Baseball's coronavirus suspension has felt equal parts indefinite, sensible, and cloying. Even MLB's biggest diehards can acknowledge that there's no way baseball can be played right now, but that hasn't stopped them from mourning its continued absence, while desperately hoping for a possible return to normalcy.
If you needed a reminder of the good in this world, ESPN's Jeff Passan delivered on Monday afternoon. Yes, at this point, nearly everyone involved in the game is aligned that there WILL be a season in 2020, pending another catastrophic downturn.
"How?" is certainly the more interesting question.
The bottom line is, baseball has time here. The possibility of a 162-game season was out the window weeks before anyone wanted to admit it, and anything approximating that is also likely impossible. But, as Passan said, a plan could be in place by the end of May that could STILL make MLB action the first to return.
Ideally, there would be a week-long gap for reporting to Spring Training, three weeks of workouts, and then four months of regular-season baseball, culminating in a November World Series. The games would take place in three hubs (Texas, Arizona, and Florida), or potentially more, as safety permits.
If things regress across our nation, the plan could be reevaluated. Per Passan, it could even involve a two-month-long tournament where every game matters greatly. Traditional? No. But exciting, in a strange year? Absolutely.
Just because some parts of our country are ready to open up again does NOT mean it's safe to do so, in any grand capacity. But the fact that it's even being entertained has Passan prepared to deem "one more month" a fair deadline for baseball's negotiating to really get going. Once the finances are aligned (which everyone is incentivized to make a reality), the game really could return in due time.
Almost everyone involved agrees it will happen. If I may editorialize: Damn, that just feels like sunshine on a summer day breaking through the April clouds.