Dempster On Opening Day: June Could Be Best-Case Scenario

Ryan Dempster explains why a 162-game season is unlikely

JRSportBrief
March 27, 2020 - 9:55 am
MLB Opening Day 2020

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Major League Baseball was supposed to host Opening Day on Thursday, but the coronavirus pandemic made that impossible. It remains to be seen when, or if, the 2020 season will occur. 

“Best-case scenario, you play 162 somehow, someway,” two-time All-Star Ryan Dempster told JR SportBrief. “The longer this goes on, the less that seems like a possibility because even if you say [on] May 1, ‘All right, we’re ready to start playing baseball again,’ [it’s] going to take guys three to four weeks to get ready. So now you’re talking about the beginning of June.”

Perhaps MLB can schedule double-headers here and there, but that is not a sustainable way to get to 162.

“Hey, man, you don’t take your Ferrari out and drive them as hard as you can two times a day,” Dempster said. “That’s the reality. You’re talking about high-performance vehicles, top-notch, world-class athletes that are out there. It’s inevitable that if you try to drive them that hard, they’re going to break down and things aren’t going to go the way you want them to.”

On Wednesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that a 162-game season is unlikely and that cancelling the season would be “a real tragedy.” His primary concern, however, is the safety of players and fans. Whenever baseball does return, Manfred believes the game will be part of the nation’s recovery.

“I think that you really have to . . . look at all parties concerned and [decide] what’s the best that you can [do to] put these guys in a position to succeed,” Dempster said. “Because ultimately when you do start playing baseball again, you want the best product out on the field for the fans and for the people there – and not something where people are afraid to go at it 100 percent. So you’re going to have to have some time where they ramp it up.”