xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Schmuck takes: Remembering Jackie Robinson, more coronavirus developments and other random thoughts | COMMENTARY

News item: Major League Baseball celebrated “Jackie Robinson Day” on Wednesday, 73 years after one of the great civil rights heroes of the 20th century broke the sport’s indefensible color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers on Opening Day in 1947.

My take: This anniversary is particularly poignant at a time when all of America’s professional baseball players are not allowed to play because of the coronavirus pandemic. Plenty of time to ponder what it must have been like for Robinson to trot out to his position at Ebbetts Field that day knowing that a large swath of American society did not want to see him there.

Advertisement

Historical news item: Robinson went hitless in three at-bats that day, but scored the decisive run in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Braves.

My take: Lest anyone hope to form the impression that he did not belong in the majors, Robinson would register a hit or a run in 23 of his first 25 games, a span that included a 14-game hitting streak. He also had a 21-game hitting streak at midseason on his way to being named the Major League Rookie of the Year.

Advertisement

News item: Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an interview this week that professional sports could resume soon if games are played without fans and players are quarantined in hotels while being tested regularly to detect the coronavirus.

My take: Still think the no-fan Arizona and Florida scenarios would create huge logistical problems in those locations and lull the general public into a false sense that it’s OK to begin letting down their guards before the pandemic is contained.

News item: Dr. Niraj Sehgal, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco and co-leader of UCSF’s COVID-19 command center, said in an interview this week that the Kansas City Chiefs’ dramatic victory over the 49ers in the Super Bowl might have been the best thing that could have happened to the Bay Area at the time, since a victory parade in San Francisco at that early stage of the coronavirus outbreak might have spawned widespread transmission of the virus in one of the pandemic’s early hotspots.

My take: It wouldn’t have been the first time that fate — and pro sports — played an ironically positive role in a disaster scenario in that region. Following the deadly Loma Prieta earthquake that took place minutes before the start of Game 3 of the Bay Bridge World Series in 1989, experts speculated that many lives might have been spared because a huge chunk of the work force in both San Francisco and Oakland had left work early to attend the game or get home in time to watch it on television.

News item: Organizers held out hope as long as they could, but were forced this week to postpone the Tour de France after French president Emmanuel Macron announced that all large events that draw big crowds will be canceled until mid-July. The world’s most famous bicycle race was originally scheduled to start June 27. The tentative new starting date for the three-week event is Aug. 29.

My take: This is a huge blow to the blood-doping industry, but the rest of us will have to bear up under the disappointment. Fortunately, it’s still OK to take a bike ride on one of Maryland’s terrific bike and walking trails and it’s a great way to stay fit during the lockdown.

News item: The Ravens are expected draft a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft two weeks from now …

My take: ... or maybe an interior offensive lineman or an inside linebacker or an edge rusher or another possible replacement for Michael Pierce. See your favorite mock draft for further details.

News item: Nevada’s gaming control expanded the ability of the state’s bookmakers to take bets on esports to help fill the huge revenue gap left by the suspension of all major team sports.

My take: Can’t blame the wise guys for finding new ways to stay in a business that is getting a surprisingly big chunk of its drastically reduced revenue from — wait for it — international table tennis.

Bonus take: In case you old-school Baby Boom gamers were wondering, “Pong” is not one of the esports available for wagering.

News item: The Cleveland Browns unveiled their new uniforms for the 2020 season and beyond, which were designed to pay homage to the 1964 NFL championship team.

Advertisement

My take: Fortunately, they decided against the bell-bottom pants.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement