It has been over four months since the last ball was thrown at the Freedom Farm Baseball League (FFBL) and that just might have been the final ball thrown for the season.
Freedom Farm Commissioner Clarence “CJ” McKenzie said the next coaches meeting will be held on Saturday, August 5, at which time a final decision will be made on the 2020 season.
“We are anticipating the latest report from our health and safety committee at our next coaches meeting. At that time, we expect to discuss and make a final decision on our 2020 regular season as well as plan out the future of baseball for the league,” McKenzie said. “We have been hoping for a complete and positive turnaround of the virus during the summer to resume playing safely, but that has yet to take place. As a matter of fact, things are now trending in the wrong direction.”
As of yesterday, July 19, The Bahamas’ Ministry of Health reported 153 confirmed cases of the coronavirus – 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Since July 1, when the borders were fully reopened, there has been a surge in new cases.
The season is still under suspension, since March 15, after the first reported case of COVID-19 in The Bahamas. McKenzie said the kids were disappointed but the league had to make a proactive decision in the interest of the health and safety of everyone in the league.
“With cases spiking on the island recently, a return to play safely looks more difficult for the immediate future. Mass gatherings such as sports events have proven to be the biggest spreaders of the virus, so bringing back baseball in any form given the present circumstances, continues to be very risky,” McKenzie stated.
According to McKenzie, in the event of a cancelation, they will look at multiple options for resuming activities during the fall. Those options can come in the form of training, a tournament or a shortened season, all of which are based on sporting activities resuming safely.
For more than three decades, Freedom Farm has been an avenue for boys to develop their playing skills and confidence in the sport of baseball. If the season is canceled, it’s a setback for the senior players who were looking forward to showcasing their skills to collegiate coaches and Major League Baseball (MLB) scouts.
“The opportunities for our players to be seen by college and university coaches as well as Major League Baseball team scouts are huge, so we are compelled to continue planning the way back for baseball but under a safe format where everyone is comfortable,” McKenzie said.
A number of players have put in the work and time with the intention of improving their craft in baseball and showcasing their skills. Though unfortunate, the health and safety of everyone involved is of paramount concern, said McKenzie.
Freedom Farm’s health and safety team is comprised of several doctors and other medical professionals.