We had a great discussion for Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment. Former NFL and college football coach John Shoop (who now lives in the Asheville area) co-hosted with Pat Ryan and the three of us got into ESPN’s report of MLB considering a quarantined season in Arizona.
Under this proposal, all 30 MLB teams would play in spring training ballparks and the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field with players and team personnel sequestered together for four to five months. While the idea sounds feasible, is it really possible under current circumstances with COVID-19?
Shortly before I called into WISE Sports Radio for my regular baseball segment with Pat Ryan, news of Al Kaline’s death was being widely reported. I have far more to say on the Detroit Tigers legend and Hall of Famer than I could articulate on show. But I’m glad I did have an opportunity to express my feelings about Kaline.
We also discussed the MLB players union making sure that established major leaguers who signed minor-league contracts in spring training, hoping to catch on with a roster, were being paid during baseball’s shutdown. And a proposal for extra innings from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner that could be a lot of fun.
We talk baseball Wednesdays on WISE Sports Radio. Even though MLB games aren’t being played right now and it’s uncertain when the season will begin, there are still topics worth discussing like how minor league players and major leaguers are going to be paid during the next two months.
But one of the things that’s always been fun about The WISE Guys show is that Pat Ryan likes going off-topic into pop culture. And with many people, including me, posting lists of favorite albums and live concerts, we talked about some of my favorites, including The Replacements, Sugar, and INXS.
With the White House and CDC extending social distancing restrictions on gatherings of 50 people or more to April 30, a Major League Baseball season can’t begin until June at the earliest.
A shortened season is a near-certainty, which left MLB and the players’ union to work out many logistics in terms what players will be paid and the conditions games would be played under. On Monday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment, Pat Ryan and I went over the big points of the new agreement.
It was bound to happen one of these days. I had my computer ready to record my WISE Sports Radio baseball segment about 15 minutes before I was on. Then I brewed a cup of coffee, added to my notes, and the phone rang from the station. Forgot to get back to my computer to hit record! Oops.
We discussed Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale needing season-ending (if baseball season ever begins) reconstructive elbow surgery, the possibility of MLB playing more doubleheaders this season, and a new advocacy group for minor leaguers trying to get those players a better salary, along with keeping them housed and paid while the sport is on hold due to COVID-19.
Like all sports that would be played right now, baseball is on hold due to the coronavirus crisis. So there’s not a whole lot to talk about from MLB. But there are some questions, which Pat Ryan and I covered on Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio segment.
When could the MLB season begin? Have any players tested positive for COVID-19? And will MLB take care of the stadium employees who won’t get paid during this postponement? Also, we’ll be talking about the current best player at each position over the next few weeks.
We usually do an NFL segment Thursdays on WISE Sports Radio. So that was the plan early in the day, but could we talk about anything other than the coronavirus and the affect that it’s had on sports (and the world at-large) over the past 48 hours?
Virtually every college basketball conference had canceled its postseason tournament, the NHL had just suspended its season, and Major League Baseball announced a delayed start before Pat Ryan, guest co-host Demp Bradford, and I started our segment. Less than an hour later, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tournament was canceled.