Even baseball enthusiast Bob Costas thinks the covid-19 season is crazy.
Costas, appearing on Chris Cuomo's CNN show Monday night, questioned whether the makeshift 60-game season can continue after 17 Miami Marlins tested positive for the disease.
The Marlins outbreak has led to the cancellation of the team's home opener against Baltimore, and the postponement of the Yankees series against the Phillies, who played the Marlins over the weekend although one Miami player had already tested positive to the disease.
Despite his misgivings, Costas expressed hope that the season can be salvaged. He characterized the season as someone walking across a tightrope with fingers crossed.
While the games are strange, I couldn't resist watching our fine Braves club against the Mets and now Tampa Bay, where the seats are empty even without a pandemic.
Chip Caray and Tom Glavine, social distanced in a booth at local Truist Stadium while the Braves were on the road, gave entertaining commentary from watching play on TV monitors. In the old days, radio announcers called games from telegraph reports. Now they call the action from digital feeds.
I was glad to see the return of players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Charley Culberson, Ozzie Albies and Covid-19 survivor Freddie Freeman. Some players wore masks, others didn't. Manager Brian Snitker kept his mask on, even when coming out to the mound to change pitchers. A runner on first base had no way to social distance from the first baseman. The outfielders of course generally social distance, but Ronald still wore his mask.
The absence of fans wasn't that strange. The cardboard cutouts representing spectators reminded me of the electronic baseball game I had as a kid, with its fans painted onto aluminum stands.
The screwy schedule would have old-time baseball writers like Red Smith shaking their heads. The Braves remain in the National League, but their 60 games don't include any longtime senior circuit rivals like the Cubs, the Dodgers, the Giants and the Reds.
The Braves play a number of games against American League East teams the Yankees, the Red Sox, Tampa Bay and Toronto, now in Buffalo after Canada booted the Blue Jays out over coronavirus fears.
Unless they make the playoffs, the Braves won't compete against National League teams outside their division. The standards of a balanced regular season schedule and league teams competing against each other has been tossed out. This was a necessity because of the reduced schedule, but it still takes away from the ideal of fair competition.
After the Braves won an extra-inning game against the Mets, everyone was talking about how much they loved the new rule to place a player on second base when a tie game goes to the 10th inning. I suppose the rule shortened the game somewhat, but it still seems a violation of the game's spirit.
While the games were fine, I won't be heart-broken if this contrived season is scrapped.