As the USA is also hit by the coronavirus, MLB still doesn’t want to postpone the start of the season or to play games without fans. Instead, some clubs are looking for alternate locations so fans can still attend games.
Unlike the NBA that has postponed the season in an attempt to stem the spreading of the virus, MLB still wants to move on with the upcoming baseball season.
Several counties like the one the Seattle Mariners are playing in and several cities like San Francisco and Oakland have banned games and gatherings.
Washington governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings for more than 250 people in three counties that are hit hard by the coronavirus. As the Mariners were scheduled to play Opening Day at T-Mobile Park, they are now looking for an alternate location in close conversation with MLB.
Also, San Francisco and Oakland have banned events with more than 1,000 fans. And you may have guessed it, both the Giants and the Athletics owners are looking for alternate locations…
For the Mariners, the alternate locations could be their Spring Training home in Peoria, AZ or the ballparks of their opponents, the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers. The official number of corona victims in Minnesota stands at three, in Arizona at five and in Texas at seven. But according to experts, those numbers will be a lot higher for sure as there aren’t enough testing kits so not everyone with the symptoms is tested.
According to Dr. Dena Grayson, a Florida-based expert in Ebola and other pandemic threats, the worst thing you can do right now is to have large gatherings as the virus will proliferate in situations like that.
In this health-threatening situation, MLB should follow the steps of other sports leagues. As written above, the NBA has postponed the remainder of its season. In Japan, Korea, and Italy, the start of their baseball seasons has been postponed as well. Another possibility could be playing games without any fans in the stands, but of course, that is a thorny issue for MLB owners. No fans in the stands means no revenue.
Also, the MLBPA is burying its head in the sand. Through its representative Tony Clark, the player union made the following statement: “Players want to compete and provide entertainment to fans. The Association’s focus will remain on finding ways to do so in an environment that protects not just players’ personal health and safety, but also the health and safety of fans, umpires, ballpark employees, club employees and everyone in the baseball family.” It is clear that the MLBPA doesn’t take its responsibility here. Playing games in alternate locations will cause more cases of the coronavirus for sure. If they want to provide entertainment to fans they should play games without attendance. Fans can still watch the games on television in the safe environment of their home.
As it is sure that a lot of people will stay home instead of going to a ball game with the risk of getting infected, there will always be fans that will go to games to support their team. In fact, this is tempting providence. There are only two solutions to stem the further spreading of the virus: Playing games without attendance or to postpone the start of the season.
The recent plans of MLB owners to contract 42 MiLB teams, the streaming of games through internet radio instead of airwaves and the fact that MLB is refusing to punish the Astros players that were involved in the sign-stealing scandal, did prove it already. The lack of taking action to stem the spreading of the coronavirus proves once more that MLB owners only care about their money. It is clear that the wellbeing of MLB fans is not important to them.
If the health of the fans is not important to MLB owners, it is time for a total ban on MLB. Stop attending games. Stop buying MLB merchandise. Stop subscribing to MLB.tv. Hit them where it hurts them most: in their wallet. Only then MLB owners will understand that baseball fans don’t let themselves be pushed around.
Source: Los Angeles Times