With the way things are going, it’s fair to question if there will even be an MLB season. But I’m optimistic and also understand that the league is going to do everything in their power to put together some sort of abbreviated campaign. Hopefully, the impact of the coronavirus begins to flatten, and while the season might start with no fans, eventually, I’d bet it takes place. So with that in mind, when will things get back up and running? And will there be some sort of abbreviated exhibition period to get players stretched out?
I believe the answer to question two has a lot to do with the answer to the first question. If the season cannot begin until July, Major League Baseball might have no choice but to start without much of a warmup period, if any. However, if the start date is much closer to the currently scheduled one — mid-May — there should be at least a two week stretch of exhibition games before the beginning of the season.
Tom Glavine recently talked about this very subject on 92.9 The Game. Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
“Here’s how I look at it,” Glavine began. “The longer it goes then the longer you’re going to have to have for some type of spring training to come back. Because you’re getting to the point now where they’ve been out for a little while. Let’s assume that April 30 the country gets back to normal, now you’re looking at six weeks the guys have been out of it.
“Maybe you can get away with a shortened spring training, three weeks or something like that. I look at it similarly to when we came back from the strike in 1995. But to me the big difference was we were still able to work out, we were able to get together in small groups and still workout these guys can’t do that.”
Glavine’s correct in that, if things begin to look more promising by the end of April, there should be a few weeks of Spring Training to get the players back in the groove of things. He’s also not wrong about the longer this thing goes; the more guys are going to need some time to warm up. However, it is optimistic to believe things will be back to normal by the end of April, and a realistic start date could be more like June or July. If that’s the case, I’m not sure how much time Major League Baseball can afford to get these guys stretched out unless they want to shrink the season down to 82 games and play into November/December.
I do believe there will be some sort of warm-up period, but three weeks seems like a longshot. Nothing about this situation is normal, which is going to make the first month or so of the season extremely difficult for managers.
How do you think Major League Baseball should approach the start of the season?