clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SnakePit Round Table: Social distancing edition

New, 36 comments

Every other seat at the round table, please

US-HEALTH-VIRUS Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

So, how’s it going…

Turambar: It goes. Our wedding essentially cancelled and I was laid off like many of my fellow hospitality coworkers, so not great. Honestly though my wife (we got married, but no ceremony) and I are doing great, but adjusting to a new reality. Blessedly my wife has a killer job so my stress of being laid off is honestly not to pressing, and it gives me an opportunity to seek out new and more exciting career paths.

Makakilo: I’m grateful that my friends are healthy and that I am healthy. Despite the social distancing and stay-at-home, my life feels abundant: I relish my social interactions by text or phone! Saturday I picked up my weekly bag of vegetables at a local farm. A box of Clif Bars arrived in the mail.

On the down side, I was outbid in the charity auction for one of Dan Haren’s bobbleheads, Barry Zito. The current bid is $375. The Derek Jeter bid is at $690. I admire his idea of auctioning the bobbleheads for charity.

Keegan: I’m happy to announce that I became engaged yesterday. Believe it or not that life actually does go on and positive news is to be had during these times. Very fortunate to still be working. My employer has now transitioned almost the entirety of the staff to work from home. I’m definitely finding as many positives out of all of this as possible. We will prevail.

ISH95: First of all, congrats to the happy couple!! I wish you a lifetime of love and joy :)

Life has been… interesting. The fast food world is changing by the hour at this point and it’s hard to keep up. Trying to stay safe and healthy, which is hard when I’m interacting with hundreds of people a day, and no one sees the need to socially distance from the guy behind the counter. Add in some other stresses with my wife’s career and health, and it makes for interesting times. We’re strong, though, and in a lot of ways are better of than most. Plenty of food, haven’t been laid off, and we have each other, so we’ll be okay when it all pans out :)

Jack: First and foremost, thankfully, nobody in our family has gotten sick yet that we know of. I have friends and colleagues that have been touched by this already however, and unfortunately one death. A former colleague’s mom died of Covid-19 this week, and both he and his dad are sick. He was working in China, left China in January to go stay with his family thinking it would be safer. They are from New Rochelle. Life is not fair.

Like most everyone else we have many worries and concerns about family and friends, but of particular concern for us are my son and his family that are currently under lockdown in their apartment in Vietnam. Him and his wife have 2 kids and they are expecting their 3rd to arrive June. There were several positive cases in their apartment complex, and so VN Government locked everyone in their apartments. They can’t go out at all. They were tested 5 days ago, but haven’t been given results and Government won’t say how long they are locked in for. No further communication after the tests were given and lockdown orders issued.

They were originally living in China, but could not go back there after Chinese New Year vacation ended January 26th, so after staying in Manila a couple weeks where my daughter in law is from, they went to Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon) in VN. My son’s company also has business there so they figured at least he could be productive while not being able to return to China. It was supposed to be temporary. But they can’t go back to China, and their apartment there with all their stuff, as China has now banned all foreigners from entering, (ironic, right ?) and they can’t go to Manila as that city is on lockdown, and hospitals are overflowing and refusing patients ! (Like many places, their case counts are totally fake and under reported) and they can’t come back as the Daughter in Law and her daughter don’t have USA visas, and the USA wouldn’t allow them in anyway. Their visas in VN expire May 12th, and it’s possible they could be deported. If deported they would be split up, with Wife and daughter going to Manila, and My son and his son maybe coming back here.

They are quite literally COVID-19 refugees at this point, and sitting on pins and needles waiting to see what VN Government will do with them.

Steven: Extremely grateful I switched to a company that transitioned every employee to work from home. At my old position I think I’d be SooL without any income except some modest savings that might keep me afloat but like I mentioned, I have no worries except learning everything I can at this position. Other than that I’m just trying to keep sane, watching movies I’ve missed and taking walks to not go stir-crazy.

Jim: I haven’t left the block of SnakePit Towers since March 17. My company sent me to work from home that day, so I’ve got set up in the basement and have been operating out of there. Mrs. S is still in her building, but as ASU were the main occupants, there’s almost no-one there. She has been in charge of foraging, so has basically turned into Imperator Furiosa. It has been strange, but so far, not horrible. No direct friends or relations have yet caught the virus, so we’re

What are you doing to occupy yourself, in the absence of baseball?

Turambar: Lots of Call of Duty Warzone, reading and job hunting.

Makakilo: Each day, I create a small fun project. I painted my garden gnome and with help from friends I named it Nicky. I sent a fun birthday card to a friend who is self-isolating. In the dark, I took a picture of two glow-in-the-dark aliens. With a straw, I blew bubbles of colored water and let them drop onto my watercolor painting of a rainy day with 4 flowers in a grassy field.

Keegan: I foresee plenty of wedding planning in my future to keep me occupied. Working from home has made it much easier for me to work longer hours. In my line of work, this is a much needed opportunity to catch up and get healthy while others are driving less.

ISH95: Working! Lol but other than that, just trying to remember what day of the week it is, so I can do my Snake Bytes. Also thinking about using my free time to bring back Fang Food. Stay tuned

Jack: Exercise twice a day, Gardening, which we are really expanding and getting into big time now. Also still trying to coordinate some footwear material business I was working on before all this happened. The factory we work with in China has re-opened. Communicating with family via phone, text, and video. I also have to manage my 85 year old mother’s affairs. She lives in assisted living group home in South Scottsdale. I feel like she’s a sitting duck.

Lots of reading, studying the pandemic, and of course way too much twitter.

A lot of what I’ve been doing is also trying to facilitate my plan to avoid the first wave. I figure we need to self isolate 3 months minimum to be able to do that. I feel like if we can avoid getting it until after this first wave, even if one of us does get seriously ill, the hospitals might not be so overwhelmed by that point, or be past the peak. There will be more equipment available to protect health care workers, more ventilators, and perhaps even some effective therapeutics will have been proven out enough to mute the damage this thing does. Remember this virus doesn’t just kill...it also maims. Many are “recovering” only to end up with extremely scarred and diminished lung capacity.

Steven: Working a lot, and when I’m not working crying myself to sleep while watching baseball movies and Randy Johnson highlights.

Jim: Watching a lot more movies and TV. Best things seen so far in the quarantine include Netflix docu series Tiger King, which has proved every bit as insane as I was told; The Hunt, which was considerably more nuanced than the controversy would have you believe; and Banshee Chapter, a horror film which combines H.P Lovecraft and MK-ULTRA to remarkably creepy effect.

Do you agree with the decision to have a severely cut-down draft?

Turambar: With all that’s going on I can’t say I even knew about that until now.

Makakilo: Thinking about the minor leagues and their ability to field teams with about 800 fewer signed players, the decision concerns me. On the other hand, thinking about the Majors, I agree with the decision. Three thoughts:

  • It’s a given that drafted prospects have great passion and talent, and they are highly motivated to perform well. However cutting the draft adds an intangible that can make a difference. When chosen for a small elite group, passionate people are imprinted with the imperative to perform beyond their abilities. Drafted prospects may perform better because they are part of a small elite group.
  • After drafted, prospects retain significant bargaining power. If their bonus is too small (such as $20,000) they can go back to school (except college seniors). In addition, undrafted prospects can go back to school. My guess is those who have the right-stuff will continue to play baseball and eventually get drafted.
  • Very talented prospects sometimes have sky-high salary-demands. Sometimes they get bypassed by teams who worry they can’t sign the prospect. Other teams draft and sign a player higher-than-he-deserves and use the saved money to sign bypassed players. If there are only 5 draft rounds, such strategic moves are much more risky for teams. Does that mean less sky-high demands, does that mean teams change their draft strategy, or does that mean some very talented players don’t get drafted and signed this year?

Keegan: Honestly feel that it’s too premature to even be discussing. Who knows what those amateur players are even doing to stay occupied right now.

ISH95: IDK, it seems a little crappy of MLB and the Player’s Union at first glance, but that sort of stuff has never been my area of expertise.

Jack: It sucks for the amateurs that are going to be left out or delayed in their chance to play pro ball, and less money for amateurs signing overall, but the teams’ probably had to do this. They are being somewhat opportunistic perhaps, as by extension such a shortened draft certainly means the MiLB contraction is going to happen. However one thing I thought of was that it would not shock me to see a couple of the less solvent Major League franchises go belly up as well. I don’t know what MLB as a whole would do in response to a major default/ bankruptcy on the part of say the Rays, A’s, & Marlins. I’m not predicting that, but in these circumstances, anything can happen.

Steven: It hurts the players more than anything, especially those with question marks who normally would go in the 10th round or higher. It’s on the end of March, why make such a drastic change to the draft when we won’t know what will happen next week let alone in June.

Jim: Yeah. the minor leaguers to be are the ones getting hosed, again. However, as soon as the NCAA canceled the College World Series, it basically meant this year’s draft was going to be an utter crap-shoot. Yeah, pick players who haven’t actually appeared in meaningful competition for four months.

When do you think Opening Day will take place?

Turambar: June seems still possible, but with or without fans is up in the air. Honestly, if this virus continues its meteoric rise we may be looking at July or not at all.

Makakilo: I will stick with my optimistic guess of July 10.

Keegan: I said June a few weeks ago, but that seems entirely too optimistic now. It depends on what one would consider “Opening Day”. I would not be surprised to see sports leagues start up, but not have fans in attendance. It would be a reasonable plan of action and a much welcomed distraction. However, Opening Day, in my opinion, would be that first game back in attendance as a fan. I don’t see that happening until August unfortunately.

ISH95: I’m just hoping there is a season at this point. If there is, I’m guessing 4th of July. Will there be fans? Honestly, don’t know.

Jack: Remember all it took was one NBA player to test positive to shut down the entire USA sports world. What’s going to be different in 2-3 months ? There is no vaccine. This virus does not magically go away in a few weeks or months.

I had mentioned in a comment that they will probably need to have rapid, immediate testing available at the door to every clubhouse to be able to play games, (whether played in front of fans or not.) Basically if you are going to stick everyone 29 guys, plus coaches, support staff (medical staff, trainers, clubbies, front office people, etc) they need in a locker room together, you need to be able to test everybody who walks in and out of there. How long does that take?

Some might think they should just take the chance and let it rip. I honestly can’t figure out how they do it safely. There is no vaccine. The virus is not going away. The only way most people are going to be “protected” from it is if we reach herd immunity, meaning 80% of the population, or 250 Million Americans will have already caught the virus and have at least some amount of immunity, even if temporary. But If 250M Americans catch the virus within a 3 month span, (which is actually almost impossible to happen that quickly) then you’d be looking at minimum 1 Million or more dead, as 10% of those cases would end up in hospitals or just left to die at home since hospitals would be too full to even take them. (Already happening in Manila today) That’s why they keep talking about flattening the curve. If you spread it out over 18 months then far fewer people die. So I don’t have the answers.

Steven: I think they’ll take a hard look at some of the foreign leagues and see what they do before making a decision like that. But if I were a betting man I’d bet this season is canceled.

Jim: At this point, I have little or no idea. MLB is definitely going to want to get some playoffs in - otherwise, I’m pretty sure FOX and TNT are going to want the biggest refund in the history of sports broadcasting. But will there be enough time to get to that point? Don’t forget, even once travel is back to normal, and cities come out of lockdown, you’re still looking at basically a reset of spring training, and another month to get players back to being game-ready. I’d like to see the season “start” with an All-Star Game on July 4, but whether that will be possible… Things change so rapidly, I wouldn’t bet on it.

How do you see the season unfolding thereafter?

Turambar: It’ll be a half season or less than that. We’re taking breakneck speed baseball here, with double headers galore and lots of runs being scored due to unprepared and overtaxed pitchers. Honestly if this season goes on it might be the most exciting ever.

Makakilo: I will stick with my guess of a half-season, possibly with some games played without fans.

Keegan: They should make it fun. I really like some of the ideas I’ve seen thrown around here in the comments. Expand the playoffs and make it a tournament style. Play split squad games. It’s going to be a challenge to squeeze in 162 games without some double headers.

ISH95: I don’t think it will resemble what we know as baseball very much. It’s going to feel very similar to if they cancelled a marathon and replaced it with a 100 yard dash. It will still be fun though, just in a very different way.

Jack: See my above comment. I don’t think they play at all in 2020.

Steven: I’m with Jack, no games at all in 2020.

Jim: A sprint makes upsets more likely. Over a 50-game period, anything at all can happen. Remember, the reigning World Series champions started off the year 19-31. I’d be delighted if the same fate were to befall the Dodgers or Yankees, simply through the vagaries of random chance. It’s going to be a season unlike any other, that’s for certain.

Would you want to see a World Series, NOT involving the D-backs, at Chase Field?

Turambar: As long as it doesn’t involve the Dodgers I can live with it. Would be great for our battered economy for sure.

Makakilo: “Why attend a non D-back game,” morphed into, “It’s fun to visit Phoenix,” and, “I could talk with fellow Snake-Pitters!” So yes!

Keegan: I wouldn’t mind at all. We’ve had huge success here with baseball events in general that don’t involve the D’backs (World Baseball Classic, All Star Game, Spring Training). Also, Chase Field is a totally different monster when it is packed to the brim. The energy in there is unbelievable. I just watched Game 7 of the ‘01 World Series on FS1 this past week and was blown away by the crowd. Imagine if once again that venue brought the country together for a brief moment in time.

ISH95: hell yes. Obviously I’d prefer the Diamondbacks, but baseball is baseball, and playoff baseball is the best. I’d be down there in my Sedona Red rooting for anyone but the Dodgers.

Jack: Before there is a vaccine, do we really want hundreds of thousands of extra non essential people traveling to Arizona ?

Steven: Of course! Despite what the Dbacks say, Chase Field is still a great place to catch a game, especially in late September when the weather is trending down.

Jim: I’m kinda meh with it. Not sure I can see myself paying World Series prices for a game between teams I’m neutral about at best.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is all over?

Turambar: Head to our favorite bar or restaurant and party really hard.

Makakilo: Attend Zumba and Yoga classes. Before class, hug each of my friends.

Keegan: Take an extravagant vacation.

ISH95: Take my wife out for a date. I’m thinking Different Pointe of View on North Mountain. Chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings.

THEN, the first Wednesday after the bars open, I’m going to restart my karaoke show, and we are going to throw the biggest damn party that bar has ever seen. Normally, my show is from 8-12, but we’re going to go from 6 until last call, or until the bar runs out of booze. Whichever comes first.

Jack: File for social security. I turn 62 in 2021. I was going to wait until 67, but all things considered, I’ll just take the lower amount sooner. A bird in the hand, and all that. I’m sure there are going to be massive cuts to SS anyway.

Steven: Probably stay in my house some more lol

Jim: Have a meal out. Would settle for Taco Bell!