Baltimore Orioles: Looking to KBO for MLB Reopening Ideas
May 5, 2020. Today, the Baltimore Orioles were scheduled to play the Blue Jays in Toronto as the second game of a three-game series.
If we were able to go to the Baltimore Orioles away game, you could have had $1 hot dogs at the Rogers Centre for Loonie Dog Night.
But, we’re waiting for a plan to get our favorite players back on the diamond in a way players, coaches, arena staff, and fans can all stay safe.
To prove that baseball can be played in a pandemic, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) started playing in empty stadiums. South Korea and the US have had very different COVID-19 experiences, but the MLB can still watch and learn from the KBO experience.
The earliest baseball highlight came from an old friend: Hyun Soo Kim who hit the first home run – a bomb to left field – of the KBO season. The 32-year-old outfielder who plays for the LG Twins. Another old friend, Adam Jones, shared a video on Twitter.
When it comes to reopening in a pandemic, there aren’t many models to follow. As the details of the COVID-19 virus are still unknown, there is nothing wrong with watching another sports organization open first. There are several recognizable former MLB players who will take the field in South Korea, and ESPN will air the games. Most will be aired in early AM hours, with some replays in the afternoon hours.
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The latest reopening idea for the MLB came last week, and Bob Nightengale with USA Today shared details of the plan. There are some positives to this idea, as at the heart it limits travel. The 30 teams would be temporarily realigned based on geography into three divisions of 10 teams: East, Central, and West.
This idea would mix AL and NL teams; the Orioles would be in the East along with most of the obvious other teams that are geographically close to the Atlantic Ocean. The Braves would be in the Central division, and the Pirates would swap into the East. Teams would play in their home ball parks, limiting their games to teams within their divisions.
The idea seems slightly more realistic than the earlier one where all of the teams played in the Phoenix area. With players in their ball parks, their families can be comfortable at home. The plan did not state whether the DH would be used or not – but that’s a discussion for another day.
For now, we’ll get our baseball fix from games played on the other side of the planet. Here’s hoping that Kim hits another dinger when his Twins face the Doosan Bears at 5:30 AM.