For the first time in 75 years in MLB history, the all-star game will not happen. The all-star weekend, which includes the home run contest and all that fun stuff, was scheduled to take place at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Due the coronavirus, however, the league has pulled the plug on the MLB all-star game this year.
First Time Since 1945
Already the MLB is struggling with returning. At training camps, players are testing positive for the virus. The league already has an uphill battle returning, so they canceled their midsummer classic. It’s the first time since 1945, because of World War II, the MLB all-star game didn’t happen.
A Matter of Safety
Right now, Dodgers Stadium is a testing site for the coronavirus. The historic stadium, which has a famously good and bad history in the city of LA, will host the game in 2022 now. The commissioner of the MLB, Rob Manfred, released the following explanation:
“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game, which is 2022. I want to thank the Dodgers organization and the City of Los Angeles for being collaborative partners in the early stages of All-Star preparation and for being patient and understanding in navigating the uncertainty created by the pandemic. The 2022 All-Star celebration promises to be a memorable one with events throughout the city and at picturesque Dodger Stadium.”
A fun fact: The Chavez Ravine stadium is the third oldest stadium in baseball. It’s not the nicest, most convenient, or modern stadium, but it does have character, history, and one of the greatest views a baseball stadium could ask for.
The Response From L.A.
Right now, the MLB all-star game is hardly a major sacrifice to the city of Los Angeles, although it probably would’ve brought in tourists and big spenders and vendors. It’s no time for an all-star game, though, with Los Angeles nowhere near able to host sporting events with limited attendance. In response to the cancellation, the polarizing mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, said:
“COVID-19 has forced us to make a lot of tough calls and sacrifices — and while it may have disrupted our plans for this year, we can’t wait to welcome baseball’s best to Los Angeles for the 2022 All-Star Game. The Dodgers have always brought Angelenos together and baseball has helped America heal time and again. I look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world to our city and Dodger Stadium for this Midsummer Classic.”
A Shortened Season
It was a mess for the MLB trying to figure out solutions for the upcoming season. Opening day was delayed, but as the spread of the coronavirus wasn’t slowing down, major league baseball looked unlikely. The solution: a shortened 60-game season with no spectators. Negotiating new contracts and deals with players haven’t been easy. Some players don’t even plan on playing out of fear of getting sick or making their family members ill.
Training camp officially started today. Players are playing in their homefields rather than Florida and Arizona, where training camp usually takes place. Players must get tested, and if the test comes back negative, they can enter training camp. The actual season itself is scheduled to begin July 23rd or 24th, if all goes to plan. The season would end on September 27th with the ten best teams going into the playoffs.
The negotiations between the players unions and the league weren’t easy and smooth. The hurdles the MLB face are far from over, though. They must continue to practice and play safely and responsibly at this uncertain time.