Jim Souhan: Is MLB so desperate to squeeze in season that it would put lives at risk?

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Major League Baseball reportedly is considering a plan to start the season in May with all 30 teams playing in the Phoenix area. Players would compete at local ballparks then be sequestered at hotels.

This would require players to go without being with their families and friends for up to 4 1/2 months.

This is a wonderful plan, and it can only get better as more details emerge.

For example: Unicorns. A plan this solid must include unicorns.

And what about magic? Could each player be coated with fairy dust to keep him healthy?

And what about doubleheaders? Would baseball be played before or after the Quidditch matches?

Let’s hope baseball was just spitballing, and that this was more of a discussion point than a plan. Otherwise, baseball will need a new commissioner.

COVID-19 isn’t just a disease. It’s an intelligence test. If baseball tries this, its entire management team will get a failing grade.

Baseball might not resume at all this year, and if it does resume, it won’t be in May.

The NBA isn’t going to even hold discussions about resumption until May, which is logical. We’ll know much more about the spread of the virus in the United States by then. The best guess based on current information is that neither the NHL nor NBA will finish its season.

Everyone in sports should take the hint that the Masters is dropping. The ol’ boys in Augusta are unique in the sports world, in that they don’t need to make a profit on their tournament.

Originally scheduled for this week, the Masters has been postponed until mid-November.

Given that Augusta National has no scheduling conflicts, and the Masters could have rescheduled for any date it so chose, this is a strong indication of the probable arc of the sports calendar this year.

Mid-November is the latest the Masters could be scheduled this year, without fear of colder temperatures that could affect the greens and the quality of play, and mid-November is the date the Masters chose.

Those desperate for sports and hopeful that baseball will return in May are ignoring a major factor in leadership: Accountability.

Imagine that you’re Commissioner Rob Manfred. You resume play in Phoenix in May. You are the only sport putting its players at risk. A player becomes infected and spreads the virus to his teammates. Someone, maybe even a player, dies.

The tainted blood would be on Manfred’s hands. He would bear that blame and burden for the rest of his life. His career will be ruined. All for a chance to play baseball without fans in minor league ballparks.

Momentarily considering this plan is fine. Adopting it is unconscionable.

There is a new phrase that is ruling sport at the moment, and it is this:

We aren’t in charge. The virus is in charge. Sport will resume when the virus allows.

That won’t be in May, in Phoenix or elsewhere.


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