My Pitch: Where to go from here?

Posted

We are still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, and unfortunately, there does not seem to be an end in sight. Of course, in the grand scheme of things there is … but for the next couple weeks, it looks like it will be more of the same.

I am still hopeful to see a spring sports season. Massachusetts has been very persistent in its efforts and is planning on getting things started in the first week of May, so I am waiting for Rhode Island to follow suit.

I’ll admit, this entire crisis has become much greater and more dangerous than I would have ever expected. If you asked me a month ago, I would have said playing a spring season was a no-brainer. Now, with the sharp increase in cases and deaths across the country, I would definitely encourage the league and the state to continue to exercise caution.

That said though, I am optimistic that there will be time for a spring sports season. Although some experts believe that this will drag into the summer and possibly beyond, many others feel that by late April, early May, we will be on the down slope.

The question in my eyes is: How late could we start the spring sports season for it to be worth it?

The spring season is the shortest to begin with, so if we are only able to have a 3-4 week regular season, would that be enough time to cram in a shortened schedule, create a playoff bracket and crown an eventual champion?

If you ask me, the question is a resounding yes.

Let’s not get crazy here, I am not advocating for teams to be playing four or five games per week. That would absolutely take away from their studies, and as much as athletes are chomping at the bit to the hit the field, they deserve to have a balanced schedule.

But if they were to play, let’s say three games per week over a three-week period? They would have to come up with some tiebreakers for playoff seeding, and certainly some teams would feel cheated out of a playoff spot, but at the same time, the intensity of each game would be extraordinary and it would almost feel like a playoff atmosphere each and every game.

There would also be some cramming in the playoffs, but to be frank, who cares as long as it’s not over the top?

We all want sports, and if we can hit the field by say, mid-May, then why not? I am all for an abbreviated season.

There is also the local Little League season as well.

Once again, I am absolutely not advocating to put kids at risk, especially youngsters that are still in elementary school.

However, those kids deserve to have that Little League experience, and to see a summer without All-Star tournaments would be sad to say the least.

Now, cramming a Little League season would be a bit tougher since there are stricter guidelines considering the age difference. Even if there are no league champions and the games are not counted on the scoreboard, kids deserve the chance to hit the field one way or the other. Again, assuming by mid-May it is safe to play.

For the time being, let’s continue to be safe and smart. Stay home, and try to make the most of this tough situation.

For those who are not essential employees and are truly trapped in the house, find new hobbies, spend every nice day in your backyard, even if it is just sitting outside and enjoying the weather, do whatever you need to do to be safe.

I love sports as much as anyone, and I am anxiously awaiting their return, but let’s remember the danger that the coronavirus has caused in the country, and unfortunately, right in our home state.

Be sure to keep up with the Warwick Beacon, Cranston Herald and Johnston Sun Rise for updates. If there are any sports stories that you wish to submit, feel free to reach me at alexs@rhodybeat.com, or shoot me a message through our Facebook page.

I wish you all good luck and good health during this crisis, and I look forward to continuing to provide coverage as we work our way toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

Comments

1 comment on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
John Stark

RIIL looking at May 4 as first day for tryouts, with no official game/meet/match prior to May 11. They're looking at June 27 as the last day for everything. Personally, I don't see why you couldn't go a couple of weeks later. Baseball will be impacted the most. If you thought pitching depth was important before, watch how this unfolds. Especially when we get the inevitable 3 or 4 days of rain.

Tuesday, April 7