The Strange Year 2020

Photo by Alonzo Coston/Uppercut Magazine

The Strange Year That is Major League Baseball in 2020


By David A. Avila

Baseball in 2020 has been strange if not insane.

After months of suspension due to the spread of the coronavirus, Major League Baseball is now tussling among itself as owners and players slug it out for finances. Still, the virus remains not only in the U.S. but all over the world.

Hayata Sakamoto, 31, of the Yomiuri Giants and MVP of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League is one of two players to test positive for the coronavirus reported a Japanese news agency.

Sakamoto, a shortstop for the Giants and Takumi Oshiro who catches for the same team, both tested positive for the virus spreading around the world. Japanese baseball was set to begin on June 19. Recently, a third player was discovered to have the coronavirus.

A scheduled practice game for Wednesday was canceled immediately after discovering that popular Sakamoto and Oshiro were found with traces of the virus following testing. It also puts their upcoming season in limbo.

Major League Baseball in the U.S.A. has discussed opening the 2020 season in late July but this latest development in Asian baseball could hold significance to American professional baseball.

The coronavirus has upended the baseball season so far especially with more than 105,000 deaths nationwide so far.

What can be done?


In America, the debate over procedures was stalled as both Major League Baseball owners and the players union battled over prorated salaries and further cuts to formerly agreed upon salaries.

New York Yankee president Randy Levine stepped in to cut the escalating furor between the two sides and now MLB seems to be headed toward some kind of agreement. Whether it’s a 50-game schedule or 72 game set remains to be seen.

In the past 40 years there have been two shutdowns once in 1981 and 1994. An abbreviated season led to a World Series in 1981 but in 1994 it remains the only season without a World Series in 100 years.

It could happen again.

Major League Baseball is unlike any other sport. It’s 162 games of heat and grind and a last place team in May can become a world champion in October. The marathon that is baseball is what the sport is all about.

A shortened season won’t necessarily determine the best team but will most probably find the hottest team at the end of the playoffs should baseball proceed.

Babe Ruth must be rolling in his grave.