(CBSNewYork/CBS Local) — Quarantine may be the best opportunity people will ever have to catch up on all those television shows they’ve missed. However, it’s the worst time to be a sports fan. With coronavirus and the subsequent social distancing, all in-season sports have gone on hiatus. All out-of-season sports — namely football — have gone remote for all off-season activities.
MLB is exploring options for a properly distanced baseball, for which teams, umpires and relevant staff would isolate themselves, perhaps in Arizona, for a shortened, fan-free regular season. The NFL is still planning for a 16-game regular season in the fall. But is there a way to be safe and still play ball?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the country’s top infectious disease expert, believes there is. When asked by Snapchat’s Peter Hamby about the chances of baseball resuming this summer and college football and the pro football following in August, Fauci seemed open to the possibility.
“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci said. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [players and coaches] in big hotels, wherever you want to play. Keep them very well-surveilled. But have them tested like every week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”
Fauci has more pressing matters to attend to, with the country in the throes of the worst pandemic its seen in generations. However he did admit to missing baseball.
“I mean, people say, well you can’t play without spectators. Well, I think you’ll probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game. Particularly me,” Dr. Fauci said. “I’m living in Washington, we have the world-champion Washington Nationals, you know? I want to see them play again.”
MLB’s reported plan, still in the formulation process, would both keep out fans and protect the health of all involved. Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey would support hosting games. As Ducey said, “I just want everyone to know that Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state, at the time that it would be appropriate for public health if Arizona were in a position to reopen.”