Schedule will stay the same
When and if the Curve start playing this season, the team’s schedule is expected to remain the same over the summer months.
The Curve’s season opener, scheduled for April 9, already has been delayed because of the coronavirus. Many in the baseball industry believe the sport’s regular season will not begin until June or even July — and that’s if play resumes at all, which isn’t guaranteed at this point.
Curve general manager Derek Martin said no final decision has been made by the Eastern League about how the schedule will look when play does resume.
But Martin suggested it would be easier to just keep the current schedule, rather than try to change things for teams at a later date.
“Say you start mid-May or the beginning of June, the rest of that season, all the travel is booked, all the hotels are booked,” Martin said.
“When we go to Portland in August, we already have our hotels and bus lined up, and every team is in the same boat. … I would imagine they wouldn’t mess with that.”
The final day of the Eastern League schedule is set for Sept. 7. Major League Baseball likes to have the minor league seasons wrap up weeks earlier than the big league season, so it’s tough to push the end date back very far in the minors.
“It’s hard to extend out any further than we already do in September,” Martin said.
The Eastern League switched its season to a two-half format last year. The league almost certainly would have to abandon that this season once play starts.
Minor league teams spend an enormous amount of time during the offseason planning game promotions. It would be difficult, therefore, for the promotional schedules to change much, either, if the season starts later.
The Curve can push back certain giveaways, but celebrity appearances scheduled for early in the season may not be rescheduled if the season is significantly pushed back.
Pro wrestler Kurt Angle is scheduled to appear at Peoples Natural Gas Field on May 19. Baseball Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers (June 13) and Andre Dawson (June 25) also are scheduled to appear before July.
“(Marketing director) Mike Kessling has been in touch with all of our promotional companies, talent agencies, because we boosted our celebrity appearances,” Martin said. “We’re trying to reschedule what we can. There’s some things that we probably won’t do.”
As with so many things in our country, baseball has a lot of questions and very few answers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The uncertainty level is very high right now,” Martin said.