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The One Way Baseball Ought to Return

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Owners want baseball back. Good for them.

IWW

Baseball team owners have a proposal to start baseball this season. They’re going to take it to the MLB Players Association soon, and, my guess is their answer is going to look something like:

Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks
Ilya Repin

Owners, coming up with a plan for players to risk death to make owners wealthier, is not a plan worth listening to. However, fatherhood has softened me. So here’s the best counterproposal Tony Clark should send back:

  • Full testing and contact-tracing for players and coaches. Should be easy enough. Can’t have a pandemic sweep through a locker room.
  • Players playing while removed from their friends and families isn’t a game, it’s a prison sentence. So: full testing and contact-tracing for players, coaches, friends, and families.
  • Of course, it only takes one stadium worker or physician to infect a whole team. Can’t have that happen. So: full testing and contact-tracing for players, coaches, stadium and team employees, their friends, and their families.
  • Look, injuries happen. The 2012 Reds were famous for never having to have need a sixth pitcher, shut up Todd Redmond. Some call-ups are going to have to happen at some point. Even in a shortened season. So: full testing and contact-tracing for players, coaches, stadium and team employees, all minor league affiliates, their friends, and their families.
  • Now we’re talking about several hundred athletes, their loved ones, and a Sal Romano trainer. There isn’t a prison system spring training complex big enough to keep all of these people in, showered, and fed. We’re going to need to make sure the facilities are safe with all the goings-on and comings-in. So: full testing and contact-tracing for players, coaches, stadium and team employees, all minor league affiliates, their friends, their loved ones, and all cities with a Spring Training complex.
  • And seriously, you think that if the death tolls don’t go down, that MLB won’t make a traveling ball show out of this thing? With all the money at stake? We’re revenue-sharing now, don’t you know? So in case we’re gonna put the kids to Catholic School on a Wednesday night Marlins-Tigers game, we better make sure we’re not gonna get Jorge Alfaro killed. The only answer is: full testing and contact-tracing for players, coaches, stadium and team employees, all minor league affiliates, their friends, their loved ones, cities with a Spring Training complex, and Major League cities.
  • But think about it. What are we going to do, put Major League cities on lockdown, not allowing anyone else in to watch America’s game? No. This is America’s game. And if the owners want to make money from America, they’ll have to do it for America: full testing and contact-tracing for players, coaches, stadium and team employees, all minor league affiliates, their friends, their loved ones, cities with a Spring Training complex, Major League cities, and anyone else with a pulse.

Full testing and contact-tracing for all. That’s the price, for ball players or for anyone else whose labor is demanded by someone who can afford it. The billionaires want to sell me ads, they should give me something in return: not entertainment, but safety.