The season for the Atlanta Braves was slated to begin next week, but like we have seen over the past two weeks with Major League Baseball and other sporting events that have been suspended over fears of the coronavirus pandemic, sports have been put on hold.
Who knows when they’ll start up again?
Instead of me writing to provide my take on the prospects of the Braves’ upcoming season and whether or not they can make it three straight National League East Division titles, I must now present predictions of a different nature.
When will Major League Baseball start up again? It’s an interesting question right now that no one has an answer to. Not Buster Olney, Chipper Jones or Rob Manfred. This virus has caused so much upheaval in the world today, especially the sports circuit, nobody knows when it will pass and we can all return to some normalcy.
I’ve heard predictions on Memorial Day before the regular season will begin, which seems logical. Baseball is different from other sports when you talk about preseason workouts or spring training, in baseball lingo. Yes, the players were about halfway through their preparations for this upcoming season but that was quickly halted. The longer this suspension drags on, the more time players will need to get going again, specifically pitchers.
They need time to work their arms into playing shape and not be fearful of potential injuries because they aren’t physically prepared for the season. I picture a summer time start with a truncated schedule. I’m not sure how you can plan a 162-game schedule, starting two months late. You could throw in some doubleheaders every few weeks but I’m not sure how that would go over with today’s athletes; probably not well. And the longer the season drags on, the more it goes up against the National Football League and college football, which is a dire proposition already and a big reason for the drop-off of popularity for our National Pastime.
I’m afraid baseball could fade even more this summer if the National Basketball Association starts its season back up again with a schedule spanning through July or August.
The only thing certain right now is the uncertainty regarding the sports world. When will sports start up again? For Major League Baseball, it needs to have a plan in place to survive the 2020 season.
Clint Thompson is a special contributor to The Valdosta Daily Times.