While Major League Baseball and the players union are exploring various avenues for starting the delayed season, at least one superstar isn’t convinced the season will be held at all.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich told WEEI Radio in Boston on Tuesday that he believes there is as good a possibility as not that the coronavirus pandemic will wipe out the 2020 campaign entirely.
“There’s a very real chance that we don’t play as much as there is that we do play. I would say it is probably 50-50,” Yelich said on the “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” show.
The radio hosts, Boston media personality Glenn Ordway, former Boston Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni and former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria, asked Yelich about the possible MLB plan reported Monday night that could see the season started with closed-door games between teams sequestered in the Phoenix area.
“I think late last night was the first time I’d actually heard of that plan,” the 2018 National League MVP said. “I think a lot of guys have been talking about it today, obviously. I think there are a lot of challenges to that plan.
“I don’t think that is the plan that they are for sure going with. I could be wrong. I would have to look into it a little more, but it would definitely be challenging.
“Now, maybe that is something that we have to do just because of the times that we’re in, and if that is our only option to play then maybe it is our only option to play. I think there’s definitely a lot of hurdles and challenges that need to be talked through.”
Yelich added that he has heard no whispers regarding a possible timetable for a rescheduled Opening Day.
“Nobody really knows a start date or when that would even be a possibility, so that is the most challenging thing,” Yelich said. “It is hard to plan for when we’re going to start when we don’t know when we are going to start and that impacts the schedule. There’s a lot of options, and all this depends on when we’re able to start and really if we’re able to start.
“From the players’ point of view, we all want to play, obviously, but, we want to make sure it is safe and that it’s the right time to do it.”
Yelich, 28, finished runner-up in NL MVP voting last season after leading the league in batting average (.329), on-base percentage (.429) and slugging percentage (.671) while adding 44 homers and 97 RBIs.
In 2018, he paced the NL in batting average (.326) and slugging percentage (.598) while amassing 36 homers and 110 RBIs.
In his major league career with the Miami Marlins (2013-17) and the Brewers (2018-19), Yelich has a batting line of .301/.383/.492 with 139 homers and 500 RBIs in 920 games. He has received three Silver Slugger awards and one Gold Glove honor.
Yelich signed a nine-year, $215 million contract with the Brewers this offseason.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)