HOUSTON – Major League Baseball had high hopes of starting their season in mid-May, however, due to the continued coronavirus crisis, that target date might not be possible.
As many professional leagues are weighing the players, employees, and fans’ safety — it appears sports will be on hold longer than anticipated. Despite the delay, team owners are optimistic that a 162-game regular season can still take place in 2020.
For new Astros General Manager James Click, who was hired in February, he faces the challenge of reviving the team after the sign-stealing scandal and now managing a team during a national pandemic. Click spoke with KPRC 2 Sports Director Randy Mcllvoy Friday morning via Zoom on how he’s managing the team and the possibility of the MLB season being canceled.
“Still trying to figure out what normal looks like,” Click said. “I had a pretty quick start here and I had to get up to speed as quick as possible.”
He went on further to say he and the staff have been creating contingency plans, staying in close talks with major league baseball, other important personnel in this time. When it comes to the players, he said that’s another challenge with the guidelines and rules set in place.
“It’s a lot of phone calls — it’s a lot of text. I am trying to stay in touch as much as I need to be without being bothersome or nosy and there is obviously limits on what we can all do,” said Click.
He added that even though the facilities are closed, players are coming up with unique techniques to do drills and practice. He said the strength and conditioning coaches are doing a great job of making sure guys stay in shape and are ready to when the season resumes.
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, one of his major concerns is not only the safety of the people but also if the 2020 MLB season will be canceled.
“We just don’t know. We don’t know as a society. We don’t know as a country as a state and as a city when we are going to be safe to get back out there”, Click said. “I am personally waiting for someone to come with an amazing test or treatment plan or something like that. Maybe there is something out there that can help us get through this much quickly. In the face of lack of knowledge and uncertainty we obviously have to consider any and all possibilities. Hopefully, any and all possibilities doesn’t include not having a season in 2020—that’s the last thing that anyone wants.”
Click also stressed that this societal issue is bigger than baseball and that if the season is canceled, MLB will find a way to get through the downtime. His message to everyone is to stay safe.
“I really hope everybody out there is staying safe and following the guidelines, and hopefully if we take this thing serious and treat this like it’s a big deal then it won’t be, said Click. Let’s all stay safe and hopefully we’ll see you all out there on the field soon.”