There was quite a bit of news on Tuesday, and blessedly little of the unexpected variety. We’ll take it after the past four months. However, it wasn’t all good. On the positive side, Spencer Torkelson is now officially a Tiger, and headed to the taxi squad (why isn’t Uber in on the branding there?). Unfortunately, MLB also announced as expected that the minor league season would be cancelled.
The minor league system has already been under a lot of pressure from owners in recent years. A whole level was already scheduled to be cut, and the draft appears headed for permanent trimming that will make even more roster spots irrelevant. Leagues and franchises in cities and small towns around the country are going to lose professional baseball at a time when participation and access are already in decline for much of the country. The impact on the highest levels of the game will barely be felt, but the foundation of baseball as America’s Pasttime has long slipped, and the current leadership among owners don’t appear to have any vision for growing the game here in its birthplace.
Finally, as we consider the possibility of a baseball season, it’s hard not to have a split perspective right now. One can’t realistically consider any potential outcomes in this strange short season without considering the chances that playing games just isn’t realistic without increasing the likelihood of serious illness and even death for many of the participants. We can’t help speaking out of both sides of our mouths a bit, and it’s making it impossible to write from a single perspective at a time. Always the fear and potential for chaos is present.
We’ll discuss possibilities for a really interesting season if the Tigers were to, you know, try to win and stuff. On the other hand, every possibility is also fraught with the specter of a serious outbreak within the game that will jeopardize the health of players, coaches, team employees, media members and more. Of course many of us have already been dealing with those possibilities in our daily lives for months. There aren’t good answers available. In the end, this may be best viewed as nothing more than exhibition baseball, and we’ll have to take whatever we get until the pandemic is under control.
In the meantime, wear a mask please. It’s literally the least we can do.
Intro: “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House” -Yo La Tengo