With the baseball season threatened by COVID-19, people are getting creative about trying to get players onto the field yet this summer. However, some plans would have them playing before empty seats.
As grim as the present looks for baseball season, there’s a potential silver lining. The MLB has been in talks of working out a sort of bubble league in Phoenix, Arizona for the meantime.
The move to Phoenix is just an idea, but would essentially place all players in a bubble. Players would be required to go through a physical each day to make sure they aren’t showing symptoms. The stands would be empty, but it would give the people at home something to root for.
“This is just a preliminary discussion about what are some of the possibilities if we can’t get back to playing in full ballparks,” said Detroit Tigers play-by-play announcer Dan Dickerson. “They were reporting that baseball is at least considering moving all 30 teams to Phoenix.”
Around the world things have begun to settle down and ballparks in Taiwan have become useful again.
As of April 12, baseball teams in Taiwan started playing their 2020 series. The players are met with a new sight however.
Taiwan baseball teams are playing regular season games to empty stadiums. The games are being broadcast to fans back at their homes, and the games are even being broadcast in English in the United States.
As someone whose life revolves around baseball, the lack of the sport has been especially hard for Dickerson. He made his Tigers debut in 2000, alongside the late Ernie Harwell.
“It’s very strange,” said Dickerson. “When I see especially the replays of more recent games, it really just pulls at you. I miss it.”
Dickerson believes fans create the atmosphere of a ballpark. Who wants to hit a home run and not hear fans cheering? Dickerson says it’s possible to have fans join the teams at the ballpark and still remain socially distant.
“I think you could get a few thousand into the ballpark,” Dickerson said. “I do think fans are important. I think as we’re becoming accustomed to social distancing, you could probably do something to get a few fans in the ballpark. A few fans versus having no fans is a plus.”
Dickerson wants fans to remain hopeful while still being conscious of their health.
“For fans, I think they should just be aware that everything is still on the table,” said Dickerson. “Some baseball is better than none. They’re trying very hard to figure out a way to play some games this year, that’s for sure.”