2020 MLB season

Fenway Park looks different as Red Sox begin workouts amid COVID-19

Fenway Park looks different as Red Sox begin workouts amid COVID-19

Several months after the COVID-19 pandemic put a sudden halt on spring training, the Red Sox converged on Fenway Park for the first day of Summer Camp workouts Friday.

It's the first time since World War II that the Sox have prepared for a season in the Northeast. That's when the Sox held spring training in Medford, MA (1943), Baltimore, MD (1944), and Pleasantville, NJ (1945).

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With a stress on social distancing and safety, both the on-field workouts and Fenway Park itself look very different in 2020.

The Sox have made some physical changes to the layout of the park's facilities since there won't be fans in attendance anytime soon while media access is also extremely limited.

Click here to see how things look different at Fenway Park.

Will Red Sox go over or under Vegas' 2020 MLB season season win total?

Will Red Sox go over or under Vegas' 2020 MLB season season win total?

Sportsbooks and oddsmakers in Las Vegas and across the nation have begun to release season win totals for the 2020 MLB campaign after the league announced earlier this week that there would be baseball this year after all.

The shortened schedule will include 60 regular season games for each team and begin July 23. 

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Caesars Sportsbook has set its win total (h/t ESPN), and the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the way at 37. The New York Yankees are next at 36.5 wins. 

The Boston Red Sox are 19th on the list at 30.5 wins, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers. So, oddsmakers are expecting the Red Sox to be about a .500 team this season.

It's not a bad prediction, either. The Red Sox still have a great lineup that should rank in the top five in runs scored among American League teams, but the team also has real concerns throughout its pitching staff. Starting pitching depth is suspect, and the bullpen has plenty of weak spots as well.

Boston's odds to win the 2020 World Series are +3000, and it also has +1300 odds to win the AL pennant, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

There's no question the Red Sox will be an underdog this season, and it's possible they thrive in this role. Despite some of the veteran departures over the last two offseasons, this Red Sox roster still has plenty of championship experience on it.

Red Sox exec 'hopeful' of having fans in Fenway Park at some point in 2020 season

Red Sox exec 'hopeful' of having fans in Fenway Park at some point in 2020 season

We learned earlier this week the 2020 MLB season is set to begin July 23, but what we still don't know is if fans will be allowed to attend games at any point during the year.

The Boston Red Sox are at least hopeful that fans will eventually be able to come to Fenway Park.

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Red Sox president Sam Kennedy spoke to reporters on a Zoom conference call Wednesday night, and one topic he responded to was the possibility of fans cheering on the Red Sox from the Fenway Park seats in 2020.

"We are hopeful to have fans at some point," Kennedy said. "We need fans at Fenway Park. Our fans give us a competitive advantage. I can tell you there are clubs around Major League Baseball that are anticipating having fans in their ballparks. It's an incredibly important part of our business and of our baseball operations, so we’d like to get to that point. But I can’t tell you when that would happen. But we are working through the protocols that would be required to pursue the opportunity some day in the future.”

Fans coming back to Fenway Park likely would hinge on several different factors, including what the COVID-19 situation looks like in Massachusetts over the next few months. The data in Massachusetts has been encouraging over the last week. That said, it's important not to re-open too quickly. 

We all want to return to a sense of normalcy, and for many people, including Kennedy, that means going to Fenway Park every summer to watch baseball. Kennedy doesn't know for sure if fans will be in the Fenway stands this year, but it's something that will be considered when/if the time is right.

“I want to make sure I’m clear. I hope that we can have fans back in the stands because of the competitive advantage that it gives you to have fans, but I don’t know that we will," Kennedy said. "It’s probably a little bit of me, personally, just projecting my own hope that fans will be back at Fenway Park. I just anticipate it being extremely odd when we get going playing Major League Baseball games in front of no fans, it being a strange environment. It is, I think, important that if we do it and can do it, we do it in a safe and responsible way following CDC guidelines for social distancing, cleanliness, face coverings and the like. We’ll see how it goes.

"I think it’s incredibly important that we start, when it’s safe, to start to try and get back to some sense of normalcy. I know, for me, that's always been going to baseball games, and I think our fans want that, and ultimately I think our players want that. I think we all want to start to try to get back to some sense of normalcy when it's safe and appropriate. And just to be clear, I don't have a timetable on that, but I personally hope it's as soon as humanly possible."