It could be a long, long, long time before we see the first game at the new Globe Life Field thanks to the coronavirus outbreak that has basically stopped the entire world in its tracks. It could conceivably be weeks, but it’s more likely to be months and months before we see sports again.
The inevitability of Major League Baseball completely shutting down — no facilities open, no players around, nothing — is upon us. And while nobody in the game can knows when it will return, it’s going to be months. Joined @GetUpESPN today to talk with @LauraRutledge about it. pic.twitter.com/H8fNjDPdGQ
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 16, 2020
Assuming we do see baseball eventually start sometime this summer, an assumption we’re going to operate on in order to continue producing content, how could the delay help or hurt the Rangers?
What is one thing about this tough situation that could actually benefit the Rangers in the long-term?
Alex: The Rangers dealt with a few injuries throughout spring training. Jeff Mathis suffered a hamstring injury recently and so did Jesse Chavez. Also, Jose Trevino continues to deal with a hairline fracture he suffered early in spring to his finger. Willie Calhoun is recovering after a nasty hit by a pitch to his jaw days before the cancellation. The positive side for the Rangers is that with this waiting period, those guys can rest up and, therefore, get ready closer to when the Rangers need them. The delayed period gives players, coaches, and the organization time to evaluate their spring performance and work on a few kinks before the games count. Thanks to technology, you don’t need to conjugate with several people to assess your personal performance on the field.
Darien: While I do agree with Alex here, injuries are no fun no matter what sport we’re discussing. To add-on to that or come up with another idea – I don’t know that I could say there is another benefit to this brief hiatus at all. The baseball season is long and players train and schedule their bodies year-in and year-our to fit that mold. For it to be shifted and shutdown for a little while will only hurt their cases as players. Time is of the essence so yes, injuries will get better, but the players now must await the start of when their playing time actually matters.
What is one thing that could really negatively affect their season once they start playing games again?
Alex: Baseball is a game of momentum (a lot of sports are that way, but baseball in particular). When you’re feeling good on the mound or at the plate, the results show. The Rangers offense in spring performed at a high level compared to the competition around baseball. That’s a good sign for Rangers’ personnel. However, with this lull of time, guys may start struggling and not picking the baseball up or struggle with their command. I don’t think it’ll become an extreme circumstance, but for young guys trying to keep their job or make the club, a month of an off period could make or break a minor leaguer’s dream.
Darien: This situation negatively affects a lot of different areas within the game of baseball. However, I’m going to go the route of growing the sport. In a time where the league is so focused on the young fans and lowering the average aged fans in baseball, this couldn’t have been at a worse time. Delaying the baseball season, means pushing it into the thick of the NFL and (next) NBA seasons where the younger fans dwell. Could you imagine baseball during Thanksgiving or Christmas? No, no one would because they’d be watching football or basketball all day long anyways. Now, if all stays that same in terms of season length, and all other leagues get back on schedule, then this will certainly be a case here. If the MLB season gets shortened or the NBA or NFL seasons get pushed back even further themselves, then scratch all that I’m saying. Baseball can’t afford to have its playoffs the same week as your favorite football team’s fight for their playoff spot. Most sports fans naturally draw near to football and would unfortunately pick that over America’s pastime. It’s just a reality we all live in, kinda like we are all without sports for the foreseeable future, and it’s a sad, sad feeling.
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