A Tale of 2 Restarts: The NBA and MLB


   Arenas and stadiums closed. Fans left with nothing to watch. Employees and athletes stranded in the dark. All in the blink of an eye. Why? There’s one culprit that anyone can think of: Covid-19. Like every other aspect of our lives, coronavirus has single handedly been the reason for the mass cancellations and closures. Luckily, Adam Silver and Rob Manfred seemingly found a way to bring two of our beloved sports, baseball and basketball, back to TV.. However, the question that was asked and left unanswered still remains: is it safe?

   This question is very much like a tale of 2 cities, with the differences in policy between the NBA and MLB. On one hand, the NBA has been relatively successful in preventing a league-wide outbreak of Covid-19, with the use of the ‘bubble’ in Orlando, rapid testing, and strict safety guidelines.

   On the flip side, the MLB has been a different story. Multiple players on different teams have tested positive for coronavirus, and in some cases, either the team, the series, or the league has shut down their scheduled games. Freshman Sonia Ally says, “I think the MLB needs to prioritize the safety of the league over any financial reasons they might be trying to salvage. They come first. Always.” What has the NBA done differently to control the outbreak of Covid-19?

   Well, for one, the NBA started the restart in the playoffs. Ever since Rudy Golbert, Utah Jazz center tested positive in Oklahoma City, the league was brought to a halt. One week turned into a few months, and the world was informed of the NBA’s restart plan. Players, who could opt out to play for the remainder of their team’s season, made the choice to travel to ‘the bubble’, a series of 4 hotels and 3 arenas located in Walt’s Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

  Senior Amaya John says, “It’s kind of crazy how fast the NBA shutdown, kind of like our school. The last day was March 13, the day of the spring pep rally. Little did we know that would be the last time we would step foot on campus.” For a few weeks, teams would get back into the game, practice, and get ready for their first playoff foe.

   Team and media members are tested frequently, and are isolated if a positive test were to emerge; but so far, none have. Media are required to wear masks and stand at or over 6 ft away from any team members. Not to mention the daily temperature checks, medical questionnaires, and pulse ox measurements. Sophomore Jadyn Wilson says, “At first, I’m sure a lot of people were skeptical about the NBA coming back. But, it’s been pretty successful what they’ve done.” All in all though, one could say the restart has been a success, for no one has tested positive since the NBA came back. 

   The MLB, on the other hand, has been what some might call, a disaster in preventing outbreaks. 10 of the 30 teams have been shut down because of coronavirus, and more than 20 games have been postponed. Junior Megan Lear says, “I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I’m worried for the safety of the teams. With all of the rapid outbreaks emerging in different places, maybe they should implement more safety guidelines like the NBA has.” Unlike the NBA, Major League Baseball had to start the season with coronavirus in the picture, with opening day being held on July 23 this year. 

   Most recently, the New York Mets and Yankees series has been pushed back due to the Mets’ positive test results among multiple players and personnel. Rob Manfred, the MLB Commissioner, has already turned down the idea of playing baseball in a ‘bubble,’ as many people cite the drastic differences in policy between the 2 leagues. 

   As the NFL and college football prepares to make a possible comeback, the world will watch the policies implemented to keep everyone safe. One thing remains certain, though: fans will continue to watch their beloved sports, grateful that they are a constant in this pandemic reality.