Thursday, March 26, 2020

It's opening day, and tomorrow, the Yankee camp must close

Tomorrow, Florida's Hillsborough County - which includes Tampa - begins enforcing a "Safer at Home" rule, which means the handful of Yankees still working out daily at George Steinbrenner Field will probably need to disband.

We might consider baseball practices as "essential services," but authorities disagree.

Thus, the opening of the MLB season - once projected to be May 1 - is growing more distant, not less. 

The following are my napkin calculations - not to be confused with expert analysis. I'm not a statistician or scientist. I am a Yankee fan. But if we simply focus on baseball, here are some numbers to ponder.

Hillsborough County now has 123 corona cases, according to this widely viewed database. It is the hottest spot on Florida's Gulf Coast. The county reported its first infection on March 2. Thus, it's grown relatively slowly, nothing like NY or LA. Hopefully, the new restrictions will further flatten the curve. (And hopefully, they did not come too late.) 

Tampa might be a month behind other cities, in terms of the virus' spread. The next few weeks will determine whether it becomes a hot zone. But even if the policies succeed, it's hard to imagine the Yankees recalling players to camp before mid-April, to launch the season on May 1. And if the crackdown fails - well - let's not go there. 

Then there is the prospect of sending teams north to play games. 

Today, if MLB were a coronoavirus competition, here would be the gruesome standings. (Note: These numbers don't include suburban sprawls, so the actual totals of greater metropolitan areas would be much higher; in the cases of Atlanta and Miami, they would practically double. They should only be used for the sake of comparisons.) 

New York 2011
Chicago 1418
Seattle 1359
Detroit 1122
Los Angeles 812Miami 491
Boston 342
Cleveland 206
Atlanta 204

Even if the fates go our way, it's hard to imagine the Yankees or Mets playing games in New York City before June 1. And if this virus becomes a rolling, nationwide wave, starting to explode in other cities two or three weeks from now - well - you get the idea. 

I say this not to be a gremlin of doom. I believe there will be a baseball season, but like none that has ever been. It might not start until the All-Star break.

Most of all, I hope you and everyone who reads, writes for, and comments on this blog will be there to see it.


JM said...

Ah, yes. I remember it well.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Elegiac, Duque. Elegiac.

Stang said...

15 days without an injury!!

Stang said...

JM, that Utica Club freak-out blew my mind!

Rufus T. Firefly said...


Thanks. I'm finally having those flashbacks they promised me.

Thank god they don't include Utica Club. Because that would be a baaaaaad trip, man!

As a friend said: "I paid for 'em. Why don't I get 'em?"

JM said...

Mustang, that TV spot was far out, man.

And where are MY flashbacks? I've been waiting over 40 years already. Like, bummer.

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