When it comes to how long a potential MLB season should run, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that the earlier it can conclude the better, based on the assumed risk of players contracting the novel coronavirus.
“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “I would avoid that.”
Fauci, a Nationals fan, wants to see baseball return and believes there is a way for it to do so safely. However, his discretion about the timing is due to the potential for the virus to continue to spread at a higher rate once the weather gets cold. Though COVID-19 is still a rather unpredictable virus, it is not going away anytime soon. While a spike could easily happen sooner -- or later -- it is common for a virus to spread more during the colder months, such as flu season taking place in the winter.
Therefore, should baseball continue on into October and November, there's a chance that players may become more susceptible to contracting coronavirus.
“I’d have to underscore probably,” Fauci said. “This virus is one that keeps fooling us. Under most circumstances — but we don’t know for sure here — viruses do better when the weather starts to get colder and people start spending more time inside, as opposed to outside. The community has a greater chance of getting infected."
“The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee. … If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave," he added.
Currently, there is no designation as to when the MLB season could end. That is due to the fact that as of now there is no 2020 season. As negotiations between the league and players boil over into a situation where there is now some doubt that games will ever be played, a potential timeline becomes even fuzzier.
The length of the season has been a point of contention between the two sides throughout the past few months, with players wanting the postseason to trail into November in order to make sure enough regular-season games are played, while owners want playoff baseball to be in October in order for TV deals to remain in place.
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