Rejoice, baseball fans. There is a path to Major League Baseball games getting played this summer.
At least that is the opinion of Dr. Nik Verma, the head team physician for the Chicago White Sox.
“Yeah I do (see a path). And I'm speaking personally at this point,” Dr. Verma told NBC Sports Chicago in a lengthy chat over Zoom on Monday. “You know, we'll take the fan portion out of it, because that's going to be a much bigger decision and probably will be delayed. But if you think about just playing baseball, it's really no different than trying to open up, for example, our medical practice.”
“We have 480 employees (in our practice),” Dr. Verma said. “You think about a baseball game, you got to have not only the two teams, but probably 100 or so employees on each side that are facilitating the game getting played, which includes the umpire staff and team physicians, health staff, diet staff, food service people -- all those types of people that just make the game playable.”
It’s a large amount of people that need to be protected from the coronavirus, but his point is that if you can re-open a medical practice, you can get a baseball game played – if you have the testing.
All in all, there has been more good news than bad news that's come out with regards to the return of sports and baseball in particular this summer. I've heard (and reported NBD) that baseball's goal is to return no later than July 1st while hoping to return even earlier than that. At least as of now, we're not thinking of worst case scenario any more, and worst case scenario is obviously no baseball at all.
Now it goes without say that MASS testing has to be available to the entire country and and not just athletes/Joe Rogan first. I would imagine than our governors and the fed will get their heads out of their asses sometime in the next few weeks and make that a reality. That's how it's been from day 1, so this part isn't news. What I'm trying to say is this:
GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND GET US TESTS PLEASE, AND LOTS OF THEM
Also, it looks like the country has turned the corner with the pandemic. Death projections keep getting lower and lower, proof that our month plus of social distancing has worked. Per www.covid19.healthdata.org, the United States should see less than 100 coronavirus deaths/ day by May 14th.
Everyone is itching for baseball, and I can tell you myself that MLB is working its dick off to get back as well. There hasn't been and official proposals or plans on when/where to start, but they're spinning the wheels on all options. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic went into more detail this week on how/when baseball plans to return:
So are we going to get baseball? Yes. I just think we have to slug out one more month of this shit after reading all of the tea leaves. Everyone in densely populated areas should continue to stay inside and avoid human contact as much as possible for a few more weeks and then after that, it's a gradual walk back to normal. Hopefully.