Mitch McConnell says baseball needs to come back as a ‘morale booster’

Tribune Content Agency

If Major League Baseball pushes a season relaunch through the ongoing coronavirus crisis, they will do so with friends in high places.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell confirmed his support for the league’s continued search for a pandemic proposal, going as far as claiming he called Commissioner Rob Manfred a few weeks ago, urging him to bring baseball back.

“America needs baseball,” the Kentucky lawmaker said he told Manfred during an interview with Louisville radio hosts Drew Deener and Jason Nemes. “It’s the sign of getting back to normal. Any chance?”

McConnell told the hosts that the return of baseball “would be a great morale booster for the country and an indication that we’re going to begin to get back to normal.” He praised the recent discussions of baseball coming back by July, albeit without fans.

McConnell isn’t the only high-level politician pressuring Manfred to end the hiatus. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’d welcome games in New York, especially if the parties involved can “think outside the box” on the financials, including a possible contract reduction.

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed baseball could be played in his state with fans, “if the trends are good.”

(Notably, Florida state officials have been suppressing data from medical examiners in the state that may reveal a higher death toll from the virus than their official numbers.)

Even Donald Trump repeatedly expressed his desire to see his Yankees play games — live games, he’s sick of reruns — with fans in the seats.

“When I look at a baseball game, I want to see people right next to each other,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I think they’d be able to play in Yankee Stadium with obviously smaller crowds and then the crowds would start to build as things get to be a little bit better.”

Trump added: “I think you’re going to see some big things happen. And again, this is going away.”


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