Can baseball in May be done?

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There has been a plan proposed for Mike Trout and the rest of the MLB to return to work in May, but some question if they should go through with the plan or wait longer

By: Matthew Mendives, editor

On April 7, MLB proposed a plan for baseball’s possible return in May. Some things need to happen in order for baseball to return, but it seems like a somewhat realistic possibility.

The plan is to play games in Arizona with no fans. Arizona has 11 MLB approved fields, one of which is Chase field, home of the Diamondbacks. Players and staff would be isolated to hotel rooms with rare exposure to the outside world. Some have proposed the idea of splitting teams based on where they play spring training. This would require baseball to be played in Florida. It would also cause a major change in divisions, as divisions would be changed so teams that are close to each other in spring training play each other more often.

Baseball in Florida is actually not a good idea. According to worldometers.org Florida has 22,519 cases of the coronavirus as of April 16. The likelihood of a player catching the coronavirus in Florida is very high. I understand teams want to be able to play in their own stadiums, however, sacrifices will need to be made. Arizona on the other hand only has 3,962 in comparison. This is still a bit high but much better than Florida. Only Florida and Arizona have enough MLB approved stadiums to support the entire league. It may be a bit hectic but baseball in Arizona only is the best option for MLB.

Games without fans may not work for most MLB teams. Fans provide a lot of business for teams. They pay for parking, tickets, food, experiences and souvenirs. Most teams will not be able to pay for their players with only TV. According to the San Diego union tribune, the Padres made 90 million off of TV last year. That would not be enough to cover the teams payroll of 145 million. Some say they should wait until fans can enter the stadium before playing games. There are a couple teams like the Yankees, who own their own TV network that can survive. They are in the minority however and you have to think of the greater good.

One major argument against starting baseball in May in the resources it will take.  In games injuries happen. These will require hospital space when hospital space is limited. Players will also have to undergo lots of corona testing. There aren’t unlimited tests. However, if they wait until someone shows signs of corona, they risk getting lots and lots of people sick. The players would be fine but managers, umpires and other old baseball workers would be at risk. There’s no way around it, near constant testing would need to be done.

With everything I know, I don’t think baseball in May is the best idea. The resources it would take and the money it would cost is too much. As much as I’d love to sit back and watch baseball in times like these their are simply more important matters. I like that Manfred is thinking into the future however. I feel like once it’s safe to play and for fans to attend MLB will be able to start right up. My guess would be sometime in June. To answer the question, baseball in May can be done but honestly shouldn’t.