McDonald’s Ball.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but there’s a better chance of me being a finalist for Mr. Universe than this drive-thru-fast-food version of Major League Baseball being played out in its entirety, if at all.

Seems unhealthy.

As witty Bud Tucker once said, I see three chances: slim, none and fat.

But they will attempt to play and, like the McRib, be available for a limited time.

This is nothing to do with Canepa’s Theory of Negativity, which I’ve heard since last Sunday’s piece in which I declared team sports dead this year. It’s not being negative. It’s about having eyes and ears open. It’s about common sense. It’s about being realistic.

All this has been about money, and dollars have dominated talk between the two warring sides, and as Art Thiel writes, this is not the end of the war, only a cease-fire. It’s about the lettuce, but there must be an ability to grow the lettuce.

No play, no pay.

And COVID-19 is a snowball, gaining in size and speed due to our confederacy (is it OK to say “confederacy”?) of dunces.

Golfers, masters of social distancing, are testing positive.

McDonald’s Ball’s “scheduled” tee time is July 23 or 24, and it’s supposed to run through Sept. 27, with a 16-team playoff then continuing through October.

There will be 60 games in 70 days. We won’t even get into the question of Rob Manfred not putting his cleat down two months ago instead of dragging this whole thing through a crap hole.

Baseball 2020 becomes the NFL. If they play, every game is important. There can’t be load management here.

How are we supposed to look at this? If the Padres win the World Series, are they world champions? Guess so. No one else would be. The title certainly would be deserved. It figures this would be their year, of course, when they win what many will see as a paper title.

It would be different than the NBA, in which teams already have played 60-some-odd games.

I find how they’re going to do this more fascinating than anything else.

I’ve been around baseball players, at home and on the road. Many will be asked to do things that never could have entered their uncluttered minds.

There are few Tony Gwynns out there, content to sit in their hotel rooms playing video games or watching tape of their at-bats.

Dugouts won’t be full, with many players sitting in the empty stands.

No spitting.

No licking of fingers.

No clubhouse lounging.

No bat boys.

No brawls (if stopping them is this easy, why have there ever been any?).

No showers.

No mobbing after walk-off home runs (always seemed staged, anyway, especially when a team is 50 games out of first).

No elevator use in hotels. But MLB has asked the proprietors to please, please, give woefully out-of-shape players rooms on lower floors.


I hate that extra innings will start with a runner on second base. He will be ruled aboard on an error, although no error will be charged. What? MLB’s incessant attempts to shorten games are absurd.

I really hate that the designated hitter will be universal, meaning it will be used everywhere from here on out. If you can’t play baseball, you shouldn’t be playing it.

Many, many players eventually will test positive. MLB has no idea how to handle it.

But, as Irving Berlin wrote: “Let’s go on with The Show.” …

I’m guessing that, if McDonald’s Ball is pulled off, the big trivia question will be: Since 1941, who are the 12 players who batted .400?

Nick Canepa writes for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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