On March 11th, and 12th the sports world came to a halt because of an invisible enemy. All major league sports suspended their seasons or just outright cancelled them – NBA, NHL, MLB. Even the NCAA, who cancelled their basketball tournament, and all of their spring sports.
That was over two months ago and now the NBA and Major League Baseball seem to be getting ready to resume their seasons under strict guidelines. Let’s take a look at what we can expect to see when basketball season resumes, and baseball season starts.
The NBA was the first major sport in the United States to suspend or cancelled their season after all-star center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11th. The next day all sports followed their footsteps and stopped all sports across America.
National basketball has since allowed certain teams, in states with fewer restrictions to begin voluntary individual workouts. Those teams included Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Miami Heat.
The NBA has reportedly looked into playing games in Las Vegas, Nevada. They would isolate players in hotels while only allowing them out to the arena for games. No fans would be in attendance, only essential personnel.
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver told the players not to expect a decision until mid-June. The Association seems dedicated to resuming their season, crowning a champion and bringing back sports to the United States.
Opening day for major league baseball, a day most Americans can’t wait for, was put on hold due to the deadly COVID-19 virus. They were nearing the end of spring training, and only two weeks away from regular season play when everything stopped.
Major League Baseball is reporting COVID-19 has been confirmed in less than 1% of their staff and players. Those are being found in the minor league players or clubhouse workers for the teams. An overall positive outcome when compared to some other major league sports.
The League, in response to the virus, is helping minor league players by paying them $400 a week until May 31st. The problem with that is they are asking the major league players to take pay cuts since they only have the last half of the season to play.
Blake Snell, a Cy Young award winner for the Tampa Bay Rays, stated publicly he won’t play for less, saying he is putting his life, and his families lives at risk. He said he is training for the 2021 season not 2020.
The reported League plan is to have an 82 game season starting around July 4th. All teams would play in empty stadiums with only essential personnel allowed at the ballpark.
While the Orioles are looking more into the future, a lot of local fans were looking to see how the Nationals would handle the target on their back of being the new World Series champions after they defeated the arguably most hated team in the League, the Houston Astros last October.
Hopefully, July 4th we’ll not only be celebrating the birth of our nation, but the opening day return of America’s favorite past time.
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