The Midwest League season has been a shaky ground for awhile now due to the coronavirus, and Tuesday, it officially got canceled, along with the rest of Minor League baseball.

You could see the writing on the wall weeks ago when the Major League baseball players union struggled with management to try and eek out a plan for this season.

If the big guys were struggling, the little guys didn't stand much of a chance.

Tuesday, Minor League Baseball issued a statement officially canceling the 2020 season. That means the West Michigan Whitecaps will NOT field a team this year.

It's a shame too, because the chances were pretty good that top draft pick Spencer Torkelson of the Detroit Tigers would have begun his career here this summer. Torkelson just signed an $8-million deal with the Tigers Tuesday.

This was already shaping up to be a rough campaign for the minors long before the coronavirus was on anyone’s radar. As 2019 came to a close, a tense and rather high-profile battle was already underway regarding MLB’s plans for cutting down on the number of minor league affiliates.

A resumption of play might have helped. There were times when it seemed plausible, but any hope dissipated over recent weeks. Even as MLB and its players haggled over the terms for a big league resumption, a ramp-up of virus transmission in many parts of the United States served to increase the already great logistical challenges to a MLB season.

We’ll see how the broader picture turns out. For now, it’s a rough situation for minors clubs that rely entirely upon in-person, game-day revenue (and advertising associated with anticipated spectatorship).

There is good news for baseball fans. The Northwoods League, a college training league, will get underway tonight with teams in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Tickets are limited due to social distancing, but fans will be allowed in.


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