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Thursday, April 02, 2020

MLB Can’t Afford to Come Back Too Soon

The efforts of Nippon Pro Baseball to resume playing are underscoring concerns of Major League Baseball officials about the difficulty of a potential return in the wake of the pandemic.

Teams in Japan began playing practice games in empty ballparks on March 20 with an Opening Day target of April 24. Within a week, three Hanshin Tigers players tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the team to order players and staff to self-quarantine.

After the announcement, NPB secretary general Atsushi Ihara told reporters regarding the proposed April 24 Opening Day, “We do not plan to reconsider the date because of this.” But last night Sports Nippon in Japan reported that officials are now considering a later start.

The sequence of events in Japan reminded MLB officials of the challenges associated with any potential return to the field. While MLB is considering many proposals of what a 2020 season might look like—all are speculation with no start date in sight—MLB has little to no appetite for playing games in empty stadiums or for a postseason that extends into December, according to a league source.

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:42 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japanese baseball, verducci

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   1. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 02, 2020 at 08:15 AM (#5935741)
If anyone is really starved, I've found watching the Lotte Giants intrasquad games on youtube to be soothing. It's just nice to see people playing baseball. I'm becoming a big AWAY fan too. I like the cut of their jib!
   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 02, 2020 at 08:37 AM (#5935750)
Do you have a link for that WJ?
   3. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 02, 2020 at 08:45 AM (#5935752)
https://youtu.be/N0IEGH7BMx8
   4. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 02, 2020 at 08:46 AM (#5935753)
Anyone know who the Anglo is who starts for Away?
   5. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 02, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5935759)
Looking at their Wikipedia page (I know) the only Anglo they have is Frank Hermann who was with the Indians for a bit in the naughties.

Thanks for the link.
   6. The Duke Posted: April 02, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5935766)
Is it really a big deal if a bunch of 20 and 30 year olds get this ? It might be super contagious but not particularly dangerous to them. Once it’s run through the teams, they can get on with it.
   7. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 02, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5935777)
The contagion issue is a meaningful one. These people don’t live in isolation, they have families and friends they interact with. Also, “not particularly dangerous” is doing a lot of heavy lifting. They aren’t immune to this.
   8. Sunday silence Posted: April 02, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5935827)
agree w/ Jose, the lethality is probably less than 1% for healthy people in the prime of life. Similarly one website says the black widow spider is less than 1% lethality. Do you want to get bitten by a black widow?

Not to mention many people will have their lungs and other systems compromised.
   9. Jay Seaver Posted: April 02, 2020 at 12:52 PM (#5935861)
Yeah, there are a lot of ways that this can hurt you or chew up health-care resources even if it doesn't kill you at the end. It's just less likely to do them if you're in better shape.

Also, I seem to recall reading that professional athletes are probably more at risk than you might think - the stress they put on their bodies, long hours of training, use of anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs, and the like leave them vulnerable in ways that the general population isn't.
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 02, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5935905)
Not to mention many people will have their lungs and other systems compromised.

Exactly. "Not particularly fatal" != "not particularly dangerous." Being "recovered" means you get to go home from the hospital, not that your lungs are back to 100% capacity.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 02, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5935909)
Yeah, most of these healthy young athletes won't die, but they could very well end up in bed for two weeks with their lungs feeling like they're filled with shards of glass. I can see why they'd want to avoid that.
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 02, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5935920)
If anyone is really starved, I've found watching the Lotte Giants intrasquad games on youtube to be soothing. It's just nice to see people playing baseball. I'm becoming a big AWAY fan too. I like the cut of their jib!


Ex-Seattle Mariner Dae-ho Lee is playing first base for Home.
   13. Karl from NY Posted: April 02, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5935939)
agree w/ Jose, the lethality is probably less than 1% for healthy people in the prime of life.

1% is 12 players. (There are 1200 on thirty 40-man rosters.) Is that worth it?

(1% isn't the death rate, but may be the long-term damage/consequences rate.)
   14. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5935988)
Also, I seem to recall reading that professional athletes are probably more at risk than you might think - the stress they put on their bodies, long hours of training, use of anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs, and the like leave them vulnerable in ways that the general population isn't.

This certainly seems true of professional cyclists. The TdF must lose at least a dozen riders each year to colds/flu/stomach bugs over the course of the race. That's an endurance sport of course and one where (generally) you want to be as light as possible to get over the mountains so they've probably been trying to drop weight in the run-up which probably leaves them more vulnearable.

"Asthma" rates are also quite high among athletes (and cyclists again) but that's in quotes because asthma meds can be a short-term performance enhancer so possibly similar to the surprisingly high rate of ADHD among baseball players. But I have also read articles citing legit health/phyiological reasons why athletes might be more susceptible to asthma. (Not that I recall any cites.) And I assume covid is doubly nasty if you have asthma.
   15. Eric L Posted: April 02, 2020 at 04:49 PM (#5935993)
I’m a coach for track and field and cross country. It has been long known that intense anaerobic training can lower the immune system. I’m coaching by zoom now. Only moderate aerobic workouts for the duration of this.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2020 at 07:31 PM (#5936035)
Only moderate aerobic workouts for the duration of this.

and a cycling website made the point that this is a good idea right now -- i.e. train easy, don't go for PBs, don't push it extra hard -- also because we'd like to reduce the number of heart attacks, bike crashes, other injuries that hospitals have to deal with.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2020 at 08:17 PM (#5936049)
Australian rugby is considering an island approach. In theory this could work, maybe especially if you used spring training sites, as long as you kept everybody (players, coaches, clubhouse personnel, bus drivers, maybe even TV crews) strictly quarantined for a few weeks before play then (those that don't have it) for however long the virus goes on. It assumes no fans, just for TV broadcast, isolation from families and the outside world. Arizona teams would play Arizona teams, Fla vs Fla. Or put everybody in AZ then you can maintain the existing divisional structure.

I'm not recommending that but it's theoretically possible.
   18. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 02, 2020 at 09:50 PM (#5936066)
watching island-approach games sounds about as depressing as no baseball
   19. John Northey Posted: April 02, 2020 at 11:25 PM (#5936088)
Hmm... games on a deserted island with just players, umps, coaches. All made for TV. Each day could have games from 8 AM to 8 PM - make each time slot a teams 'home' along with a field. So games would be nearly non-stop all day long. Allow ties to maximize games and minimize stress on staffs. No travel days, just breather days. 15 games a day = 45 to 60 hours a day of baseball with roughly 12 hours to fill them in on, say, 6 fields.

It could be done. Would be interesting to see how it worked out, but I doubt they'd do it.
   20. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 03, 2020 at 07:23 AM (#5936118)
There was an honest to God baseball game in Taiwan last night. Guardians vs Dragons , preseason. Opening day 4/21.

Enjoy!

https://tw.mobi.yahoo.com/screen/yahootv-味全-vs-悍將-20200403-082940822.html

   21. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 03, 2020 at 07:43 AM (#5936120)
Hmm... games on a deserted island with just players, umps, coaches.


Groundskeepers too, I would assume. Batboys and batgirls, I guess not, but if you want to watch the games, you're going to need camera operators, and the technical team that rigs all that up. Then you've got to feed and shelter everyone. Laundry services. It all adds up.
   22. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 03, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5936148)
Also, I seem to recall reading that professional athletes are probably more at risk than you might think - the stress they put on their bodies, long hours of training, use of anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs, and the like leave them vulnerable in ways that the general population isn't.

This certainly seems true of professional cyclists. The TdF must lose at least a dozen riders each year to colds/flu/stomach bugs over the course of the race. That's an endurance sport of course and one where (generally) you want to be as light as possible to get over the mountains so they've probably been trying to drop weight in the run-up which probably leaves them more vulnearable.

"Asthma" rates are also quite high among athletes (and cyclists again) but that's in quotes because asthma meds can be a short-term performance enhancer so possibly similar to the surprisingly high rate of ADHD among baseball players. But I have also read articles citing legit health/phyiological reasons why athletes might be more susceptible to asthma. (Not that I recall any cites.) And I assume covid is doubly nasty if you have asthma.


Philippe Auclair mentioned the same thing on a recent Football (read: soccer) Weekly podcast. Basically that while these athletes were in unbelievable condition because of what they do to their bodies they are actually highly susceptible to viruses and illnesses in a way that those of us who treat our bodies like the temple of doom rather than a temple aren't.
   23. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 04, 2020 at 12:43 PM (#5936475)
"Not particularly fatal" != "not particularly dangerous."

"Mostly Harmless"

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