(WCCO)- The 2020 Major League Baseball season is still waiting to begin as we approach the month of May. Normally, by this time, we would be beginning to debate early-season hot or cold starts and whether they would last for the rest of the year. Instead, we are trying to read the tea leaves of which potential plan for playing the season will actually play out.
The latest plan appears to add the potential of having a home base in Texas, in addition to complexes in Florida and Arizona in order to have teams isolated from society and able to still play games. It is basically a foregone conclusion at this point that the league will play without fans in attendance, regardless of where they play the games. That leaves WCCO sports anchor Mike Max wondering why the league wouldn’t have teams just play in their own home stadiums.
“What I don’t understand about that Katie is, if they’re not going to play in front of, fans and they have charter planes available to use,” said Max in an interview with CBS Local’s Katie Johnston. “The weather’s nice now, and even here in Minnesota, it will be nice enough by the time they start playing. Why not just play in your regular stadiums if they’re going to be empty and you got charter planes?”
“The reason I say that is, the Players Association, one of the things that are fighting so hard is we don’t to be sequestered or not have any families around,” continued Max. “It seems to me you could alleviate some of that if you played a regular schedule and you just traveled the way you used to travel on charter planes.”
Still, Max acknowledges that a big part of the reason the league is pushing to get started in one of these neutral locations is due to the television money. Fans are starved for live-sports action right now, so having teams play games in empty stadiums, regardless of where that may be, is huge simply to just have baseball back on television again.
Max believes that the league will figure out some kind of solution in order to put a shortened season together. The question then is, what does that mean for the hometown Twins? In his opinion, it’s an advantage. He points to a rotation that would benefit from the addition of Rich Hill and, if his suspension is shortened in accordance with the season, Michael Pineda.
“The advantage the Twins have is a veteran lineup. They didn’t come into this thing going, well, we need to look at a bunch of people to see who’s gonna win the starting spots, they can write the starting lineup right now,” said Max. “All you got to do is get those guys up to speed, take enough ground balls, take enough cuts, throw enough on the side, and they’ll be just fine. I think a shorter season would be a huge advantage for the Twins.”
Coming off a 101-win season and an A.L. Central title in 2019, the expectations for the Twins were high entering the year. Max believes if an when the season gets started there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic.