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The 2020 MLB TV schedule on ESPN, FOX, FS1, TBS and MLB Network, including Spring Training, the regular season and the MLB Postseason. To include the Full MLB Package.

How badly does MLB want to play the 2020 season? Very, very badly. So badly, in fact, that according to the Associated Press it is proposing to set up some sort of baseball commune in Arizona:

Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area this season and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.

Ideas are still in the early stage, and the Arizona option would have many obstacles to overcome, the people said.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan ferreted out some more information for us to ponder, noting that players would be ‘sequestered’ at local hotels for the length of the truncated season in an attempt to isolate them from the outside world. Expanded rosters might exist so that teams could weather injuries or Covid-19 cases. Seven-inning doubleheaders might let MLB play the full season. Electronic strike zones could be set up to ensure umpires can comply with social distance requirements. There’s no word on whether or not virtual catchers are being considered.

It may strike you that this plan is incoherent and ill-conceived. It might, for instance, seem as though someone took the initial idea of having some sort of extended baseball party in a part of the country where the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t quite as scary as elsewhere, then piled up more and more wild ideas into a heap of fantasy tall enough to overshadow any potential objections.

Some of these objections are of the sort which imply that this proposal should be taken seriously. “Would players agree to leave home for four months?” is one example, “What precautions would need to be taken in case an active player tested positive for Covid-19?” another. But then we move slowly, inexorably, into the realm of the surreal. “How do first basemen hold runners on while social distancing?” and “Can we teleconference mound visits?” are not questions that bode well for the seriousness of any proposal.

Look, I miss baseball too. I’d love nothing more than for the season to come back soon and give me something to watch/write about. But it’s impossible to have sports without the society to sustain it, and going to bizarre lengths to create the Arizona Baseball Thunderdome, even if MLB can actually pull it off (I have my doubts) is dodging that core problem.

Baseball will come back when the country is ready for it to come back. Trying to force it any sooner will lead to something unrecognizable.

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