The other day, one of my colleagues asked if Major League Baseball was really going to start up this season. Having gone so long without it this summer, he simply stopped paying attention to the fits and starts the league and the players had in their labor negotiations over the last four months.
When I told him that baseball was, in fact going to play, I had to add a caveat: MLB will start to play, who knows if it will finish.
And that is the question being applied to all pro sports in the United States because, unlike the rest of the world, we can’t seem to get out of our own way when it comes to the virus. While European soccer and Korea baseball have no issues playing among the coronavirus pandemic, we in the United States can’t figure out what the rest of the world has.
Which is why with the return of professional sports nigh, there is no guarantee these seasons actually finish. It seems daily NBA and MLB players are testing positive for the virus. At what point does it become too many positive tests to continue? Ten? Thirty? One hundred? What happens if a player tests negative the day before a game, but then tests positive a day after playing? It goes without saying that player would go into quarantine. But what about the rest of the team? Do they go into quarantine after being exposed? What about quarantining the other team, who were also exposed to the virus? If two teams are suddenly in quarantine, what about games going forward — will they just be forfeited for both teams? One team? Neither?
I’m not privy to all the ins and outs of the protocol in place for the NBA, MLB or the NFL. But I have a lot of time to think about things on my commute to the office and it always seems one question leads to another. Given the general public’s seeming inability to snuff out this virus, why do we think professional athletes and organizations will manage to do what millions of American can’t?
In a story about Sequoia hiring Mike Doyle as the school’s new baseball coach in the July 8 edition, I mentioned that Carlmont coach Marco Giuliacci had stepped down as the second-ever softball coach in school history, after the late Jim Liggett.
Despite Liggett being credited with beginning the Carlmont softball program, apparently that is not the case. Simi Lee, longtime sports reporter for the San Mateo County Times and who is in the county sports hall of fame for her championing of women’s athletics, emailed me with corrected information.
Lee, who was a softball umpire during the 1976 season, said Marilyn Reese was the school’s first softball coach, which coincided with the inaugural Central Coast Section softball tournament. Liggett took over the team ahead of the 1977 season and retired 40 years later, following the 2016 season with 1,009 career wins.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you never know what you’re going to find out while doing a phone interview.
While wrapping up a conversation with Aragon tennis coach Dave Owdom, he relayed the fact that his daughter was worried about her husband, who will be away for what, they hope, could be an extended period.
Owdom said his son-in-law, Trevor Poulson, is trying to become a two-time NBA champion. He won a ring with the Golden State Warriors in 2015 and his hoping to do the same with the Milwaukee Bucks this season.
Don’t recognize the name? No, Poulson was not a G-League call-up or a free agent who signed a 10-day contract. Owdom’s son-in-law is the equipment manager for the Milwaukee Bucks, who are scheduled to play in the NBA restart with a good chance of winning an NBA title.
If he would be so fortunate, it would be Poulson’s second championship ring. Before joining the Bucks, Poulson was an assistant equipment manager for the Golden State Warriors, joining the organization while still in high school in the Sacramento area and a member of the organization when they won the NBA championship in 2015. He moved to the Bucks franchise prior to the start of the 2017 season.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117.