Not much to report on the front of summer baseball, although I firmly believe we will be playing baseball this summer. It is a matter of when.
To this date, there has been very little information regarding the potential for a summer baseball season. With the MSHSL waiting to see what happens with high school spring sports, many are also curious what summer may bring.
Many area athletes and coaches are in a wait and see period where they are hoping for the best, but also preparing for the worst. Governor Tim Walz made it appear that it is highly unlikely students will return to a classroom this year. Doing so essentially eliminates the chances of high schools having their spring seasons. States like California, Indiana, Virginia, South Dakota, Georgia, and a few others have cancelled their spring seasons. States like Louisiana and Montana will be re-evaluating their spring seasons. Colorado has also postponed their spring sports participation until April 18. Montana is expected to make their decision on Monday, April 13. It has been unclear when the MSHSL will make their decision. Even if students return to schools on May 4, it will be difficult for the league to operate fluently. MSHSL rules indicate you need to have 10 days of practice before playing a full game. Hypothetically you could reduce that to seven days, get about two and a half to three weeks to play your season and then begin playoffs. Which is possible playing a condensed schedule loaded with doubleheaders, maybe. It is also a possibility games could be held without fans present and air a live stream. Many hypotheticals could be played out.
As far as our youth leagues go, Derrick Jenniges said in an e-mail that there has not been much discussion regarding what league directors may do. “We will be waiting for information from the MSHSL, the MBA(Minnesota Baseball Association), and other larger groups on their intent to play.” Jenniges was hopeful that the actions those leagues take can help give the youth baseball leagues a sense of direction. “I would not have anything against playing youth baseball in August if we had to wait that long.” Jenniges also notes that it is important that the league would have to consider the pros and cons of each situation that is presented. So our coach pitch, rookies, mites, and midgets leagues remain in a wait and see situation. The VFW and American Legion baseball programs are in the same boat. The American Legion cancelled their World Series and eight regional tournaments on Tuesday. On the forefront, this sounds like a bad deal. However, this decision is just for Regional tournaments and the American Legion World Series. State and local leagues are still planning on a season. This ruling actually gives teams a little more time to have players register and tryout for their local teams and can give teams that reside in Minnesota about two extra weeks of play.
The MBA is meeting on April 18 to discuss their motives for the 2020 season. Scheduled to begin Sunday, May 3, it is likely the season is pushed back to sometime in June and possibly July 1.
Like many things in the world today, baseball leagues are in a bit of a wait and see situation to see what will happen.