How a perilous 2020 MLB season might change by the day

How a perilous 2020 MLB season might change by the day

“Can I kick you in the shins?”

Strange questions have come my way during this pandemic, so I decided to play along. I told the veteran player agent who asked, “No, you may not kick me in the shins.”

“Great,” he said. “Now, here is the choice, I am either going to kick you in the shins or in the head [he didn’t say ‘head’] and it is your choice, but it has to be one or the other.”

If I had no choice, I told him I would pick the shins.

He said: “That is the Arizona plan. It is terrible, but it is better than being kicked in the head [again, he didn’t say ‘head’].”

Another veteran player rep described the Arizona proposal as “the second-worst plan.” But the worst plan is not playing major league baseball in 2020, in which case second-worst — like being kicked in the shins — is preferable.

What becomes obvious from conversations with those involved in trying to get a season underway or those who have been briefed is that familiar and normal are gone for 2020. Think of the Arizona plan — all teams housed in one metropolitan area, limited contact with the outside world, no spectators for games, constant monitoring of health for all involved — as an overriding example of what could be coming. Maybe it is what MLB decides to go with if the green light is received to play this year, but only one locale is deemed possible. Or maybe it starts in Arizona and slowly spreads to multiple cities. Or maybe this is just a template to begin in two, three or five locales, including Arizona.

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