With the recent news that the NBA has temporarily suspended their season as a result of the Coronavirus, it got me wondering, is baseball on a different playing field than most other major sports?
Disclaimer: I am by no means a medical expert or professional on this topic, I am just covering this from a sports news point of view. For info on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In case you have been living under a rock for the past 24-hours, I will recap the recent happenings around the sports world. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the Coronavirus and the NBA halted their schedule.
On Monday, the Jazz hosted the World Champion Toronto Raptors at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Utah. Gobert played 32 minutes in the contest versus the Raptors. The entire Raptors team is now under a 14-day self-quarantine as a result of the contact with Gobert.
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Prior to this news breaking, the NCAA had announced that they were planning on going forward with the March Madness Tournament, however, the tourney would be played in empty arenas with no fans in attendance.
The NHL has a Board of Governors meeting at 1 pm today where it is expected that they will follow suit and postpone their season.
Is baseball on a different playing field due to the limited contact or will they be forced to postpone their season as well? As of right not, spring training action is still scheduled to take place today. Yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays issued this statement via their Twitter account.
The statement advised players and personnel would be limiting contact with fans in respect to close human interactions while avoiding high fives, handshakes, and hand-to-hand autograph exchanges.
Can baseball avoid a stoppage in play, if they continue with scheduled games, you can guarantee they will be played in empty stadiums?
To me, baseball is not up close and personal and in your face like the other major sports. With the exception of the actual baseball, you could essentially have very little personal contact with an opposing player throughout the course of a game. As well most games are played outdoors which presumably should also limit the exposure of the virus (although I am not a medical expert).
With that be enough to save the season, time will tell but I have a sneaking suspicion, that baseball will be forced to follow suit sooner than later.