Will the start date for MLB to begin again be the right decision for the Miami Marlins and the other 29 franchises?
MLB has an opportunity to do something it hasn’t done in some time when play resumes this summer. It can take chances with its season, be innovative, and try to change the direction it has traveled since the strike of 1994.
For teams like the Miami Marlins, this could alter their path in a positive way. It could also make their run towards success a bit tougher. The game plan this organization has used the past two off-seasons is going to change as well because timing will affect their minor league system and the progression of young stars who won’t play the game until the middle of the summer. If then.
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There is nothing that Marlins CEO Derek Jeter can do. The MLB league office holds are the cards. In this process, everyone involved must get this right. Player safety is of the upmost importance. Making sure ballparks are secure without fear of spreading a deadly virus is paramount. Deciding when to get back on the diamond is the toughest decision this sport is going to make. Essentially it’s going to set the tone for other sports behind it. It’s not the most envious position given what it means in a political realm.
Despite the many models and conversations that been discussed over the last eight weeks, this is a decision no one wants to make and be wrong. For a nation crying for normalcy, MLB has a chance to somehow make that happen. If this can be pulled off, and players play in empty stadiums, with millions of people watching via televisions and social media, then Commissioner Rob Manfred, Jeter and other owners in general managers will be hailed as heroes.
A misstep where a player gets sick or a miscalculation about the timing of the 2020 MLB season could set the Marlins and the league back even further. Baseball has that special way of connecting the masses. Fans are loyal, but this is a different situation from a strike-shortened season or when to restart the season because our country was attacked by war.
This will go down as one of the low points in Marlins and MLB history because of how this virus has crippled America and sports. Making the call to allow players to resume team activities is a step toward a season – however long it is.
The hope is the season starts soon. There are plenty of things to get excited about. Players will once again become the Boys if Summer. And baseball’s identity won’t take a significant hit.
Right now, no one knows how this will play out.