Case Closed: Don’t bring back half-hearted baseball just because

SURPRISE, ARIZONA - APRIL 07: General view outside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 07, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. According to reports, Major League Baseball is considering a scenario in which all 30 of its teams play an abbreviated regular season without fans in Arizona's various baseball facilities, including Chase Field and 10 spring training venues.

The 2020 MLB campaign is still up in the air but proposals are also flying around with ways to begin the season. How about no?

Allison Case

Let’s go back to the month of November, when everyone was blissfully unaware of the coming pandemic. Instead, the World Series had just finished up and the Houston Astros were still considered a morally decent team.

The clouds parted and the offseason went on to be one of the most exciting in the history of Major League Baseball. Gerrit Cole inked a blockbuster deal with the New York Yankees. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox went under investigation for sign-stealing scandals. Big moves were made and the anticipation over the coming season was just about to boil over.

But now, we’re in the middle of April. And instead of spending glorious afternoons at the ballpark, we’re stuck in our homes, re-watching old baseball games and acting like they’re live. Many are mandated to stay home and either work or twiddle thumbs until something comes along to entertain. Now, more than ever, we’ve grown desperate for the insane world of sports to be in our lives.

With that desperation, Major League baseball has released proposals to revive the season as soon as possible. In fact, they’ve explored various options, such as undergoing a straight shortened campaign and using spring training as a launchpad for a different kind of season.

Baseball, it’s not you. It’s me. I don’t want baseball back unless it’s the real deal.

MLB, I am begging you. Please do not bring back baseball simply for the sake of bringing back baseball. Don’t feed into the depression and sadness to bring something back that’s against both tradition and lackluster.

Let’s be completely honest: the proposals that have been released aren’t exactly groundbreaking. They’re simply ways to bring back the sport of baseball to keep us occupied during what’s been an extremely difficult time. It’s all because everyone’s been complaining about the fact that there are no sports…not like it’s because they’re trying to save humanity or anything by putting things on hold.

Regardless, bringing back baseball at this stage of the game with an altered format would only be a half-hearted attempt, which would lead to even more complaints when it does indeed return.

Doing things differently is the way of the future. But did you follow the Facebook posts and Twitter rants when Rob Manfred was trying to make technology part of the game’s future? What about when he was trying to institute the three-batter minimum?

Oh man, the world was about to explode. So imagine if the Yankees began their shortened season of 75 games with a division that includes the Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Change isn’t a bad thing, but when it’s rushed to us under the guise of just being good enough by being there, I don’t want it.

We shouldn’t want this and yet, it seems like we do. The need for sports to encompass our world once again is overwhelming. The uncertainty and fear lead us to accept a half-hearted season because something is always better than nothing, right?

Wrong. We accept what we think we deserve and do we, the players, the ownership and the ballclubs, deserve this? No.

I must say, I absolutely love baseball. But fans of the sport are traditionalists in the purest form. Any sort of change may seem like a good thing right now. But when it actually occurs, no one will be happy. There will be something else to complain about, because that’s what happens.

We want a full baseball season (or as close to full as we can get) encompassing intrigue and late nights at the park. We want to suffer through the dog days of summer, cheering on our team while downing a few overpriced beers. All in all, we want the MLB season we’re used to experiencing. But right now, it doesn’t look like it’ll happen that way.

Major League Baseball in any capacity would be great. But honestly, would it? The truth is, it wouldn’t be worth it. If the game comes back too early and someone else is diagnosed with the virus, the whole thing succumbs to a shutdown. At that point, we’d be covered by that blanket of depression once again.

If baseball is to return this season, it must be planned out to the last, final detail, and that will take time. We don’t want or deserve a half-hearted attempt to earn the sport back. We want the sport we’ve grown to love, that has us perched in front of our television sets on a Saturday afternoon, listening on the radio while out for a run, obsessing over every single stat line that can possibly mean anything.

Us fans can’t settle for this type of proposal. Give us real baseball or no baseball at all. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but it’ll be that much sweeter when Opening Day can actually mean something after all this time of waiting.

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