The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended more restrictions on public gatherings. How would that impact the San Diego Padres?
It seemed unrealistic for baseball to resume on April 9. With spring training canceled and the first two weeks at least postponed, that was the targeted date for the San Diego Padres to open their season. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended that events with 50 or more people be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks.
Last time I checked, Petco Park holds more than 50 people, so that would likely resume baseball activities around mid-May. Players would need a couple of weeks to ramp up their activities, which then puts a start date near June 1.
It’s not ideal, but I suppose it would be better than canceling the season entirely as the nation is nearly on lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. An early June start would give the Padres, as well as the rest of the league, roughly 100 games to decide who goes to the postseason.
In a sense, it would be much like when the NHL had a lockout in winter 2012 with games resuming mid-January the following year. The All-Star Game and Winter Classics were canceled, and Major League Baseball could have a similar approach to get the most out of this year. And now that the All-Star Game truly means nothing, it makes a lot of sense to do without.
Another potential scenario could be a May start date with crowd-less venues with fans returning around June 1. However, there is a level of risk in doing that considering how close quarters teams are, and each team already has 26 players.
Add in coaches, broadcast crews, etc. and you’re likely well exceeding the recommended 50 person limit that could potentially be located within the same space.
Assuming everything goes right, 100 games is more than enough to decide the playoff teams, which could potentially lead to the league shortening the season in the future.