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Elephant Rumblings: Scott Boras calls for baseball to return

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MLB news roundup

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Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The sun comes up on another day, and we’re still no closer to learning if, when, or how baseball will return in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. After former player Trevor Plouffe leaked a report on Monday about a June 10 spring training and July 1 season opener, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and Jon Heyman of MLB Network both followed up to make clear that nothing has been decided yet. Rosenthal went on to explain that there is still high optimism in having a 2020 season, but that even once it gets going it could be “subject to frequent change” as the pandemic evolves over time.

MLBPA union chief Tony Clark delivered a similar message. He agreed that “we want to play,” but stressed that all the ideas and concepts being publicly discussed are just rumors for now.

Meanwhile, agent Scott Boras stepped to the forefront of the charge to bring MLB back. In an op-ed for the New York Times, Boras waxed poetic about historical examples of baseball healing a wounded nation, like a cultural elixir. He then called for the sport to return in order to “provide a release for our country desperately in need of live sports entertainment,” even citing Dr. Anthony Fauci in regard to the great pastime serving as a mental health boost for the nation.

Boras makes a valid point, though it’s nearly impossible to take it seriously coming from him. His reputation precedes him as a master negotiator, and he presumably holds an immense financial interest in the resumption of play, so even if his latest plea is genuine it still feels like a sales pitch.

And so we wait another day. There is hope, though, on the other side of the world. In Taiwan, the CPBL, which got its season going in mid-April, could begin allowing attendance of up to 1,000 fans per game starting Friday thanks to a new recommendation from the country’s CDC. It’s not a done deal yet, but it’s a promising step forward.

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