As badly as we all want to see the Chicago Cubs take the field this summer, we have to ask ourselves: is it worth the risk to push the envelope?
The past few months have been very strange in the United States. With states going on lockdown, trying to contain this virus. People are going insane without their sports during this quarantine period. A couple of weeks ago Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward donated $200,000 to help relief efforts in Chicago.
All of this uncertainty of when baseball will come back leaves us wanting the gratification of the thrills of the bottom of ninth of a tied game with Anthony Rizzo at the plate, cranking a 446-foot bomb to send Cubs fans home singing “Go Cubs Go”.
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There are rumors going around that we could still be starting the season in May or even June, and play through October, and obviously push the postseason in November when the next flu season hits again.
One idea that’s been floated of late is MLB games resuming without any fans. Of course, that wouldn’t suit owners particularly well given the lack of sales, but the league has made it clear: it’s health and safety of fans and players alike above all else.
On Wednesday, nobody was surprised by MLB’s decision to cancel the Cubs, Cardinals London Series. Hopefully, we do see one of the greatest rivalries take place on a different stage across the waters at some point.
Cubs second baseman Jason Kipnis mentioned on his Instagram account the expression of real-life seriousness of this crisis while suggesting a less extreme concern about the risk of injury if baseball rushes players back to the field.
"“Not to mention if we start back up and someone (asymptomatic or not) tests positive,” he wrote. “Shut it down again? I don’t know how we’re supposed to have that many tests provided! I really do hope things get better for everyone and there’s baseball this year, but these are just some of the worries creeping into my head that make me think otherwise.”"
Kipnis later went on to say it’s just a baseball post, just a topic for discussion to pass the time.
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to COVID-19. There have been seemingly healthy young adults who have died from the virus, as well as those with underlying conditions. If players who have conditions at higher risk should play resume? These are all questions we just don’t have answers to quite yet.
Two previous managers of the Cubs, Joe Maddon, 66, and Dusty Baker, 70, are considered to be in the high-risk age range, as are many of team support and medical staff who work in and around clubhouses across the majors.
Of course, we all have plenty of questions we’re still seeking answers to. If baseball does decide to not push the envelope with a 2020 season, you’d hope it comes roaring back in 2021 to produce a tremendous year for fans and players alike. Only time will tell.