20 days. 20 days since the ballfields went quiet. Every day is a day closer to baseball, true, but until we know that day, it’s impossible to have a countdown or feel like you are getting closer. Even if we knew it was a guaranteed 50 days away, we could start anticipating and counting down. This? No, there’s nothing on the horizon that looks like an end point.
For instance, MLB came out and said yesterday that they would continue to pay the minor leaguers $400 a week through the end of May or the beginning of their season, whichever would come first. Which is great, because that’s more than a lot of those guys would get if they were playing baseball. They are going to have to take a pay cut to go back to work. Roll THAT over in your head a little bit. However, being that MLB was willing to go ahead and put that end of May date out there, it makes it sound like there’s a real good chance baseball won’t be back until then.
Of course, it’s likely that MLB will start before the minors. They always do, of course, and you’ve got to figure out the major league roster before you can set all the minor league ones. There probably won’t be much down time between the two, though. The end of May really seems like our best option now, with a short spring training starting a couple of weeks before that. If we knew we’d see baseball back in six weeks, we could probably hold out. That’s best case right now, though, and nothing about this virus has been best case.
Then there was the news that Toronto had cancelled all city events through June 30. While apparently that doesn’t include sporting events, which could mean that the Blue Jays could still play in June there, it’s hard to see how that could happen when smaller gatherings are being put on ice. Would that be a situation where the game is played without fans? Maybe. I know MLB doesn’t really want that but it might have to consider it in some spots. It could be that Toronto is being a bit overly cautious and will be more open to things when it becomes time for baseball to return. If not, though, that June 30 date is a bit problematic given that the idea that the season might not happen if it doesn’t happen before July 1.
It’s a new month. Hopefully it doesn’t feel as agonizingly long as the last half of March did. Hopefully we get better news in April and we can, before 30 days are up, put that date on the calendar we can all start counting down toward.