No hardball for a lot of communities

Oh, I do hate exposing myself to being called a Negative Ned, but I believe I am hearing the death knell for the 2020 minor league baseball season all across the nation.

Reuters is reporting that “hundreds” of minor league baseball players have been released by their teams. They’ve been let go. No baseball for these fellows, at least not this year. The coronavirus pandemic has all but shut down minor league ball this season.

Meanwhile, the Major League Baseball gurus/moguls/tycoons are struggling to find a way to launch a dramatically shortened season by the Fourth of July. To do that, they are having to slash costs associated with running a big league franchise. Who pays for that? The folks in the minor leagues.

Now, this is where it cuts a bit close to the quick for yours truly. A team I have been following from some distance now appears to be in some peril. I refer to the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the AA franchise affiliated with the San Diego Padres.

I lived in Amarillo for 23 years. I have a lot of friends there. Many of them have become devoted fans of the Sod Poodles, who in their first season ever won the Texas League championship. They play in a brand new venue in downtown Amarillo. They draw full-house crowds on game day/night.

It appears that Season No. 2 is slipping away. This breaks my heart. It saddens me that the defending champs will have to wait a year to, um, defend their title.

I don’t want this to happen. I want my friends to be able to cheer on the Sod Poodles. Alas, it is looking — at least to me — as if it ain’t gonna happen.