The Red Sox and Rays played a spring training game tonight. The Red Sox won 3-1. Eduardo Rodriguez was good, tossing four scoreless innings on six hits and a walk with a whopping ten strikeouts. Ryan Brasier, Heath Hembree and Austin Brice all came in after that and tossed one scoreless inning each. Good game for the pitchers who are expected to contribute this year! On offense, Jackie Bradley Jr. stayed hot with two hits. Xander Bogaerts finally got his first hit of the spring and also drew a walk. Jonathan Lucroy had two hits and Kevin Plawecki had a double. Boy, that backup catcher competition is heating up!
Anyway, this all just feel so goddamn weird to write about. Spring training stats don’t matter, but the actual playing of games matters for players to get ready and for us to build our anticipation for the season as it’s right around the corner. But what if it’s not? What if Eduardo Rodriguez is just randomly throwing exhibition pitches when the season isn’t going to start on March 26 like it’s scheduled to?
As you’ve probably heard by now, the NBA just suspended their season after Rudy Gobert of the Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. The NHL is making an announcement tomorrow, though as of now they’re not expected to follow suit yet. The NCAA tournament will be played in essentially empty arenas, and cancelling the event all together is not off the table. Meanwhile, MLB is stubbornly holding out on doing, well, anything. They aren’t even taking the bare minimum step of playing games in empty parks. They are considering moving games from high-risk areas to lower-risk areas, showing a total lack of common sense.
Everything around this entire situation is changing so rapidly — we had a presidential address, Tom Hanks tested positive, Rudy Gobert tested positive and the NBA season was suspended in a span of like 25 minutes — that at this point it’s hard to imagine baseball being played on March 26. At the very least, it seems unimaginable that fans will be in the parks if games are played.
People writing about sports are just about the least important people in all of this, but I gotta say, I feel really goddamn weird about this. The world is crumbling around me and I’m writing about Eduardo Rodriguez striking out ten in a spring training game, and I don’t know what other options there are. I’m just going to keep doing this until, well, I don’t. Tomorrow I’ll have a season preview on Phillips Valdez. Unless I don’t, because who knows what tomorrow morning will bring.
The only other thing there is to say is please, please take this seriously. That goes for MLB decision makers, and it goes for all of us. This is no time to take things lightly.