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Katz: Don’t assume Goldeyes baseball this summer

Though his team’s official line is that the team is prepping for an abbreviated campaign, Winnipeg Goldeyes owner Sam Katz is pessimistic about his team or the independent American Association as a whole launching play in 2020.

On April 21 the independent American Association announced a tentative postponement of the 2020 season until July and a scaled-down slate of 80 games extended into September. All of affiliated ball is on hold as well (with the Ken Babby-owned Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and Akron RubberDucks announcing today the postponement of a season opener until July 15, though MLB has more to say about the launch of a 2020 season than MiLB or its teams), and several summer-collegiate leagues have announced season postponements.

While there’s certainly apprehension around the baseball industry about what will come in 2020–and 2021, for that matter–Katz is coming out and saying what many people feel. A former mayor of Winnipeg, Katz is known as a owner who won’t mince words–and he certainly did not in this Winnipeg Sun interview:

“The bottom line is there’s a strong possibility that there will not be a season,” Katz said. “I’ve talked to everybody and told them right up front that it’s a strong reality and we hope to have a definitive answer by the end of May.”…

The Manitoba government has said no major sporting events will be allowed in the province until at least the beginning of September. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said any professional athletes coming into Canada will need to go into quarantine for 14 days.

“I think you can appreciate that we have five Canadians on our team,” Katz said. “If the rest are from the U.S.A., and they have to go through a quarantine, the season is over.

“Right now, unless something very, very positive happens … I don’t know if you’re a betting man, but I know how I’d be betting.”

Right now there’s no strong pressure to make a decision either way about the status of the 2020 season, but the closer we get to the end of May, the more the pressure will build up.

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