The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into the world as a whole, putting everyday life on pause and sending everyone into isolation. Major League Baseball is just another casualty of this the war against the virus, as the league is doing their part to help social distancing by suspending the start of the 2020 season until things calm down a bit.
But have no fear folks, super-agent Scott Boras is back again to save America’s Pastime and present us with a solution to get the players back on the field.
In an interview with Michael Silverman of the Boston Globe, Boras outlined his plan to get the teams back on the field sooner than later. Unfortunately, the plan may not be altogether feasible in the current atmosphere.
Dubbed “functional isolation”, the plan would revolve around the players returning to their Spring Training homes, with the games being played throughout the Arizona and Florida fields. The players would be sequestered in a team hotel, without the ability for family or friends to visit. They would go to the field for practice and games and then return to solitude to ensure that exposure is limited. Teams would be limited to having parties of 60 people, including players and personnel.
“With functional isolation, we would be able to titrate the game into an earlier arrival because we’re going to do it before fans can attend, but we get it on television and we are able to get more games in and have more of a competent season.”
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it gets better.
With the potential exposure between players, there would have to be a testing measure in place to ensure everyone remains virus-free and doesn’t represent a potential source of infection for other players. Under Boras’ proposal, players would then be tested daily to ensure they don’t have the virus.
That’s where things break down a bit. The availability of tests is already limited and professional sports leagues, the NBA in particular, have come under fire for testing their entire teams while the general public cannot get tested unless they are knocking on death’s door. To assume that every player or member of personnel could get tested daily, 60 per team or 4800 people daily for the sake of playing baseball, there would have to be a massive jump in the availability of tests.
While it is in everyone’s interest to get the game going again, and one has to give Boras credit for trying, this is unlikely to be an agreeable solution. Rather, the country and the world as a whole will have to see the curve severely flattened before the Major League Baseball season can begin.