What a week. Did we hit bottom yet? It’s hard to know. Every day brought so much bad news.
Take Thursday. On top of everything else, that’s when Major League Baseball, aka the Big Show, announced it’s delaying the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks, and spring training is suspended with immediate effect.
What seemed impossible only a few weeks ago is now life as we know it. The virus came. It took away our game and our spring with it.
Remember that scene from Field of Dreams, the best baseball movie ever made? When the fictional writer Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones) explained to farmer Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) why a baseball field in the middle of his Iowa cornfield was . . . . perfect.
“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.”
Ok, it was only a movie. Made from a book that was only, well, fiction. But you know, it’s true. One constant through all the years — even during the worst of the Great Depression and World War Two — has been baseball. Opening Day always happened.
Ahh, sorry. That needs an asterix. There was 1994, when a strike (no pun intended) delayed the Major League season by, oh, 232 days. And 1981, when the players’ “work stoppage” forced the owners to cancel about a third of the season. Yet those were self-inflicted wounds. Man made. This time, it’s different.
The coronavirus? It’s weird, frightening, and truly dangerous. But it’s not constant. It came. It will go. Someday. After it goes, we’ll have baseball again (in between the strikes and work stoppages). We’ll get back our schools and playgrounds, our offices and factories, our airplanes, buses, and trains, our ballparks, and the rest of our country.
Until then, the only thing we can all do is to keep playing the game. Even if we don’t feel like swinging for the fences.
Be safe. Enjoy the weekend, which got here just in time.