Lidge: MLB Season Won't Happen Without "Radical" Changes

Forget about a shortened season; MLB is perilously close to losing the 2020 campaign altogether

Tiki and Tierney
April 09, 2020 - 9:52 am
Rob Manfred MLB Commissioner

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While the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the United States, Major League Baseball is reportedly mulling a plan in which the 2020 season is played in fan-less stadiums in and around Phoenix.

That is a drastic, radical idea, and for Brandon Tierney, the writing on the wall is clear: Forget about a condensed season; MLB is perilously close to losing the 2020 season altogether.

Former MLB closer and current MLB Network radio host Brad Lidge sees it the exact same way.

“Yes, I do,” Lidge said on Tiki & Tierney. “At the end of the day, every different sport is going to have to figure out its format and what’s going to work. It just so happens that baseball right now is the one that’s on the block, so to speak. If baseball can’t figure this out, then what are the other sports going to do when their time comes around? It’s just one of those things where everyone is looking at Major League Baseball.”

While evidence suggests that efforts to “flatten the curve” could be working, the United States isn’t out of the coronavirus woods yet. In fact, it might not be close.

“What does social distancing look like on the other side of that?” Lidge asked. “ We don’t know, but it’s not likely everyone is just going to cram into a stadium all of a sudden again. There’s going to have to be a lot of trial and error with baseball, and they’re going to have to be okay with basically having baseball on Mars in terms of the rules for a while. Otherwise there can’t be a season. At the end of the day, if baseball doesn’t make a radical, massive change this year, I don’t see any way for the guys to get on the field. In truth, I don’t really see any way for baseball to kind of happen as normal this year with or without fans. The game is going to look dramatically different.”

Baseball is reportedly considering several rule changes, including an electronic strike zone, seven-inning games, and players sitting in the stands – as opposed to the dugout – at least six feet apart.

“Because there’s some opportunities in this, it’s really all about getting the players union and the players themselves on board,” Lidge said. “The players have plenty of incentive to get out there because it is their salary on the line at some point. A lot of guys, you take a year out of the prime of their career, that doesn’t bode well for anybody. If they don’t make these massive, radical changes, they’re just not going to be able to get on the field this year.”