One of the realities of sports in the time of pandemic is that as soon as you find one answer, there are suddenly five more questions.
Baseball’s finding that out now, with a problem that has nothing to do with players.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, 11 Major League Baseball umpires have opted out or declined to participate in the restarted season.
There are only 70 MLB umpires, so they’re now forced to figure out a way to have games without 15 percent of their workforce. Of course, since there are no minor league games this year, there are plenty of lower-level umps who need work.
The NFL maintains 17 crews of officials (with seven working each game), and 124 total officials, leaving very little leeway if there are mass absences. Again, there’s the possibility of adding more officials from other levels, but if too many officials opt out, it could create problems.