The coronavirus has thrown us all a curveball. The world has tightened its belt and hangs inside trying to make the apex less drastic so we can better predict when this deadly curve flattens out. Just as the ability to predict where the curve is going is essential to batters in baseball, so it is with collegiate summer baseball league officials as well. “The biggest unknown is when the social distancing orders loosen up, and what that looks like.” Said Stefano Foggi, commissioner of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. “It is of massive importance to get these players playing time with their spring season gone. From housing to travel, the curve has turned everything upside down. “
Recognizing that Florida is a bit behind other states in fighting the curve, Foggi shared some insight on how his league will handle its schedule. Overall, the commissioner had an optimistic but realistic demeanor, noting that the Valley League in Virginia has suspended due to mitigation orders that extend to June 3rd, all they can really do is follow guidelines and wait it out. Stefano considered tweaking the schedule potentially starting as late as July 1st or extending another week into August, however, the league has tentatively settled on a plan to open on June 5th. Other leagues have posted statements such as the Prospect League and The Coastal Plain League stating that everything is planned to go as scheduled. Some leagues have been playing the curve a little closer to the chest and who can blame them. For a lot of organizations mum's the word. No commissioner or team official wants to give out false or misleading information
The FCSL is one of the eight leagues of the National Alliance of Collegiate Summer Baseball (http://nacsb.pointstreaksites.com/), the alliance of non-profit summer collegiate baseball leagues that are each partially funded by Major League Baseball. Luckily for this league their regional talent pool is prolific, their teams are located relatively close to each other, and their league structure is top down owned. Only one team is a “franchise.” Another big factor is that a lot of the fields that teams use are owned by Colleges and High schools. If these schools and municipalities choose to close their fields there may be one or two facilities that all of the teams will play on, potentially without fans. Sanford Memorial stadium and Conrad Park in Seminole County Florida are central to most of the teams and owned by city and county governments whose battered budgets could surely benefit from teams renting out their grounds. Many Floridians are used to riding out storms. Not too many in the South Atlantic are familiar with destruction and casualties while the skies are clear.
Skyler Whitfield -CSBN