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Saturday, March 28, 2020

MLBPA chief Tony Clark says ‘no door is closed’ for playing the 2020 All-Star Game after COVID-19 pa

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the growing threat that is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Spring training has been suspended and Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and that remains subject to change as the situation develops.

Whenever baseball does return, MLB and the MLBPA will have a ton of questions to answer and logistics to figure out. That is still true even after the two sides came to an agreement regarding salary, service time, the draft, and several other matters. Among the biggest questions remaining: what happens to the All-Star Game? The Midsummer Classic and surrounding festivities are scheduled for July 10-13 at Dodger Stadium.

On Friday, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark told reporters there has been no decision regarding the All-Star Game yet. MLB and the MLBPA need to know when the regular season can begin before figuring out whether they can hold an All-Star Game. From The Athletic’s Evan Drellich:

““The players are open to having a discussion about just about everything. Obviously the calendar is going to dictate a lot of what can and cannot be done. But right now no door is closed,” Clark said about the All-Star Game.”

 

QLE Posted: March 28, 2020 at 12:26 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game, tony clark

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   1. John Northey Posted: March 28, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5934508)
An ASG would be a fun way to start the season - this will be a screwed up one anyways so why not have the stars come out to get things going?
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 28, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5934513)
Have it after like two weeks of games to get some hilarious ‘he’s having a great season’ guys.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5934517)
Shutting down mid-season for an All-Star game is in conflict with the goal of playing as many regular season games as possible, and having a season-opening All-Star Game may be a problem if there are still some restrictions on mass gatherings or travel. The selection method for a season-opening All-Star Game would likely be less than ideal, too. The public will probably accept whatever they can get, but skipping the All-Star Game may be one of the sacrifices needed to salvage something that resembles a regular season. Many players have bonus for making the All-Star Team, so maybe MLB retains a selection process even if there is no game, but we’re in unchartered territory here, so who knows.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: March 28, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5934522)
Assuming there's going to need to be a short ramp up to get everyone ready for the season, a season-starting All-Star game could work (and would be reminiscent of the 1981 contest that kicked off the second half). I think you could find some creative ways to choose the teams and generate some nice buzz for the abbreviated season.

But I agree with YC that shutting down mid-season for an A-S game is less appealing.

   5. Walt Davis Posted: March 28, 2020 at 06:17 PM (#5934558)
Put me down with #1 and #4. I've been sort of assuming this would happen to create buzz. Could be a charity exhibition, not necessarily an "official" AS game so they could get away from AL-NL if they wanted. Team USA vs Team Coronavirus!! Or Trout gets the first pick, Bellinger gets the next two picks -- do it live, just before the game. Oh-oh, Bellinger forgot to pick a C!!
   6. Jay Seaver Posted: March 28, 2020 at 06:31 PM (#5934564)
The season-starting All-Star game really seems like a no-brainer, a sort of big "season premiere" which can probably make use of how these big national broadcasts do all sorts of in-game stuff, letting all the biggest stars talk about how glad they are to get back at it and the like, while the announcers talk about all the stuff that happened during the offseason months ago. The fan vote might be weird or small, but also part of a way to build interest during Spring Training Part 2. Heck, include a home run derby and such, and you can almost use it as a way to squeeze a day or two more of "spring" training in for the bulk of the players while the stars are at the game, since you'll probably want to keep that as compact as possible because each day of it eats season.
   7. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: March 28, 2020 at 09:36 PM (#5934627)
I remember the ASG being the “welcome back” in 1981 and being a huge success. I’d love to see that.
   8. pikepredator Posted: March 29, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5934696)
I'm with the consensus. It fits right into spring training's "only pitch a few innings" style of play anyhow. And lots of the players will be super-excited to be back and playing ball again, so it might have a different sort of energy than it does mid-season, when it's part of a rest break before the long slog through the dog days of the season.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 29, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5934737)
The problem with starting the season with an all-star game is that the all-star selections will not be at all related to the performance of the players in the year that they're selected.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: March 29, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5934740)

The problem with starting the season with an all-star game is that the all-star selections will not be at all related to the performance of the players in the year that they're selected.



That sounds more like a feature than a bug.

   11. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: March 29, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5934744)
The problem with starting the season with an all-star game is that the all-star selections will not be at all related to the performance of the players in the year that they're selected.


It’s not ideal but something’s gotta give. I always enjoy seeing guys having a great year get recognized but one year of it not happening is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
   12. Scott Lange Posted: March 29, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5934751)
I agree with #10. The balance between "actual stars" and "randos who had a fluky May" is pretty much always too far toward the latter anyway.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 29, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5934754)
The problem with starting the season with an all-star game is that the all-star selections will not be at all related to the performance of the players in the year that they're selected.
Well, some complain that the 2nd half of the regular season is never given All-Star consideration, so a season-opening All-Star Game would address that, for one year. If MLB & the MLBPA choose that option, I assume only the day after would be an off day. Can’t really see giving up 3 game days in what is likely to be a severely curtailed season. The other problem is that, depending on roster configuration and usage, about 8-12 teams might lose their Opening Day starting pitcher. There’s nothing that can’t be overcome for a season-opening All-Star Game, I’m just not sure it’s worth losing the game days if we’re looking at a ~ 60 game season, but I’ll settle for whatever baseball I can get, whenever I can get it.
   14. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 29, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5934765)
I love the optimism, and it's important to make plans, but frankly, I don't see how it's possible to get back to some semblance of normal in time.
   15. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 29, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5934772)
I love the optimism, and it's important to make plans, but frankly, I don't see how it's possible to get back to some semblance of normal in time.


I agree with both halves of this sentence. The concept of kicking off the delayed season with an All-Star game sounds great. But I think, realistically, the only way to have a 2020 season that's long enough to be worth having would probably involve starting the season without crowds. If it ends up looking like the only way to play a season at all is to have no crowds all season, maybe it's better to cancel things. But I think maybe a couple of weeks of no crowds and then maybe easing back into allowing fans into games might be the only way to fit in even a 60-80 game schedule without trying to play regular-season games in Boston and Chicago in early December.

But yeah, opening the season with an All-Star game sounds great. Hell, maybe we should plan to do that in 2021 as a way to welcome back baseball.
   16. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: March 29, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5934776)
I think almost without exception SOME kind of baseball season would be beneficial from a morale standpoint. Even if it’s a 50 game September/October, neutral site sprint in front of no crowds just getting the country back to something of normalcy is going to be important. Yeah you’ll have some weird things happening you’ll have guys having “great years” that look ridiculous, maybe a .400 hitter...but so what? I’d rather have some kind of baseball than none.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 29, 2020 at 05:40 PM (#5934785)
Hell, maybe we should plan to do that in 2021 as a way to welcome back baseball.


And push back the WBC a year?
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: March 29, 2020 at 05:53 PM (#5934790)
keep in mind that a LOT of people will have tested positive for COVID-10 AND have fully recovered months before a single game would be played. that group is growing every day.

obviously, it's not practical to have 50,000 people's papers and temperature checked before a single game - but maybe 1,000.

those fans (unless we learn otherwise, and we would know by then) are in no danger, and present no danger to others, regarding the virus.

also, in an abundance of caution, they could be "socially distanced" anyway - if someone is paranoid about a 'sleeper fan' with bogus papers and a body that can fool a thermometer. then again, if that's the case, we've got far bigger problems.

   19. Howie Menckel Posted: March 29, 2020 at 05:56 PM (#5934792)
Even if it’s a 50 game September/October

I wrote last week about the wacky 9-game NFL strike-shortened regular season in 1982 - and a 16 (out of 28 teams) postseason tournament.

it was barely a footnote once the Redskins-Dolphins Super Bowl kicked off.
   20. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 29, 2020 at 08:33 PM (#5934821)
obviously, it's not practical to have 50,000 people's papers and temperature checked before a single game - but maybe 1,000.


Supposedly there is a test coming soon that gets results in 5 minutes. They say they'll soon be able to conduct 50,000 tests per day, which sounds very small, but maybe in a couple months they'll be able to produce enough machines so that pretty much anyone can get tested. Could have something like you need to present a documented negative test result from the last 72 hours at the gate. Though based just on that article it says they expect to produce 5 million tests per month which is less than 2% of the country at a monthly rate, so probably not.
   21. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: March 29, 2020 at 09:07 PM (#5934823)
I wrote last week about the wacky 9-game NFL strike-shortened regular season in 1982 - and a 16 (out of 28 teams) postseason tournament.

it was barely a footnote once the Redskins-Dolphins Super Bowl kicked off.


Great example. The problem of course is that we now have eight zillion programs that will analyze what it means or whether or not what is accomplished means anything rather than just enjoying the game.

As a Dolphin fan I would have been happy not mentioning that super bowl though. If Bokamper just holds onto that interception...arrrrrgh.
   22. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 29, 2020 at 10:35 PM (#5934834)
Supposedly there is a test coming soon that gets results in 5 minutes. They say they'll soon be able to conduct 50,000 tests per day, which sounds very small, but maybe in a couple months they'll be able to produce enough machines so that pretty much anyone can get tested. Could have something like you need to present a documented negative test result from the last 72 hours at the gate. Though based just on that article it says they expect to produce 5 million tests per month which is less than 2% of the country at a monthly rate, so probably not.


I'm sorry, but there are far, far bigger fish to fry than admitting people into a baseball game.

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