The state of baseball.

Don’t expect to see baseball as usual for a long time.

Assuming no fans are allowed in, it will take roughly or seventy people to actually stage a baseball game. You’d have, with sure to be expanded rosters, twenty-eight players per team. Four umpires. A manager and coaching staff for each team. Minimal grounds crew. And announcers, probably kept to a minimum with one neutral TV announcer who might also be on the radio. In order for the season to start, it would require the governors in each of those states to sign off on allowing crowds of ten or more.

In order for it to happen in the way we are accustomed to, baseball would need to get the governors of the states that have banned gatherings of ten or more to agree to it. No responsible governor is going to risk lives, and even more important to them, their political careers, for that.

Currently, major league baseball is played in sixteen states, one district, and one province. The odds of getting sign off from that many people is pretty much impossible.

So, you have to start looking at states with no shelter-at-home orders. That’s twelve states. And in many of those, individual cities or counties have taken it upon themselves to do so.

Five states have no state-wide orders at all. Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Arkansas. The lack of ballparks and other infrastructure would prevent Major League Baseball from scheduling a league in those states.

So the only way baseball is going to even think about getting a season started some fashion is to get the governor of Florida or Arizona to agree to it. Why those two states? They have the spring training complex that would be perfectly suited for major league baseball to be played. To limit travel, it would have to be one state or the other.

Florida has no state income tax. So, they would collect zero revenue from the players who pay taxes in the states in which they play games. Arizona does have a state income tax. It’s 4.5 percent.

The governor of Arizona would have to weigh the benefits of getting 4.5 percent of the total salaries all major league baseball players, which is roughly $3.9 billion. That’s would generate nearly $16 million dollars in additional state income tax per month, for every month Arizona would be the exclusive state for baseball.

That could happen. The league could play its entire schedule in Arizona spring training facilities, and also the Diamondback’s own ballpark, without fans, for as long as it requires until normally sets back in. Which, frankly, may not be for many many months.