NEW YORK- NY – By this point in a normal June, we would be well into the NBA & NHL Finals and Major League Baseball would be about 60 games into the regular season. But this is no normal year. The global pandemic caused by the novel #Covid19 has shuttered the doors on most of American life. As things start to open up across the country, the major sports leagues are grappling with plans to play on. Some sports are a lot closer than others.
While we’ve already seen the return of golf and auto racing, fans have been wondering when their favorite team sports would return. The NBA has announced their plans to return and seem to have their plan pretty well set. One thing that may hamper their vision: players are reluctant to return due to concerns over the coronavirus. I’m sure things will be squared away by the league’s desired start date of July 30.
The NHL announced the format and teams involved for their expanded playoff plan but has been virtually silent on a number of key pieces of information, including locations and schedules. The only thing the NHL has announced so far is that training camps will begin on July 10. The league has said that there will be two hub cities where all games are played, but they still have not decided what cities will be chosen. Las Vegas seems to be a front-runner for the Western Conference city, with its huge number of hotel rooms and new arena. The Eastern Conference host city is still in the air. Many think Pittsburgh will be chosen. Some say Toronto will host. Canadian regulations requiring a 14-day quarantine may complicate things, should “Tronna” be chosen. There are still some major decisions to be made on hockey’s return, but I’m confident the league and Players Association will hammer out a deal in the next couple of weeks.
I can’t say the same for Major League Baseball. The league and players are still miles apart on the number of games and compensation for players. The negotiations so far have gone something like this:
- Players: We want a bagillion dollars.
- League: Best I can do is $6.50.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated he’s 100% confident that we will have baseball this year. At least someone is. The gulf between the two sides is roughly the size and depth of the Mariana Trench. But maybe Manfred knows something we don’t and the players and owners are hammering something out. Maybe the league can work out some sort of Bobby Bonilla contract with the players to make them whole further down the line.
Hopefully things will progress over the next couple of weeks and baseball will start sometime in July. In the meantime we’re left to watch Korean baseball with their stuffed animals in the crowd. It’s something.
Come back tomorrow for Short Matt, who is fed up “farming his terrace.“