We Await Sports With Options And Stay Safe

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Without sports there are some options as we continue to isolate in our homes. So the past week, in between some writing and dealing with the isolation, there are some good options to get your fix.

sports books, the classic events and movies to pass the time.

Though there is nothing better than viewing a live event, and we could be without that for the next few months, We have to listen to the medical experts and daily updates about staying safe.

As of Thursday, Major League Baseball is on hold. Any hope for the start of the 2020 season is not anytime soon. The hope, as can be determined, MLB season openers are on hold at least to June.

And that is being optimistic, all depending of course on how long the Coronavirus Pandemic abates. Talking to numerous sports personnel over the past few days and the overall opinion is MLB and other leagues will await the first ove of the NBA when it comes to resuming their schedule?

Why the NBA? The National Basketball Association was the first to shut down and seem to be at the forefront of taking control. Other sports leagues will follow their path. 

In addition, with the 2020 MLB season,  scheduled to begin a week from today, players would need another two-week spring training period for conditioning and the schedule would need a major readjustment. That means doubleheaders that are rare on a schedule and a shortened season.

Pitchers were at the point of throwing at speeds where they should be. The hitters, always behind the pitchers, they will need more time to catch up and that is usually the case during a normal spring training period..

Let’s say 81 games or fewer, instead of a regular 162-game slate. Players on the 26-man roster, not the 40-man, would get paid when the season begins. 

Now, as understood, the MLBPA and  owners are working out details of the specifics as to their contracts and payment as it pertains to  details about pay scales in cases such as a national state of emergency.

The other sports will deal with specifics, perhaps not as complicated for the NHL and Major League soccer.  Boxing will resume with lucrative network deals and promotions at Top Rank, PBC, Matchroom, Golden Boy, and others.

They  will saturate the market with events every weekend for the boxing fan as the non mainstream fighters train at home and await their next payday. Most, if not all of the boxing gyms have been closed due to the pandemic.

The Kentucky Derby, Masters Golf Tournament, major events on the spring calendar, have announced they are rescheduling their major events to a later time.  

Still up in the air is how the USTA will handle the U.S. Open In Flushing Queens. That was scheduled for the later part of August. 

WrestleMania, the main event for the WWE, is still scheduled as a two-day event Saturday and Sunday April 4-5 at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. No fans, and just appropriate personnel  on a much smaller scale from the 75,000 or more that were expected in Tampa Florida at Raymond James Stadium.

More about the impact and as to why WrestleMania is going forward on a smaller scale in a later column.  

In the meantime some books to suggest to get your fix:

  • Staying Positive The Story of The Real Paul Banke (Boxing)
  • Once There Were Giants. The Golden Age of Heavyweight Boxing (Jerry Izenberg)
  • Inside Pitch. My Life As a Major League Closer (Skip Lockwood)

More to come in the coming days as we go through the pile with some of the best books and classic sports to view.

Most of all be SAFE! We are in this together and will get back to normal in due time. 

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