020 season can be played.
There are more important concerns facing public health officials than deciding when it is safe to play baseball again. Lives are at stake. Nearly 75% of the country is under orders to stay at home. California recently surpassed 130 deaths as a result of COVID-19. Where baseball fits in this sobering landscape is difficult to place. However, Major League Baseball and the Players Association are at least working in the background to understand the implications of trying to play a season once it is deemed safe to play.
With so much uncertainty surrounding how teams would keep players healthy, and what they would do in the event that a player tested positive for the virus after a potential season had started, industry experts have expressed pessimism about the likelihood of playing any baseball in 2020, according to The Athletic.
An agreement on how to move forward under the heavy shadow of the pandemic was reached between MLB and the union last week. Under the terms of the deal, the two sides agreed not to play while there are still bans on mass gatherings, or travel restrictions, or if medical experts determine games pose a risk to the health of teams and fans.
Virginia announced a stay at home order on Monday until June 10. As more states enact orders to keep people in their homes deep into the summer, it seems unpractical to expect baseball will be able to return before it is too late to fit in a schedule of reasonable length. It is believed the league and players want to play at least 81 games, per a recent report.
In the meantime, fans are encouraged to follow local social distancing guidelines and refer to the CDC website for information and guidance.