Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
A physician recently remarked on TV that we might be bored with COVID-19, but COVID-19 certainly is not bored with us.
Cases are once again on the rise as businesses, beaches and venues reopen. We don’t know if we’re still in the first wave, or if we’ve begun a second.
Worst roller coaster, ever.
That there doesn’t appear to be a definite end in sight is distressing and stressful for everyone. We’ve been weaned on happy endings and the illusion that we’re in control. So, any distraction is a good thing, particularly when it comes in the form of sports.
The NFL, the NBA, NASCAR, the PGA, professional tennis, soccer and the WNBA all have come up with strategies to resume play in some form that protects its players.
Every sport, that is, except Major League Baseball.
Now, one would think that a league that already is hemorrhaging young fans would be the first out of the gate to play ball. The sport already is losing to football, basketball, soccer - and demographics.
But, as is so often the case in America, the main sticking point for a restart is money.
You think PPE is in short supply? Well, so is sympathy for people earning millions to own a team and to play a game.
People who would have taken their families to a ball game in other years, suddenly find themselves scrambling just to keep the lights on and their kids fed.
They’ve got no tears to spare for professional athletes.
Americans of all backgrounds have returned to work at risk to their lives because they have no choice. Others are taking their lives in their hands by protesting to demand equality and justice, and baseball can’t come up with a plan for a shortened season?
No one is asking players and owners to perform for free or be reckless with their health, but surely, both sides can find some common ground.
How is it that South Korea has found a way, but we can’t? The Korea Baseball Organization employs several preventive measures, including temperature screenings for players and umpires; no live fans, no autographs or handshakes, masks for base coaches, and the use of masks and gloves in training facilities.
From its beginning, Major League Baseball smartly marketed itself as “America’s Pastime.” A contest of simple rules and green fields, baseball has always reveled in nostalgia for the good old days, however imagined.
From World War I to Sept. 11, it’s aided the nation through its crises by offering a means of entertainment and escape, no matter how fleeting.
American sports have always been a mirror of how this country sees itself, which is why social change almost always takes place first on the playing field.
Colin Kaepernick is only the latest athlete to challenge America to walk the talk.
Even so, sports has the magical ability to bind communities together. When the Cleveland Indians reached the World Series in 2016, people who weren’t even baseball fans kept up and stayed up to watch the games, dragging into work the next day. Why? Because the Indians are a part of the fabric and history of Northeast Ohio.
Baseball has always weathered the time and tide of change. But this feels different. The world is changing at a pace we’ve never seen. It’s as if destiny has its foot on the gas, and we have no idea where we’re going to end up. If baseball can’t find a way to come through for its fans, they won’t forget it.
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or email@example.com. On Twitter: @cgoshayREP