How Baseball Could Return in 2020

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Oriole Park at Camden Yards with no fans in the seats.

Jayson Babcock, Sports Editor

Due to the Coronavirus, sports around the world have come to a halt. The MLB season will no longer have 162 games. The last time a baseball season was cut short was in 1994, where the season ended in August due to a strike. Diehard baseball fans like myself have wondered when our beloved sport will return. The different answers MLB officials are giving are concerning, but it’s not surprising. There are many different options Rob Manfred, the commissioner of baseball, can go with. 

The thought of playing baseball in November, especially in states like Colorado, is troubling. Baseball can barely be played in April with the cold weather, so November baseball is unrealistic…. unless all games are moved to one location. Arizona is known for its hot weather, and with Spring Training taking place in Phoenix, there are dozens of MLB certified ballparks that could be used. Could all 30 teams play their 2020 season in Arizona? We don’t know. But what we do know is it is being discussed in a very serious manner. 

If the season were to have over 120 games played, officials are saying there would likely need to be a change in game structure. That’s why the possibility of two 7-inning baseball games each day is being spoken about. The problem starts and ends with pitching. Pitchers typically need 2-4 days to completely heal their arms, which would contradict the amount of baseball that would need to be played. “I fully anticipate baseball will return this season,” Manfred said in an interview with NBC Sports. If Manfred is committed for the 2020 season to occur, there needs to be a drastic change. Changing every aspect of the season may have to happen if Manfred wants to fulfill his promise. 

We know the season will have to remove various games, but is there a process to determine which games are less important? Interleague baseball games, when a team from the American League faces a team from the National League, have been a subject for debate for years. The thought process is the only time a team from another league should play each other should be in the World Series, which would make those games feel more special and unique. Taking out all twenty interleague games is a definite possibility, but would run into some scheduling and travel problems. 

Baseball has been promised to return, but when, how, and where are yet to be determined. But it will be back. Fans are anticipating sports in general, even though they may not be allowed in the stadiums. Rob Manfred will continue to make announcements and updates on the status of baseball, and we will be awaiting opening day.