The National Basketball Association may be on its way to a return. Major League Soccer has reached an agreement to restart its season. An NFL season seems like a distinct possibility, as teams prepare for pivoted training camps in the coronavirus era.
And baseball? America’s pastime? Where is it? Still arguing over money, same as the previous two weeks.
The real danger that looms over baseball isn’t the prolonged sparring session between millionaires and billionaires. No, it’s the possible death knell of being pro sports’ lone holdout after years of looking for ways to recapture its market share.
A couple months ago, we were talking about how baseball might have a lot to gain from being the first sport back from its coronavirus shutdown. We imagined a sports world where baseball was the main event. Where fans got to fall in love with Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña Jr. and gush over Mike Trout and Christian Yelich instead of debating LeBron James’ legacy or whether Tom Brady’s Bucs stood a chance in the NFL.
Now, we’re looking at the inverse: What if baseball is the only major sport that doesn’t come back? What if — in a move that could really tell us baseball’s place in the modern sports ecosystem — baseball stays on the sidelines and we’re so consumed with LeBron and Tom Brady that the majority of sports fans don’t even miss baseball?