Glavine hopes baseball will return this year ‘in a very different way’

Tom Glavine still hopes to see Major League Baseball games played this year. But he doesn’t expect to see them return as they used to be.

“I think we’re all kind of smart enough to know, if baseball does come back, it’s going to come back in a very different way than we’re accustomed to seeing it,” said Glavine, the former Braves pitcher and baseball Hall of Famer. “I don’t think we’re going to see it, obviously, with full stadiums.

“Can you see it with some capacity in stadiums or no fans at all? That’s obviously what I think people are trying to figure out. And I guess you trust in the people that are in charge of the process that they’re going to do it in the safest way, not only for the players but for the fans as well.”

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Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the baseball season and the rest of the sports world, Glavine was scheduled to work about 45 Braves telecasts this year as an analyst on Fox Sports South.

Various options are being contemplated for how MLB might try to salvage a partial season and get games back on television. Maybe have the 30 teams play all of their games in Arizona without fans in the stands. Maybe have half of the teams play in Arizona and half in Florida, again without fans in the stands. Or maybe, eventually, have some games in teams’ home stadiums, at least in parts of the country, with reduced seating capacity and increased distance between mask-wearing fans.

“I’m in favor of them looking into any and all scenarios,” Glavine said. “I’m happy they’re at least having these conversations now because it kind of makes you feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel a little bit. But obviously there’s a lot of details to work out.”

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No one knows how it will play out because every potential scenario depends on getting clearance from public health experts and government officials, as well as working out the economics with the players’ union.

“Look, I’m no different than anyone else. I want to see baseball, and I want to see it as soon as possible,” Glavine said. “But I think you obviously, on a human front, understand the concerns, and I think we’re all conscious of that.

“… It’s a tough balancing act because on the one hand, everybody’s got cabin fever now, and we’re all wanting to get our lives back and sometimes there can be a rush to judgment. But you’ve got be careful, obviously. I think we have to trust that the people who are in charge are weighing all these things carefully and are going to make the best decision. … I want to see it get back to normal as quick as we can, but I think the reality is our normal is going to be a little bit different than we’re accustomed to, starting out.”