CLEVELAND — Winds of change have reached Cleveland's team.
During the early days of spring training, few would have guessed baseball would be dealing with a pandemic's shift of winds. And now Cleveland wrestles with the idea of a name change of the team, one spurred by social shifts in the wind.
As umpires rehearse their cries of "play ball," in a pandemic shortened season I am reminded we've been here before with both a war and a worldwide killer flu in 1918 and '19. The First World War forced baseball to shorten its '18 season although the World Series was played. In 1919 the flu, which was still building, got so bad that baseball again shortened its schedule.
But now in 2020 came another major league brush-back pitch. Coronavirus throws hard and wild. Baseball is looking for its footing again, probably without large in-person crowds. The majors is not alone in trying to find its footing again. So are the rest of us. Where once most of us were happy in the presence of many others, we find ourselves spending more time alone now.
Coronavirus has changed us. In Cleveland baseball, even more, change. Expect a new name. 2020 has been the year Coronavirus threw a breaking ball, slicing in on us. The virus upended our schedules and stole our comfort.
Winds of change.
When Cleveland baseball resumes with whatever name is stitched on the players' jerseys, this community will continue to face health issues and racial issues with the realization there is more on the field, than the game itself.