An update to the Royals Reporter and a few thoughts on the 2020 season

So it’s been almost a week since I last posted on this blog, which is the longest time for me without writing on this site in a while. As is the case with most bloggers here on the web, I have a day job and a career, which is primarily as a high school teacher and coach (I have been an educator for over 10 years now). However, while I am technically on “summer break”, I am currently working toward an Educational Leadership degree through the University of Notre Dame in order to become a school leader and administrator, and summers in the program tend to be rigorous course-load wise, which impedes my free time and energy. Case in point: last year I had zero posts in the month of July and that was not a coincidence, as I had little to no free time due to grad work.

That being said, this summer has been a little better than last for free time due to us not being on campus due to COVID. Granted, even though we have started the Summer semester earlier (two weeks to be specific), our class schedule is a little shorter than when we were on campus for four weeks. Instead of being in class from 8-6, we are only in class from 11-3, albeit with a rigorous amount of pre and post-class work for each class each day. Nonetheless, I do think I will be able to post a little more than a year ago, in which my blog pretty much ceased to exist from July through August.

So, I am writing this post to announce to those who follow this blog that my post-load will significantly decrease from now until the end of July. I will probably try to post twice a week from her one out, with a minimum of at least one post per week. One post will be about the Royals currently, whether it’s about the farm system, the current players, or even the state of the Royals should baseball start up again anytime soon. The other post will most likely be on Royals history, either a post on Royals players in the form of the SABR Biography project, or different games or moments in Royals history in the form of the SABR Games project.

This blog has been an enjoyable experience for me as a Royals baseball fan, and I wanted to write this post to let people know that the blog won’t be going away, but just will be abbreviated for a short while. Hopefully, once grad school is officially done this summer, I will get back to writing 3-5 posts a week like I had been doing this Spring.

Thank you for your support of the Royals Reporter and cheering on the Kansas City Royals, one of the best organizations in all of baseball!

Speaking of baseball in 2020, it seems less and less likely that a season will happen in 2020. Even if Rob Manfred ends all this drama and finally implements a season, it seems unlikely that a season will continue with the threat of COVID. It’s funny…over the last month, we have kind of forgotten about COVID, as protests and the crappy negotiations of MLB and MLBPA have dominated the media, both general and sports. Even though many places across the nation started to open up, it seemed like states did so not necessarily because it was safe to do so, but rather because people were growing incessantly impatient.

While things have been opening up, we as a nation haven’t really inched toward normalcy in this “re-opening” of the country. COVID cases have seemed to spike up again, and it seems like people of all ages have shown less restraint as they have come to re-visit their favorite institutions. This is especially evident in Kansas City, as I went to the River Market a couple of weeks ago, and I was absolutely floored by how many people were not wearing masks in such crowded areas. Furthermore, it seems last weekend in places like Westport was more evidence people have seemed to forget about how much panic and pain COVID causes our society just a couple of months prior.

Without a doubt, the negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA have been discouraging, especially once the CBA expires and they have to re-negotiate a new deal (another strike could be on the way). That being said, the latest closure of Spring Training facilities brings a whole lot of uncertainty in regard to the upcoming season and whether MLB can make sure that no players or employees will get affected by the virus. Unfortunately, considering the effects of COVID on athletes in all sports in the wake of re-openings, as well as MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred’s lousy handling of the labor negotiations during this stoppage, it’s hard as a baseball fan to feel confident that they will get everything figured out. Maybe they will agree to a game amount, and maybe they will actually play a few games this season. That being said, I am not optimistic that we will have a postseason or even finish the 2020 season at all, especially after news like this breaks out:

So what does this kind of uncertainty in baseball means for Kansas City and Royals fans? I would say 2021 becomes a lot more crucial and if anything 2020 will simply be a warm-up for 2021. It wouldn’t surprise me to see many Royals’ (and baseball players in general) contracts extend a year, especially when it comes to club control, which means a delay for key players like Hunter Dozier, Adalberto Mondesi, and Jakob Junis entering arbitration, as well as Jorge Soler and Maikel Franco from entering their final year of arbitration. I don’t know how that will all work, but I find it hard that the MLBPA will be cool with players losing a year on their contracts over a year that was barely played. In fact, I imagine free agency will look super interesting in the Winter of 2020, and doubt there will be much action at all, especially if only 40-50 games are played total. But then again, this will be a complicated issue, and it will be interesting to see what Manfred, Clark, the owners and players all decide upon once the season is finished in 2020…if it happens at all.

Whether we have a season or not, I am getting ready for 2021, and hope that a vaccine or some kind of treatment is found so that baseball can re-enter normalcy in Spring Training of 2021. I know that is optimistic, especially considering the challenges and time needed to find a vaccine for any disease, but that’s what I am hoping for. 2020 is a lost cause for me, even if it happens. I am already looking to the future and hoping that 2021 will be the return of a full 162 game season (and hopefully a full 40-round draft as well).

Yes, I am an optimistic Royals and baseball fan. But even these past few weeks of negotiations and COVID has been too much to handle.

It’ll be fun once baseball returns to Kauffman Stadium…to bad it won’t be until 2021…at the soonest.

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