Against all odds, it seems we are finally going to see baseball this year. Spring Training 2.0 is set to begin in under a week and players are currently on their way back to their home cities. There is no feeling quite like sitting in Citizens Bank Park for an afternoon Phillies game, but unfortunately, that seemed like it would be nothing short of a pipe-dream for this year. That is until the full details for this unique season were put in place in this year’s MLB operation manual which left that door slightly open for fans to be in the seats.
While needing the approval of “MLB and relevant local authorities,” is still a fairly significant condition that needs to be met, it is much more promising than what was expected at this point. The greed of the owners has been put on full display throughout the ongoing negotiations of trying to put some sort of season together this year. With so much revenue expected to be lost due to the time without a season that has occurred already and the lack of tickets that will be sold, if anyone would try to make it work it would be the MLB owners.
The Houston Astros owner, Jim Crane, has now gone on the record to talk about their plan for this season. He fully expects fans to be in the stadium at some capacity this season, saying that is the only way to cut the financial losses. The Governor of Illinois also said he expects fans to be at Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate Fields this Summer for Cubs and White Sox games. The policy on this from the league’s perspective is fairly loose at this point. With the situation regarding the virus seemingly changing every day, it is likely that the plan will be different for each team.
As far as the Phillies go, little is known at this point. It is a great sign that numbers continue to go down in Pennsylvania, even as we see spikes in many states across the country. Philadelphia is set to fully move into the green phase on July 3rd. Health and safety is obviously the biggest concern when making these decisions, but I am sure I am not the only one hoping for some Bull’s BBQ as I watch Aaron Nola carve through the opposing lineup once play picks up. There are obviously many concerns and issues that need to be worked through, for example, the recent outbreak at the Phillies Clearwater facility, and more details are sure to be released in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, this is positive news that we are expected to get baseball and we should celebrate that for the time being.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports