Let’s Play Ball or Should We?

Sports, let’s be honest, should we play ball? And this year is not exactly the year for those of us that are into any sport at all.  I mean, hasn’t Covid affected every sport on earth?  Or so it seems?  Maybe not soccer, I am not sure.  I know that the “big” one’s here in the United States of America (we can still call it that right?) have been affected in one way or another.

In our world, yep I went there.  How did it affect us personally?  It started with baseball.  We were season ticket holders for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  In February we went to the fan appreciation day and it was a Big League type of day.  Surrounded by like minded people, seeing other fans that we have seen every year for 5 years now.  Chatting with employees, reps’ that we have gotten to know and care about over the past years.

I mean what wasn’t to love.  We saw players that we have followed, met some of them.  Met some new players, took tons of pictures.  Ate, laughed, had such a great day.  Spent the entire day, a full 8 hours there soaking in the open roof, the sunshine and warm air.  The camaraderie of like-minded sports fans, all in a “it’s a new year for Our DBacks” type of mood.

It really was a blessing of a day, for who knew if we would play ball again.  Little did any of us know that would be the last outing in a crowd this year.  The first and the last all in one glorious day.  Thank you, Casey, Nicolette, and the DBacks players, staff, and other fans.  We needed that memory; we just didn’t know how much it would mean this time of the year.

I Believe We Shouldn’t have Played Ball!

After All, There is Covid in America…

Less than one month later our state shut down.  We were one of the last to shut down and one of the first to re-open.  We were now one of the hot spots.  But we aren’t alone, over half the country was now a hot spot.  Hey people in charge, heat didn’t kill Covid.  it is well over 100` and we are still having new cases and deaths. Yes, many people thought heat would kill it and America could Play Ball.

Baseball has been back like a week as this was researched.  The normal 162 game season became 60.  With fans watching on TV at home and piped in crowd noise for the teams.  With cutouts of faces in the stands.  For the fans it was a great moment, we could cook a dog on the grill, pop a cold beer, watch the game on TV and know that thousands like us were doing the same.  For a moment life was almost normal, we finally heard those words “PLAY BALL!“.  We were told there would be no high-fives, no spitting, no big celebrations. 

Masks would be worn, safety measures taken.  We even watched a player remove hand sanitizer from his pocket and share it with a player from another team.  Then the weekend continued, and we sat and watched as no masks were worn (or not over nose & mouth) and players and coaches alike did not follow safety rules.  Spitting, high fives, chest bumps, hugs, team celebrations on a home run everyone acting like it was last year.

On that particular Tuesday, players cleared the benches and there was almost a brawl between the Dodgers and Astros. Well there went social distancing.  And these were the things on the field. What was going on, behind the scenes where the public doesn’t see them in the clubhouses, the flights, bus rides, in the hotels, the restaurants?

Baseball, didn’t Play Ball…

They Should Have…But ~

They Fought instead!

The Marlins pulled back and suspended their schedule when 15 players and 2 staff members tested positive for the virus.  So much for social distancing.  The chain effect of course takes place. This affected teams they were supposed to play, like their next series against the Yankees.

“Professional baseball is a nearly $11 billion business. If it can’t get its act together and pull this off safely, perhaps cancelling the shortened season will serve as a wake-up call that nothing is “normal” in this pandemic and that premature openings, like many are proposing for school districts that aren’t ready, will only backfire and put our teachers, kids, school employees and their families at great risk, just like the baseball community. It’s heartbreaking for those of us starved for baseball and hoping for a diversion, but until we get the Coronavirus under control, America doesn’t deserve baseball.” ~ Steve Rosenthal

Oh Bubbles! Not Playing Ball Yet!

Then there is the Bubble, you know what we mean.  The bubble, the basketball bubble down in Florida.  It has apparently been a bit of a pickle to get it working the way it should.  Everyone who is there, players, coaches, trainers, doctors, journalists, anyone.  Is supposed to be kept inside the bubble.  But rumor has it that people are ordering take out food, going out and picking up food, going to visit people outside the bubble, etc.  It is so bad that there is a hotline for people inside the bubble to anonymously report others who violate the bubble.  Like they are suddenly all 15-year old’s at sleep away camp, getting caught going out at night to smoke weed or something.

So the NBA said…PLAY BALL!

But let’s start at the beginning when they were playing ball.  The NBA was mid-season when Covid hit and they shut down their season.  So then they came up with the idea to restart in the bubble of ESPN Wide World of Sports inside Disney in Florida.  Twenty-two of the league’s 30 teams were invited to Disney World to complete the season – the 16 in the playoff places and another six who are still in contention to grab a spot.  Okay, so that makes sense on why those were invited and not the full thirty.

And a Bunch of Other Games were Played Also…

They will play eight regular season games and then the playoffs will begin in mid-August.  But the players, according to what has been written are keeping busy and of course competitive! Players have been going head-to-head in golf, cards, video games, ping pong (no doubles allowed!), spikeball, kickball, cornhole, beach volleyball (being 7ft tall is helpful here), and … fishing.  Can you imagine?  Basically there are a bunch of “alpha” males all stuck together in this bubble, bored and competitive.  The competitions must be endless.  The videos would be hilarious.

Well, here’s to the NBA and a successful bubble.  Wishing you the best and hoping you can entertain us while you do.

So, Do We Play Ball… Football that is!

Did you see that football training camps are kinda sorta in?  The Arizona Cardinals were on tv last night talking about their training camp.  Honestly, as much as I have loved the NFL in the past, they lost me these past few years.  Too much of the wrong message at the wrong moment.  But I still love football, I just went back to college ball again, my first love.

But let’s go back and talk NFL

They called it social distancing in the training camp.  I have no clue how that is social distancing.  People were not in masks playing ball, were still doing scrimmage.  Players are not isolated like the NBA, so I have no clue how it is saying it is protecting the players.  So far, the only statements I have found is daily testing of its players. And that the player union and the league have agreed on what steps’ teams are taking when someone get Covid. 

Various teams have spaced out locker areas, put up plexiglass between lockers and thing like that.  As of this writing, 30 players have opted out of the season.  There is a lot of fine print about how it works, but it is because of what is happening in the world right now.  Not because they are covid positive.

Should We Play the Sport of Sports?

Are you ready for a Montreal vs. Chicago final?

With August 1st came the most August of sports — hockey (a different type of playing “ball”). The NHL zipped right into the playoffs with a new format featuring 24 teams.  This year, in the Stanley Cup finals, a No. 12 seed could go all the way.  How is that for different?  And you thought a No. 8 going all the way was fun. 

Well, we looked at professional sports here, but not all of them by any means.  We left out golf, tennis, soccer and so much more.  Simply put, these are the biggest three here in the United States of America (we can still say that right?).

Well, Do We? Play Ball? Should We?

So, with Covid on the rise, is it worth it?  Yes, these are professional, healthy athletes who make millions of dollars.  Then there is the other side of that coin.  Many of them are family men, husbands, fathers, sons.  Just because they are athletes doesn’t guarantee they won’t get Covid.  Just look at the Marlins, just because the are athletes doesn’t mean it will be easy on them or that they will survive it.  Who wants to be the one to tell some kid “hey sorry that your Dad didn’t make it, we wanted our games back”?

Should We Play Ball? At What Cost?

Are our games, our sports, worth the price of a life?  As much as I enjoy most sports, I would have to say no.  The bubble costs too much money in my opinion also.  You must know that the fans will pay for that bubble down the road.  So, how about we just take a break America?  Let sports be, let the athletes go home and take care of their families?  Or volunteer in their community?

Let’s work on healing first, before we worry about who is winning what game America.  I know that after 9/11 it was a sign that life was going on when sports continued.  But maybe just maybe this time we need sports to stop to show that life will go on.

What is your opinion on this?

So, due to issues in my own life it took a little bit to get this particular blog out. Because of that, I decided to do a follow up on it. So much has happened in sports, so much about playing ball and should we or not. All since I first researched this, so look for a follow up, soon!

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