An Eight-Week Shutdown, Players and Teams Need to Get on the Same Page, and Other Cubs Bullets

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An Eight-Week Shutdown, Players and Teams Need to Get on the Same Page, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The kiddos are in their first day of not heading to school, which offers its own normal challenges, but where my heart is most pained is in the loss of services and therapies that The Littlest Girl was receiving. She is three, and, with special needs, it’s such a critical time for her development. We will do everything we can to keep the progress going, but losing the services and the peer interaction for months is pretty depressing to think about the long-term impact.

I know that a lot of you are also dealing with these kinds of realizations and sacrifices this morning. All we can do is think about how we’re in this together – we’re trying to do what’s right for the good of so many people we’ll never know. Maybe we’ll all come out of this with a little more empathy for our fellow humans – whether they’re a person with a compromised immune system or a little girl with special needs or just some guy who was really stressed and maybe had a good reason for cutting you in line that day.

Meanwhile, I promise that we’re still wrapping our heads around the best ways to offer you folks a light diversion in these difficult times, while recognize the state of things. News is necessary, but fun is going to be important very soon, too.

OK. For now, mostly the news stuff …

  • An eight-week shutdown from here would mean no big baseball gatherings through the weekend of May 9. We’ve already been operating on the assumption that MLB cannot realistically launch its regular season until Memorial Day (end of May) at the very earliest anyway. It’s plausible, based on the writing in paragraphs three and four in the recommendation, that MLB could start Spring Training Part Two before the eight weeks are up – adhere to the guidelines, it’s part of day-to-day business operations, etc. – but I tend to doubt that would actually happen in an environment where everything else is shut down. Instead, it’s probably a DREAM hope scenario that Spring Training Part Two could kick off on May 11, last a couple weeks, and then the season starts Memorial Day.
  • … more realistically, to prepare yourself mentally? I suggest you think more like Spring Training Part Two kicking off later in May and then requiring at least three weeks. So you’d be looking at a regular season start at some point in June.
  • Just a reminder on what the CDC means by practicing social distancing, which is the KEY to slowing the spread of this virus and ultimately saving a lot of lives through your sacrifices (and, hey, it could help get sports back sooner): “Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.” Don’t be right next to people if you don’t absolutely have to be. That’s really the main thrust. Do your part.
  • Brewers GM David Stearns says he’s participated in multiple conference calls every day since Wednesday (the night it all really started to go down), which sounds about right. The situation has changed so rapidly in the ensuing days, and the questions about where and how baseball even starts to make plans have only grown larger and more unclear. I think the league and the teams and the player reps will have to keep on keeping on with the daily check-ins, but it’s hard to foresee any kind of firm planning until there is a sense at a national level that social distancing is having an impact (and even then,  your initial planning may have to involve games without fans in attendance).
  • Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich report that unequal access to Spring Training facilities has become a source of added tension between some teams and some players. The sides are going to have to figure this stuff out quickly as a matter of health and safety, but there is also going to need to be some positive spirit because there is soon going to be a new CBA to negotiate. And it’s likely going to come against the backdrop of a whole lot of lost revenue. If the sides are already at each others’ throats (OK, even more than they were before), that’s a lockout/strike waiting to happen. And if that were to occur? After this COVID-19 shit? Great way to really kill your sport.
  • Anyway. Turning the page a bit. Still one of my favorite plays from the last decade of baseball:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.