White Sox

Report: July 1 start for 2020 baseball season 'isn't close to a likelihood'

Report: July 1 start for 2020 baseball season 'isn't close to a likelihood'

The latest update: Despite what you might have seen on Twitter, there is still no update.

When baseball might return for a salvaged 2020 season remains unknown, according to reporting from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, who clarified the status of the league’s discussions after a tweet pointed to a concrete date for Opening Day on Monday.

Baseball fans were briefly giddy after former Minnesota Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe tweeted that he heard a second round of spring training was set to begin June 10, with Opening Day following weeks later on July 1.

But that info was quickly debunked by reporters, with Heyman offering further clarity Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately for baseball-hungry fans, Heyman reported that July 1 might be an optimistic start date and not a very likely one.


While the bad news has been hard to handle during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, baseball’s potential inability to get a season off the ground safely within the next two months matches up with the situation across the country.

The plans that have been reportedly discussed — whether quarantining the entire season in Arizona or allowing travel between home cities within three geographically realigned divisions — are contingent on frequent testing of players, coaches, training staff and front-office staff, as well as small armies of workers providing lodging, transportation, food service and television broadcasts. Widespread testing capacity in the United States is nowhere near where health experts say it needs to be to safely reopen many aspects of daily life in the country.

On top of the feasibility of the frequent testing of so many people, there are the optics of a wealthy organization like Major League Baseball gaining access to such testing while the general population does not have similar access.

Still, recent reports have pointed to increased optimism within the game that there will be a 2020 season. That has supposedly stemmed from the reopening of certain states. But just because baseball would be allowed to restart in certain states does not mean it would be advisable from a public-health standpoint.

Just Monday, The New York Times reported that models being used by the White House project a dramatic increase in the number of cases and deaths:

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: The United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks to try slowing the spread of the virus, but reopening the economy will make matters worse.

That reality obviously impacts Major League Baseball’s ability to start its season and is directly responsible for the uncertainty of when, where and how the season could be staged.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox, Cardinals to play doubleheader after Friday's game postponed

White Sox, Cardinals to play doubleheader after Friday's game postponed

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played a game since July 29.

But that’s scheduled to change, with two games against the White Sox on the same day.

The Cardinals, who have experienced 18 positive COVID-19 tests among players and staffers in recent weeks, are scheduled to finally return to action Saturday in a doubleheader with the South Siders at Guaranteed Rate Field. First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

The two teams were originally scheduled to begin a three-game series Thursday, with the Field of Dreams game in Iowa. That nationally televised showcase event was pushed to 2021 due to logistical reasons caused by the pandemic. That forced a switch to a regular three-game weekend set on the South Side, the first game of which, set for Friday night, was postponed after another Cardinals staffer reportedly tested positive Thursday.

So it will be three games in two days, the start of a Chicago-baseball marathon for the Redbirds, who will play eight games — including a trio doubleheaders — in five days against the White Sox and Cubs.


The Cardinals have seen 18 straight games postponed after playing just their fifth game of the season to cap a two-game set with the Minnesota Twins at the end of July. That’s a total of four entire series and three doubleheaders.

RELATED: White Sox Tim Anderson knows his impact on lineup better than anyone else

They’ve been out of action for two weeks, and that’s a pretty big hole blown in what was already a shortened and compressed 60-game schedule. The daunting task ahead of trying to make up so many games in such a brief amount of time before the regular season ends Sept. 27 has generated talk of imbalanced records across the league and what Major League Baseball might have to do should numerous teams finish the year without having played the same number of games.

Obviously, that could have a dramatic effect on playoff seeding in the expanded postseason fields, which grew to include eight teams in each league. While it might sound like a quick fix to simply pluck the Cardinals out of the running for a playoff berth in the National League, doing so would create even more headaches for the teams who were supposed to play them. That includes the White Sox and all their AL Central rivals, putting them in a wildly different situation than teams from the AL East and AL West, with whom they are competing for wild card spots. And it could change things within the AL Central race, too, with the Detroit Tigers waiting to find out when they'll play the four-game series they were supposed to play against the Cardinals last week.

And so the Cardinals will attempt to resume their season Saturday on the South Side. Though like everything involving the 2020 Major League Baseball season, and the Cardinals' campaign in particular, things have the potential to change in a hurry.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Dallas Keuchel's wakeup call to the White Sox

keuchel_dallas_usatoday.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Dallas Keuchel's wakeup call to the White Sox

After an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, Dallas Keuchel called out his teammates in person and in the media to be better and it seems to have worked.

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey discuss Keuchel's leadership in the White Sox locker room, and the team's response to Keuchel's comments. They also dive into Tim Anderson's return to the lineup after coming back from injury and his home run trot after crushing a ball.

(2:00) - Keuchel's importance to the White Sox

(6:40) - Should Rick Renteria have called out the team instead of Keuchel?

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

(11:00) - Tim Anderson's leadoff home run trot

(16:30) - White Sox bullpen is coming through

Listen here or below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.