Baseball is back, and the excitement is lacking. Its July 1, 2020, more than three months from when Opening Day was set to begin yet here we are and “Summer Camp” Spring Training 2.0 will be underway in a few short days. After a long back and forth between the MLBPA and the Owners the season will finally begin in about three weeks. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fans will not be attending games any time soon, unless you take up the A’s and the Giants on their offer to buy a cardboard cutout they will put in a seat to represent you.
Summer Camp will begin with each team being allowed up to 60 players in the players pool for the 2020 season. Many teams are adding some of their top young prospects who may be years away from being Major League ready so that they can gain some experience by being around the veterans. This also means that teams are leaving so many more players out of work this year and sitting on their couch waiting for their phone to ring next season.
There will be new rules put in place for 2020 such as each team will be allowed to have 30 players, plus three more on the taxi squad for away games. This not only allows them to replace an injured player, but also in the event that any players test positive for Covid-19. The shit just got real. The remaining players will be sent to an alternative training location while they are at home working out and playing intrasquad games. This is how the young Minor League players will continue to develop as the 2020 Minor League Baseball season was officially cancelled yesterday.
Losing Minor League Baseball is a tough pill to swallow. Although fans and team owners have been expecting this for quite some time, now that its here, it still hurts. The Minors is where you go for the cheap seats, and where nobody knows your name. For the players, the front office staff, the grounds crew, and even the guy in the mascot suit go in hopes of working their way up the ladder to “The Show”. Major League Baseball had already been planning on contracting 42 teams in the lower levels of the Minors, but the greater challenge belongs to the teams that had fully expected to play this year, to have fans in their seats, and to pay their bills. Now all of that is in the air. Sponsorship contracts will need to be reworked, people will lose their jobs, and for some teams, this may be an unexpected end if they can’t afford to keep the lights on. Yes Virginia, there will be baseball this year, and it doesn’t matter who wins the World Series because everyone loses in 2020.