Will Professional Sports Return?

Alison Goldberg and Mr. Simone continue their discussion on sports during the global pandemic


Houston Astros star third baseman Alex Bregman helps give food for the needy

Alison Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief

Mr. Simone:  Hi Alison. I feel like I’ve been saying this over and over again, but I certainly hope that you and your family are still safe and healthy during this challenging time. I know you are at least well enough to keep up the mocking of my Houston Astros as you sent me the article about Alex Bregman changing his agent over the upcoming Quibi series on the cheating scandal.

Alison: Hi Mr. Simone. I hope you’re staying well through all of this as well. When I came across that article I knew you’d be the right person to send it to. But as much as I still can’t stand the Astros for that scandal, I do need to separate that from what’s going on in the world right now. Alex Bregman has been doing an amazing job raising money for those in need during this pandemic. He runs “FEED HOU” which is his foundation created to buy and give meals to the less fortunate. Recently, their donations hit $1 million. But…on the other hand for Bregman, he may not need to worry about Yankees fans tearing him and his teammates apart when he comes to New York since Governor Cuomo recently announced the restart for sports without fans in attendance. 

Mr. Simone: I am glad that you are able to appreciate the incredible work that Bregman and so many other athletes are doing at this time. We truly need the help of all Americans in order to get through this pandemic and economic crisis. A few weeks ago, I was pretty confident that sports would be back by now, but it appears that we are going to need to wait a little longer for the games to resume. I feel like each sport has different issues that must be resolved before we can start rooting for our favorite teams. What were your thoughts on Tampa Bay Rays’ ace pitcher Blake Snell’s comments on not wanting to come back and play yet?

Alison: Oh my goodness. Just reading his name gave me the shivers. I could not believe what he was saying as soon as the clip of him surfaced. He is well off financially yet he has the nerve to refuse to return to play baseball because they’re making less due to fewer games being played? It’s completely logical for players to take a pay cut. This is a pandemic and it is completely out of anyone’s control. Baseball is supposed to be about loving the game and loving what you do, day in and day out on the field. All of the major sports leagues are losing money and it is not even necessary for owners to be paying players in the first place. Why doesn’t he care about what’s best for the game and its fans? Why is he revolving it around himself and his paycheck? Snell has made many comments on his Twitch live-streams before that rubbed me the wrong way but this one set me off. On the other hand, Trevor Bauer made multiple comments and tweets about his take on the situation. What were your thoughts on what he had to say?

Mr. Simone: Since Trevor Bauer has been antagonistic toward my Astros BEFORE the cheating scandal, I am not a good person to ask. I really don’t know enough about the financial deal that is being negotiated for MLB, but I agree with you that they need to find a way to get back to the field. The country could really use this to uplift our spirits. There is too much sadness and negativity in the country today. It is looking more and more like the NBA and NHL are going to be able to finish their seasons. The NHL is leaning toward going right to a 24-team post-season while the NBA is still trying to figure out how to finish the regular season before heading to the playoffs. If the two leagues play, do you think the teams that win championships will have an asterisk next to their names?

Alison: Mr. Simone, just because these teams won their championships fair and square in a shortened season, does not mean that it’ll put your cheating Astros on the same playing field. The 2017 Astros most definitely deserve an asterisk for cheating next to their championship title. Putting that aside, I do believe every team that wins a championship after completing a shortened season will have an asterisk next to its name. It is simply not the same as a full postseason, especially when not all teams played the same amount of games. Per the NHL, the plan to return makes sense but the thing that bothers me is how it will affect future seasons. There are reports that after hockey returns for this season, next season won’t begin until January 2021. This means hockey would go much deeper into summer and that just doesn’t seem right. They have their plan to return in place but it’s still a matter of when it happens. I honestly think at this point, it’s better to cancel the 2019-2020 season so they can start up on time for next season. What do you think about the NBA’s current situation?

Mr. Simone: I guess I have to get used to being pulverized endlessly about the Astros. It’s like every argument always comes back to them. But anyway, since we started this article, it is looking more and more likely that the MLB might not have a season. As far as the NBA plan for Orlando, I think it is outstanding. It will generate enormous interest and give the sports fans a “March Madness” feel to it. I am completely in favor. Before I end this article, do you see MLB having any season this year?

Alison: As the players’ union is fighting hard for big paydays, I think they’ll eventually swallow some pride to get the players back out on the field. As much as I can understand where they’re coming from, I think it makes plenty of sense for the players to take another slight pay cut for a season cut in half. The players WANT to get back out there. I saw a few tweets from Whit Merrifield voicing how the players want to get out there so that definitely gave me hope. At the end of the day, they all want to be back out playing baseball so if it means a 50-60 game season, I think it’ll happen. But, there is no denying that the MLB looks horrible to the rest of the sports word right now. The NHL and NBA have their plans all set and ready to go meanwhile everyone is looking at the MLB making little to no progress. There’s a simple explanation to this though, the NHL and NBA already played the majority of their seasons. They already made enough money. They don’t need to worry about how much money they’re losing. The MLB is completely on the other side of this, they didn’t even start their season, so they have a lot more to lose on the table. That being said, once again, I think it’ll all soon be resolved and we will see opening day in the near future. 

Mr. Simone: I certainly hope that you are right about this one. Take care and enjoy your final days at Floral Park Memorial.