On Tuesday, I said that Opening Day will not take place. At the time, it was mostly figurative, at least in America, and it seemed that while the big importance of Opening Day (capitalized) wouldn’t take place it seemed likely that the season would still start on time, albeit in a more depressing manner than usual thanks to the coronavirus.
Now, though, I think that we won’t even be seeing an opening day (not capitalized) as scheduled, much less an Opening Day. In fact, I think it would be malpractice to have it.
This realization came last night. I’m not sure when, but it was probably when a NBA game inexplicably postponed at the last second, a player tested positive for COVID19, and the entire season was suspended all in the space of what felt like a half-hour. Oh, and Tom Hanks announced he tested positive as well.
The average NBA arena holds between 15 and 20 thousand fans. Even the smallest MLB stadiums (Tropicana Field with tarps up, for example) holds thousands more people. Public Health experts in cities seem to differ on what level of crowd is too big, but even the largest estimates are around 1,000 people, or WAY WAY less than any major league stadium. Even a fan-less game may break the level of a safe gathering, given the amount of support staff, journalists, and security.
Yes, it is true that most COVID19 cases are minor, and even those in dangerous categories are more likely to live than not. But think of it this way: you are also more likely to get Christian Yelich out more often than not, but nobody would want to give him the opportunity to bat in the ninth against them.
So what I’m saying is: shut it down. Shut it all down. Unless it is either something something essential or something that can be done entirely over television or the internet without any large amount of human interaction, it can wait.
It is said that baseball is life. That is true, but you also need life to have baseball, so there is no sense in putting anyone’s life at risk.
So shut it down. Cancel everything, and perhaps we can try again in a month or two.