The Edmonton Prospects are hoping they will play a 2020 season.
“We’re holding out hope. We realize that there’s some been regulations put in place that prevent any sort of large gatherings until the end of August,” Prospects managing director Patrick Cassidy said. “Having said that, we’ve also seen this thing evolve on a daily basis.”
On Thursday, the Western Canada Baseball League announced it would delay the start of the season until late June or early July because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The WCBL has six teams in Alberta and four in Saskatchewan. The season was supposed to start in late May.
“There would be some social distancing measures in place,” said Cassidy on the possibility of fans coming to games at RE/MAX Field and other stadiums. The league wouldn’t consider playing its games in empty stadiums.
The next key date for the WBCL will come in the first week of June. If it doesn’t look promising by then, the season would be canceled. Cassidy says they’re used to dealing with waiting and uncertainty.
“Baseball is an outdoor sport, and we’re kind of geared a little bit differently. Everyday we face the possibility that a game could be rained out,” he explained. “That’s in our DNA. We don’t anticipate what the weather might be because it changes on a dime. I think we’ve taken the same approach with this situation.
“Until we’re absolutely dead in the water, we wait and we continue to try to make things happen.”
The WCBL is also waiting to see what happens with the border between Canada and the United States. Usually around half the players on the Prospects are American.
“We have a lot players that come in the from the U.S., and worldwide for that matter. That would be a problem unless there was a scenario where those players could come into Canada,” Cassidy said.
“We’d have to some of testing protocol in place to allow them play. I would think if we would had to quarantine them for two weeks, that’s not going fit into the budgets of most of the teams in Canada.”
The WCBL season ends in August, allowing many of its players to return to their colleges and universities.