No baseball has been played this season, and no one knows when, or if, it will be played. If it’s played, no one knows what form it will take.
For the Orioles, it’s especially painful. This was the second season of the team’s rebuild, and minor league prospects would be getting essential seasoning time.
Last season, home attendance fell for the fifth straight season to 1.3 million, and it could have fallen even further this season.
The coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed America and its sports. Some are speculating that if there are games played this season, they will be in spring training sites without fans—or in ballparks without paying customers.
Five years ago next week, on April 29, 2015, the Orioles and Chicago White Sox played a game in front of no fans after disturbances swept over Baltimore.
That was the only time in major league history a game was played without fans. None of the participants relished the game, although they understood the circumstances.
Each day, there are seemingly more states that have banned mass gatherings. New York has banned them through the end of June.
Other states are beginning to drop restrictions or contemplating a return to normalcy.
The NBA and NHL, which suspended their seasons just before baseball did, haven’t resumed and don’t know when they will.
Many of the staples of the spring and summer sports calendar — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Indianapolis 500 and French Open — have moved their dates to August, September and October. Wimbledon has canceled its tournament.
The PGA is attempting to play some of its events in June, without fans.
The NFL Draft, scheduled to begin Thursday in Las Vegas, will be held virtually and the league hopes to go ahead with its season.
Even if fans are allowed to attend games, many have said they wouldn’t attend, perhaps not until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, which might not come until next year.
This week’s Diner question: If spectators are permitted to attend Oriole games this season, would you consider going?
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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