A GRIP ON SPORTS • The plan is simple. Before the month is out, baseball will again be played in parks around the nation. There will not be any fans, but the games will go on.
• Like everything that has happened since mid-March, that plan is subject to change. It all depends on the numbers.
Not batting average or WHIP or whatever, either. Cases. Deaths. The R0. COVID-19 is in toeing the rubber and has already began its windup. How we handle it will decide if baseball and, for that matter, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, soccer and, most importantly, football in the fall, will be played.
So far, it looks as if the country will strike out. But, despite being behind in the count, a couple of swing changes may mean success.
The easiest way to help is to wear a mask. Limiting the amount of particles that we exhale into the air around us limits the ease at which the disease transmits. It’s not a panacea, but a weapon against the spread. Heck, even if you don’t think masks work all that well, it’s not like it’s a terrible burden. Neither is keeping your distance from others. That helps too. Washing your hands consistently well. It helps. Staying away from crowded places, especially indoor crowded places.
To be honest, I miss baseball. It’s warm outside, the sun is shining and there is little new on TV. Baseball is what usually fills that gap. It would be nice if the players we love would be able to compete again – in a safe and sane atmosphere.
The same can be said for every other sport. For every other activity. But until we get a handle on the number of COVID-19 cases around the nation (and here in Washington, including Spokane), those things are in jeopardy.
Let’s look at it this way. If you’ve ever played a team sport, you understand many times success depends on players whose name doesn’t appear in the papers the next day.
A wide receiver whose outside route draws the safety from the middle, allowing the tight end to get free for a catch. The outfielder who lets his teammate know how far he is from the wall, allowing the home-run stealing catch to be made. The center whose off-ball screen frees the shooting guard for a game-winning 3. The forward whose run clears a defender, enabling a shot that otherwise may have been blocked.
Those unsung heroes are us. Right now, right here. It’s our chance to help. Let’s not screw it up.
WSU: Around the Pac-12 and college sports, no one can predict right now what the fall will look like. That’s not just anyone saying that. It’s Larry Scott. For once, he’s right. … Washington is building on its Eastside Catholic pipeline. … In basketball news, Colorado hopes real workouts will begin July 20.
Preps: Dave Nichols is back with the second part of his interview with new Greater Spokane League director Ken VanSickle.
Golf: Victoria Fallgren has owned the Washington Women’s Mid-Amateur golf championship the past few years. The Gonzaga women’s assistant golf coach’s latest victory leads off our weekly local briefs.
Mariners: As summer camp continues, the M’s seem to be further along than Scott Servais thought they would be. … Logan Gilbert will be with Seattle this year. The pitching prospect thought it would be in a different context. … As we mentioned yesterday, Felix Hernandez has opted out of pitching this season. … The M’s Black players have something to say and want to be sure they are heard.
• Want to read something fun? Well, this piece from The Athletic is for you. Dave Sims’ halting, odd, hard-to-understand call about the airport and a home run is included. A subscription is necessary, but you probably already knew that. Until later …