Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Play Ball! But for How Long? 1

Posted on July 24, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Ready or not, the “shotgun wedding” 2020 Major League Baseball season is underway with all 30 teams starting a 60-game sprint to the playoffs.

When spring training was halted in mid-March, few could have predicted that it would be late-July before the first games would be played. But the combination of the continuing (and growing) health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and an inability for the players and owners to agree on a financial plan that benefited both sides has led to a season that is not ideal for either side.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season will be quite different with fan cut outs in the stands instead of real fans.

In many ways, the real winners of a return to live baseball are the fans, as there are only so many vintage games and baseball movies you can watch before longing for new content. Even though fans will not be able to attend games in person, in this time of social distancing watching games on television seems like no big deal.

Live baseball will also be a happy return for sports gamblers as there have been few Sports Picks for them to wager around over the last few months.

However, given all the questions about the virus and community health that are still unknown, no one really knows what to expect or how long games will be played.

Already, several high-profile players have decided to opt-out of the season. Former Cy Young Award winners Felix Hernandez and David Price along with veteran position players Buster Posey, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Nick Markakis are biggest names among more than a dozen players who have already indicated they will not play.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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