Picture it: Fenway Park, Oct. 2, 1978. The Yankees trail the Red Sox, 2-0, in the top of the seventh, with men on first and second and two outs. Bucky Dent, facing ex-teammate Mike Torrez, fouls a ball off his foot and hobbles toward the direction of the visiting dugout.
Mickey Rivers: “Bucky, your bat is cracked! Here, use mine!”
Dent: “Sorry, Mick. That wouldn’t be honoring best practices.”
(Dent strikes out and the Yankees lose.)
We are looking at one weird 2020 baseball season, if we’re fortunate enough to get a season at all. It’d be a wonderful weird. A greatly appreciated weird. Weird nonetheless.
On Friday night, Major League Baseball sent its 67-page “2020 Operations Manual” to the Players Association, and let’s lead with the observation that this reads like a serious, thoughtful proposal for how to conduct a team sport during a pandemic. If necessity is the mother of invention, then desperation could be the father. We know how desperate the big league owners are to cobble together a season, and their steward Rob Manfred honored that urgency with this initial proposal.
In addition to oodles of safety/health protocols that cover both testing…