Let’s start with the obvious: Nobody knows when (or if) the Major League Baseball season is going to start in 2020. So keep that in mind that everything we’re talking about here is a hypothetical.
We do know that Toronto has banned all city-led and permitted events until June 30, which Mayor John Tory’s office clarified doesn’t impact pro sports teams, like the Blue Jays. The other alternative is no baseball before June 30, which looks more and more like a reality every day.
With more coronavirus-positive tests coming by the day, and more cities sure to curtail city-led events, it probably won’t be long before other Major League Baseball cities follow Toronto’s example. So projecting an actual date for MLB opening day for 2020 is about as easy as projecting where your dinner is coming from three Tuesdays from now.
That being said, the news of city-led events getting shuttered in Toronto did bring about this morsel from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
In MLB circles, July 4 has been one of the options floated for a possible Opening Day. https://t.co/6AV22CdkDB
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 31, 2020
A July 4 opening day? Sign me up.
It would bring a lot of questions about schedules, and the postseason and the All-Star Game and probably a dozen other things, including whether fans will be permitted into games. This isn’t a feasibility study. So just take a second and absorb the idea.
Opening day on Independence Day? A day of baseball in the afternoon, followed by a family BBQ and fireworks at night. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
It’s like football on Thanksgiving day. Or NBA games on Christmas. Only, in an NBA scenario that mirrors what’s happening in baseball, there are people who believe the NBA in a post-coronavirus world should just begin its season on Christmas Day. Perhaps permanently.
A permanent move doesn’t make nearly as much sense in baseball, because you’d miss nearly half the season that way. But if timelines align, people are safe and cities are ready for big gatherings, there could be something magical about a post-coronavirus MLB opening day on the Fourth of July.
It might just be the return to normal we all need right now.
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