The Minnesota Twins are poised to steamroll the competition in 2020, but will they play the full season after the latest COVID-19 outbreak?
There is much excitement now that the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season has started. The Minnesota Twins started their regular season winning 2 out of 3 games against the Chicago White Sox, showing once again their tremendous hitting prowess.
Led by the head Bomba, Nelson Cruz, and with the addition of Josh Donaldson, this might be a more ferocious lineup than even last year’s edition. Unfortunately, with the recent developments occurring in baseball, one has to ask: “Will the Minnesota Twins play a full season in 2020?”
To get a better perspective on this, let’s turn the page back to earlier this year when the original negotiations for the 2020 season were taking place between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).
Back in March, Major League Baseball’s last proposal to the players association had a framework that dealt with the following categories:
1. Length of season.
2. Universal DH.
3. Forgiveness of player advances.
4. Playoff pools money.
5. Overall player earnings.
6. Expanded postseason on 2020.
7. No expanded postseason in 2021.
8. Training camp report date.
9. COVID-19 safety protocols.
The two sides eventually agreed upon on a deal that agreed upon these categories, ending a stalemate on June 23. The only changes to this agreement have been the date when training camps started, and the playoffs eventually being expanded from 10 to 16 games. This was a huge win for the owners, as they got everything they wanted in terms of demands.
This seems to be a pretty comprehensive framework that the two sides agreed to, providing lots of safeguards. But was it really? It seems like there might be something missing…some type of plan…
How about a plan for a situation where 17 players and coaches from one team test positive for Covid-19, (Miami Marlins), or 15 players and 11 umpires (including notable names such as Buster Posey; David Price; and Nick Markakis), opt-out of working this season! Also, multiple games being postponed, and seasons suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Minnesota Twins have been fortunate to this point with only 5 players having tested positive for the virus. Miquel Sano, Willians Astudillo, Nick Gordon, and minor leaguers Wilfredo Tovar, and Edwar Colina are the players to date, who have tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, all of these players have been cleared to return to the team, so the Twins are in the clear.
The dangers that lie ahead for the Twins players and personnel are numerous. Since players are spending less time at the ballpark, they are more susceptible to virus contraction in their non-baseball world. Also, after watching the Twins this past weekend, players are not practicing social distancing, and in the dugout, the coaches are wearing masks, but not the players.
As I get ready to watch the Twins first home series, I am so excited to watch my team play at their home ballpark. I have visions of long home runs, excellent fielding plays, and stellar relief pitching.
Unfortunately, an equal part of my brain is thinking, “Is this the last game I will be able to watch this year?” It’s been a rocky road for major league baseball so far this year. And unfortunately, its anyone’s guess as to what happens next.