On Monday Major League Baseball released the schedule for shortened 2020 season. Teams will play a regional 60 game season, which means the Mariners will play 40 games against the American League West, and 20 games against the National League West. The Mariners will play mostly on the West Coast, with two trips to the state of Texas, and one short trip to Phoenix.
Seattle will start the truncated season on 07/24 in Houston against the Astros. Not exactly an ideal place to start the season, the State of Texas continues to see increases in positive COVID-19 tests. Houston alone had almost 1000 positive tests confirmed on Monday, and there seems to be no sign that these confirmed cases will be slowing down. Player safety is a huge concern right now, so far, no Mariner players have opted out of the 2020 season, we’ve seen a handful of players decided to sit out due to safety concerns, ex-Mariner great Felix Hernandez is one of those players who aren’t willing to risk it this season.
The first home game at T-Mobile park will be 07/31 against bitter rival Oakland Athletics. The opening homestand will be 10 games, then the team will go back to Texas for 6 more games. A lot of time spent in Texas at the beginning of the year, hopefully, that state is in much better shape by the end of the month. Again, no fans allowed at games, the focus will be to drive up television ratings.
Summer training has already started at T-Mobile Park, with no fans allowed at the summer camp, just some media members who are required to wear masks, and no interaction with players. Other than some Zoom interviews.
Even though this season feels more like an asterisk then baseball season, it’ll be intriguing to see how this all plays out in a country that is experiencing a pandemic like no one around today has experienced before, and enormous political divide. In my opinion, live sports is exactly what this country needs, sports bring unity, pride, and create some great discussion.
Unfortunately, the league messed this one up royally. Baseball had the chance to have the sports stage all to themselves, but the league and the union negotiated like a couple of six-year-old kids fighting over the last pack of fruit snacks. Now the MLB will compete against the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, and the beginning of the NFL season. With no fans, TV ratings are everything this season, how rare is it to have literally no competition in television ratings. That’s what the MLB was looking at for at least a month, but even that wasn’t enough for these two sides to come together.