The big question that baseball fans have these days, at least with regards to baseball, is when will we get it? And right now, that’s still a question that doesn’t have much of an answer as far as Major League Baseball goes. Right now only one league is operating during their regular season – the Chinese Professional Baseball League, which is played in Taiwan and has five teams.
But it seems like things are getting ready to start in Korea, too. The Prime Minister announced that sports leagues will be allowed to start their seasons with no fans in the stands, and the Korean Baseball Organization is expected to announce that they are preparing to being their season on May 5th. They are beginning a second spring training prior to getting games started. According to Daniel Kim players aren’t required to wear masks in the dugout or on the field, but must wear them in the clubhouse and on the bus. Handshakes, high five’s, and spitting are not allowed. Baseball’s going to be weird.
Let’s jump back to baseball in Taiwan. We all want to see baseball. We all want to FEEL baseball, right? Well, here’s a few fun things from last week.
How about a three home run game that featured a walk off in the 12th inning? There’s no social distancing in the celebration at the plate.
Can you believe it? Chu, Yu-Hsien's 3 homer game, including a walk off homer in the 12th inning.
What a night!
Get an account and watch #TAIWAN baseball on #CPBLTV ?https://t.co/MhisEVKoPa?#StayHome and watch #CPBL#Unilions #RakutenMonkeys pic.twitter.com/rsbYIGGJhn
— CPBL ???? (@CPBL) April 15, 2020
On Saturday there was, uh, and incident between two teams that played out into a bit of a shoving match. The pitcher clearly threw at the hitter four times before finally connecting on the last attempt. The hitter isn’t even the player who got into it with the pitcher when the benches emptied.
We have our first bench-clearing incident in the 2020 #CPBL season. pic.twitter.com/Jwwo0oxMIi
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) April 19, 2020
Do you miss baseball yet? Are you feeling like you just watched a highlight of the Pittsburgh Pirates under Clint Hurdle?
While things are going and getting ready to go in both Korea and Taiwan, the same can’t be said about Japan. The NPB once again postponed the start of their season as the country is struggling to get their COVID-19 spread under control. They cut out a part of their schedule with the delay, eliminating interleague play for everyone – which takes 18 games out of their normal 143 game schedule.
One of the key things to returning to playing baseball is testing, and the availability of testing. Right now, testing is still hard to come by in many areas. Here in Ohio it’s still a “we’re only testing the hospitalized, the at-risk, and the healthcare workers” stage. That’s not the case everywhere – but even so, tests aren’t where they need to be.
But just how many tests would be needed for Major League Baseball to get going? That’s a tough question, but the PGA Tour believes that they need 1,000,000 tests to complete their season – and that’s for 14 tournaments. It reportedly takes 700-800 people to put on one tournament, and tests will be given daily (and prior to the events) according to The Guardian.
It doesn’t take 700-800 people to put on one baseball game if it’s going to go on without fans. What the exact number is, that’s a tougher question for me to ask. But if we include the players, coaches, clubbies, umpires, scorers, scoreboard operators, security, media relations for each team, tv crew, and radio crew – including those in production on-site, that’s got to be at least 125-150 people. Those numbers would put Major League Baseball in need of roughly 15,000 tests needed per week if they were going to test everyone every day. Over five months, that’s just over 323,000 tests that would be needed.
Remembering Adam Dunn’s insane 2001 season
Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com this morning my series on the best season of each decade moved to the 2000-2009 span of time and focused on the absolutely incredible 2001 season put up by Adam Dunn. That year, as a 21-year-old, he hit 54 home runs in 162 games played between the minor leagues and major leagues, playing in Double-A Chattanooga with the Lookouts, Triple-A Louisville with the RiverBats, and then in Cincinnati with the Reds from late July through the end of the season. It was an “all-timer” kind of season.
Sosa there on the video is the biggest guy on the field and needs to be protected by his much smaller teammates.
For baseball (without fans in the stands) to be of much value, MLB must make the commitment to televise all games and make them freely available to view (no blackouts, no pay per view). Otherwise, what’s the point? I’ve seen nothing that specifically addresses this. Has anyone?
The point is that regional sports networks have committed to paying over a billion dollars to broadcast the games on their cable channels, and if they just decide you don’t need that channel anymore to watch the game and give it to you for free, there’s literally no money to be made.
While I understand what you are talking about, there’s a lot of that going on (people not making money) and even more of it to come. So, if the megacorporations out there are worried about this, they can have it. I’m more worried about the mom-n-pop small businesses surviving after this.
While I, small business owner, agree that I’m more worried about the small businesses, Major League Baseball isn’t giving away their product for free. For starters, it’s already sold to someone else who gets to distribute it – so it’s not even something that they can even do. But secondly, those distributors would all need to agree to it as well, and since there’s about 8 different ones, it’s just not going to happen.
I believe if baseball comes back this year, it’s going to start in front of no crowds. I’m not sure we will even see crowds this season. We might see games but I don’t believe crowds. It’s entirely a lack of response for testing and medical equipement.
Other countries got control of this right way. How? Lots of testing, immediately. When this country decides to get serious about this in this part, then I’m interested. (I will leave it at that; I don’t want this to slide into a political forum here. But, this is fact.) Sweden and South Korea are about back to normal.
They can tell a lot more than that with testing. People actually find out of they are asymptomatic, thus needing to be quarantined. People can get early treatment. There is the potential of tracking the disease, as in how it travels from one place to the next.
MLB is now allegedly discussing a Florida, Arizona, Texas plan. That could get games in MLB stadiums in Miami, Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Arlington, and Houston and might even alleviate some players concerns about being far away from families. You essentially have 5 teams in their home stadiums all year. This doesn’t solve the health/testing issue, but rather the logistics.