Let me start by saying I love the fact that baseball is being creative with a plan to open its season sooner than expected. And I like the idea that players might be willing to be sequestered in the Phoenix area to play all games in that vicinity.
Playing and living in a bubble for weeks is not something anyone would relish, but on the other hand, if you're making a million bucks to do it...
I don’t think it’s a viable solution for an entire season, but it could work until life gets safer outside that bubble.
But I also hope the people pushing this plan forward with so much zeal understand the risks involved. And the tools that would be necessary to make it all work.
Obviously, reliable and rapid tests must be available for players, staff and everyone expected to be there. Those gathering in groups must be tested -- frequently. Anything short of that is an extreme gamble.
And those tests must also be readily available to all of us. For any sport to hoard thousands of testing kits while the general public is going without them is going to create an outcry that no sport wants.
So, plentiful testing for the whole country is a must. And possible, I think, because those tests are in the works and reportedly on the way.
But another thing that would be critical to this plan is the frantic search for a treatment plan for COVID-19. It’s extremely doubtful that a vaccine can be found for the virus, but certainly it’s possible to find a medication or a treatment regimen that can keep people from dying after being infected.
Unprecedented measures are being taken to repurpose existing drugs that might be useful in fighting off what is a very strong opponent.
And an effective treatment is the key, of course, for all of us being safe enough to return to a more normal existence. Just finding a way to reduce this virus to something akin to flu would be the answer.
But before that treatment is found, baseball would be taking the gamble of having to shut its plan down in failure if the virus spreads among the participants in what would be a very large group of quarantined people.
I’m not sure this is an idea that can be executed and I would hope it doesn’t set off a race to see which sport can come back first.
I don’t think being the first to come back is as important is being the sport that is the first to come back and stay back.