Right off the top, this pandemic is truly horrible and heartbreaking for anyone who’s health, economic status, or general state state of mind is severely affected. Frankly, this sucks. I have dear older friends on a cruise in the south pacific. I haven’t heard from them. I understand this is extremely serious and not to be taken lightly.
But even in the darkness there is light. The greatest western example of this is the Bubonic Plague leading, directly and indirectly, to the Renaissance. With that in mind, there is a benefit to all this chaos for those of us who love the game of baseball.
The Houston Astros cheating scandal has painted a dark mark across the game. As spring training started there is story after story of Astros batters being plunked and harsh fan reaction. Red Sox fans anxiously await the report on Red Sox cheating in 2018. Delay after delay has made the process extremely muddled. The latest is MLB’s response to Covid-19 is slowing the report.
But news came down yesterday that Spring Training is cancelled, and Opening Day is delayed at least two weeks. This is not like the baseball strike of 1994, where players and owners were arguing over money. This is more like the delay after the tragic marathon bombing, when the Red Sox and Royals game was postponed on April 19, 2013. The next day David Ortiz stepped to the mic and brought the house down. I was there, it gives me chills to this day every time I watch it. Because I remember.
The point is we weren’t thinking about balls and strikes that day, or really the game at all. We were thinking about family and our community and pulling together. Shane Victorino’s Three Little Birds walkup music was more important. I don’t need to rehash the 2013 magical season. And this pandemic is not a terrorist attack. But it is an attack on our way of life. And it’s not just Boston, it’s the entire country.
Maybe, just maybe, when baseball starts up again people won’t be focused on the negativity around the game. Maybe they’ll be more focused on not freaking out about someone coughing next to them, or simply high-fiving and waiting in line for beer. Maybe we’ll be fine with an opposing pitcher stepping off the mound, or an ump missing a call, or replay taking way too long. Maybe we’ll move on from cheating scandals. Maybe we’ll get back to the joy of baseball.