Should baseball continue amid the coronavirus pandemic?
Will baseball follow the NBA’s lead amid the coronavirus pandemic?
It’s as if a tidal wave has hit the world. Within a manner of minutes, the President of the United States suspended travel from Europe, American Icon Tom Hanks announced he has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and the NBA has suspended it’s season after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, major universities are canceling classes and ending the school year altogether. Communities are being shutdown, and there’s “panic buying” in stores as people prepare for the worst.
These are unprecedented events that will shape the world not just in the next couple of days, but for years to come.
With that said, baseball season is quickly approaching. There hasn’t been a year without baseball in America since 1876. Through wars and national crisis, baseball has always been there.
With the recent events involving the NBA, baseball could be gone.
Right now the league has time to assess the situation. They’ve already recommended that players don’t interact with fans with situations such as autograph signings. Could they go even further?
Right now other leagues are planning to play without fans, something rarely seen in modern-day sports. The NBA has made up its mind: No more basketball until further notice.
As of this moment, it feels entirely possible that opening day will be played in an empty ballpark. No hotdogs, giveaways, or roaring introductions. While it’s a knife to the heart of baseball fans, this is, at the very least, the right step for baseball in this international crisis.
Should/will baseball suspend play in 2020? Again, there is time to assess what is going on. This pandemic isn’t going away next week. It’s likely not going away by the end of the month. Baseball doesn’t want to be the one institution that stays open and exacerbate the problem.
Simply put, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Right now, baseball isn’t the priority. This is bigger than sports.
Let us pray for those affected by this illness and hope its spread declines, not because we want baseball or sports to return to normal, but that we want the world and life to return to some sense of normalcy.