Shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have caused businesses across the country to get creative in order to remain in the black. Count Minor League Baseball teams among them. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos — the Twins’ Double-A affiliate — listed its home ballpark on Airbnb.
Those who pay $1,500 per night can spend the night at the ballpark, gaining access to the field, batting cage, and clubhouse. The bedroom contains 10 beds and three bathrooms. If guests want to, they can play on the field as balls, bats, and helmets are included in the deal.
The Wahoos will have a stadium representative on site at all times to answer questions and ensure rules are followed.
Minor league teams are heavily reliant on gate revenue, which has vanished during the pandemic. It would not be surprising to see other teams follow the Blue Wahoos’ lead, listing their stadiums on Airbnb as a way to create a little bit of income.
Former MLB outfielder Preston Tucker has gotten off to a blazing hot start in the KBO League. Entering Sunday’s action, Tucker was hitting .475/.543/.925 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 46 plate appearances. Tucker kept up the hot hitting on Sunday and won himself a car in the process. Per MLB.com’s Alex Fast, Tucker’s fifth home run — a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning — hit the “Home Run Zone” just beyond the fence in right-center field at Kia Challengers Field. There, a Kia Sorento perches on a small platform. Tucker’s blast appeared to strike the roof of the car. Players who homer into the “Home Run Zone” win the car as a prize.
Preston Tucker won a Kia Sorento today.
He’s currently tied for the HR lead in the KBO with 5.
The blast was not enough, however, as Tucker’s Tigers lost to the Doosan Bears 6-4. The homer was Tucker’s only hit on the afternoon. Tucker, 29, spent parts of three seasons in Major League Baseball from 2015-18 with the Astros, Braves, and Reds. In total, he hit .222/.281/.403 with 23 home runs and 68 RBI in 651 trips to the plate.
It was 4:07 a.m., Sunday when the mystical dragon responded from Incheon.
Which is to say that was the time on this side of the ocean the first baseman of the SK Wyverns connected from South Korea. SK is the conglomerate that sponsors the team. Wyverns translates to mystical dragons.
Jamie Romak is the only Canadian baseball player currently playing in the just-underway Korean pro league. He holds the Canadian record for foreign league home run in a single season with 45 from 2018 set with his current club.
The London, Ont. native who made it to the majors with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, ought to sign on as a consultant with the Toronto Blue Jays when it comes to the MLB plans of returning to action in empty stadiums.
If there has been a nation that has provided an example of how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been Korea. And the eyes of every major professional sports league in the world ought to be on the Korean league.
NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan (AP) — There were fans in the stands for baseball in Taiwan on Friday, albeit spaced far apart as a safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.
Up to 1,000 spectators are now allowed at each ballpark in Taiwan, but they are still barred from bringing in food and concession stands are still closed.
“This means our government’s disease control measures are quite rigorous,” said 34-year-old fan Frank Cheng, an electronics industry worker from New Taipei City.
Cheng went to see his hometown Fubon Guardians play the UniLions with four of his friends. Their body temperature was checked at the entrance and they all sat at least three seats apart.
Before the game started, Taiwan health and welfare minister Chen Shih-chung appeared at home plate wearing jersey No. 0, an emblem of the government’s hope for zero coronavirus cases.
When the season opened on April 11 after a three-week delay, only players, team personnel and cheerleaders were allowed in the stadium. The league later proposed allowing 200 fans per game and the Centers for Disease Control gave clearance for 1,000, league spokesman Tai Si-song said.
But instead of dancing together in support of their teams, Guardian fans stood on their own moving to the cues of cheerleaders and mascots. Friends leaned across seats to talk to one another while security guards told people wandering around the aisles to find a place to sit.
When the Guardians scored, fans still shouted through the team’s signature blue bullhorns to the drum rhythms coming from behind first base. Cheerleaders, the only people in the stands without facemasks, led the usual chants.
“There’s plenty of social distance here,” said Guardians fan Sun Ming, a 29-year-old finance sector worker from New Taipei City. “I think the disease prevention is quite effective and therefore we can have this chance to attend the game.”
The Taiwan league has five teams and started its season ahead of professional baseball in Japan, South Korea and the United States.
As of Friday, stadiums will leave three seats between spectators, even if they come in groups. Every second row will be left empty, ensuring no one coughs on someone else from behind. The league’s smallest stadium at 11,000 seats can accommodate 1,000 people with that spacing plan and without opening the bleachers, Tai said.
“If we were to add people, that would impinge on the safe space,” Tai said.
In New Taipei City, about 900 people bought tickets to watch the Fubon Guardians at the 12,500-seat venue, the club said. Tickets were still selling into the second inning.
A second league game was taking place at the same time in Taiwan’s largest stadium, which has 19,000 seats.
Games in previous years averaged 6,000 fans each.
The government in Taiwan reported 440 coronavirus cases on Friday among a population of 23 million. Many Taiwanese still stay indoors after work in case the coronavirus outbreak suddenly worsens.
Vacations on Cape Cod will be without one of their signature pastimes this summer. And elite collegiate baseball players, who were robbed of their season by the coronavirus, will now have another opportunity to showcase their talents to Major League Baseball scouts ripped away. The Cape Cod Baseball League has officially canceled its 2020 season…