Good morning, baseball fans!
We are back at it for yet another week of baseball coverage without any actual baseball news. I’d probably be more upset about it, but with the rise in Omicron cases, it’s starting to feel like March of 2020 all over again. I saw this tweet from Shams Charania the other day and felt like I was having an out of body experience:
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has entered health and safety protocols, team says.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 6, 2022
What year am I in? Did we discover time travel? Considering Rudy Gobert’s first positive test in March of 2020 is what ultimately led to the NBA getting shut down, before other major sports followed suit, it really was like going back in time. I even went and checked on my Animal Crossing villagers.
In 2020, the powers that be in sports did the responsible thing and shut things down out of an abundance of caution in the face of a virus we didn’t have a lot of information about.
Now it’s 2022 and we have a lot more information and know just how bad things are likely going to get with this wave. So it feels like the responsible thing to do would be to shut down again until this surge has passed. But I don’t think that is likely to happen. Sports owners like money. Besides, it’s not like the larger world is shutting down again, so I can’t imagine they would choose to do so on their own at this point.
As if a raging pandemic wasn’t bad enough, we have the MLB lockout. Very little, if any, progress seems to have been made thus far, and we’re nearly six weeks into it. Events like Fan Fest would normally be coming up in the next few weeks, with the players set to report for spring training in the next month. But we still have yet to have an actual off-season. Teams are incomplete. Players aren’t even allowed in the facilities. So it seems unlikely that those events will take place on time.
Best case scenario, the lockout ends tomorrow, they come to an agreement on a new CBA and we get a rushed close to the offseason in preparation for a normal time frame. Unlikely, but theoretically it could happen.
If the lockout continues to push into February, but then resolves close to when players are due to report, then we’re looking at, at worst, a shortened spring training, but a normal season.
However, if the negotiations continue to stall well into the spring training period and beyond, well, we’re looking at a shortened regular season, if we have a regular season at all. It’s hard to believe that the owners would choose to lose an entire season’s worth of income to this, considering they haven’t even let a pandemic stop them.
But, we are talking about the extremely, obscenely wealthy here. And while they might not opt to lose out on money due to a pandemic and, you know, keeping people safe. I can easily see them writing this season off if it means they can stop the players from getting a better contract.
So, bottom line? I don’t really know which direction things will end up taking this season, but most of the options seem less than ideal.
Old, random MCC article for you to read
Should the Giants even try to win a game this year? (March 29th, 2018 - Doug Bruzzone)
How many days has it been since the owners locked out the players?
41 days and we’re already nearly halfway through January. sigh