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Baseball crisis a national setback

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On a national scale, Major League Baseball opened its season last week. Like millions of Americans, I tuned into the opening weekend and was happy to finally feel a somewhat sense of normalcy in terms of television entertainment.

However, on Monday, news broke that a dozen Miami Marlins players tested positive along with two staff members, which caused the postponement of two games overall since their previous opponent, the Phillies, also had to be tested prior to their series with the Yankees.

The last few weeks I have mentioned my concern regarding national sports and how I just do not have faith that they will be able to pull off a full season in any of them.

Now, with this, it just solidifies my fears even more. I honestly cannot wrap my head around a scenario in which any of these sports are successful in the year 2020. Just too many people, even in bubble cities. Too much exposure to one another, too much movement, especially with such a contagious disease, I just don’t see it happening.

I mean, baseball could not make it out of the first week without an issue arising. Of all sports, baseball seems like it would be the easiest one to monitor and control. But even still, we are now in the middle of a crisis which I am not sure we will get out of. This new outbreak may be enough to shut down the MLB season and make other sports reconsider.

I hope I’m wrong and I hope to see these other leagues use this as a lesson and to continue to work toward safe returns. We are now seeing more and more players opt out of playing, including Dont’a Hightower, Patrick Chung, Brandon Bolden and Marcus Cannon from the New England Patriots, among many others across all sports.

I don’t blame them for opting out, especially considering many of these guys have young children at home. It’s just incredible that in late July we are still struggling to contain this virus. Something’s got to give.

Which once again, makes me question the likelihood of fall sports at the high school level. Some of the rumblings I am hearing behind the scenes are positive, some not so much, it’s been a mixed bag which probably does not bode well for us fans. It all depends on whether or not kids will be in the classroom, which still seems to be in the air at this point.

Either way, let's be happy to have the sports that we have and look forward to the eventual return. Stay safe everyone and have a good week.

Last week, Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon and the city revealed plans to revamp the fields down by Vets as well as the Mickey Stevens Complex. The upcoming facilities will include new football and soccer fields, tennis courts, stands, among a handful of other amenities. The city may also add its third ice skating rink, although that was not officially announced.

I explored this possibility a few months back when the rumor mill began to spin. Both Pilgrim and Toll Gate will be able to use the fields and it will essentially be the athletic center for all things regarding Warwick sports.

I said it a few months ago and will say it again … I love this idea and feel that it will only do great things for Warwick.

I know, I know, it’s going to require a whole lot of work and many dollars to accomplish. That section of town may look like a war zone for a few months and the construction could cause a few headaches for sure. However, to present these kids with a brand new, state of the art facility, especially during these days when anything sports related is anticipated, would be tremendous to see.

Not only will local athletes be able to enjoy a fresh facility, but it will also help unify our two schools and our community.

Buckle up, I’m about to go down a rabbit hole here.

Over the past few months, there have also been rumors regarding possible merging of teams between Pilgrim and Toll Gate. Nothing official, nothing really even close to being set, but I know there are some that feel that the two schools should combine forces in certain sports and compete at the Division I level of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. Numbers are down in a handful of sports for each school so I’m not against it, however, I do like the inner city rivalry.

Regardless of how I feel about that though, if they were to go down that road then this makes total sense. A spot centrally located that can accommodate each school. I love the Pilgrim-Toll Gate rivalry because the kids, for the most part, seem to like and respect one another. Of course, tensions sometimes run high but overall, it really is a friendly rivalry where kids just want to compete for turf.

If these merges eventually do happen, then welcoming these new squads to a beautiful new facility could be great for citywide camaraderie.

On top of all of that, this new complex will be great for retaining athletes. To be able to sell kids staying in local high schools on having a new place to play is definitely a boost and it would help shift the balance of power a bit against the private schools.

Lastly, this will be great for the local economy, even beyond just Warwick.

At last week’s presentation, Solomon and his team addressed the various large-scale sporting events that the city and state have hosted over the past few years and the money raised. To have a complex such as this and to be able to possibly host big-time events, it opens the door to so many opportunities and will drive the local economy. Who wouldn’t want to see more money close to home?

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