We're All Living With an Asterisk Right Now

Dropkick Murphys "Streaming Outta Fenway"
Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Compartmentalization is a hell of a thing. It allows us to forge on in the areas of our life we need to even as other parts are being ravaged emotionally. So it shouldn't entirely surprising that the discussion over baseball's return has drilled down hard on the current minutiae and future what-ifs. It's just what people do.

One of the emerging avenues of discourse runs through the complicated neighborhood of legitimacy. Will a truncated 60-game season have a true champion? How will history view the eventual World Series winner? Should individual and team accomplishments be accompanied by an asterisk?

To this not-so-pressing question, I say this: who the hell cares? The whole damn world gets an asterisk right now. There are some extenuating circumstances causing things to not be particularly normal.

The economy? Asterisk. General health? Asterisk. Overall mood and existence? Asterisk.

All of these denotations weigh heavy on the shoulders. We need not see them to feel the burden. We're acutely and painfully aware that the status quo has been upended.

Are we really that concerned about contextualizing Christian Yelich's potential .404 season or Max Scherzer's potential 0.48 ERA? Are fans going to spend their time and energy castigating the Minnesota Twins for winning a crown in a bizarre, compressed year?

While all that would perhaps be a welcome return to some semblance for normalcy, it seems a bit incongruent with the current moment and tougher moments to come. For all the high-fiving and relieved sighing after Major League Baseball announced its late-July return, there's still the small sticking point of, oh, ensuring the safety and healthy of thousands of team personnel who will be traveling around their regions without a clear idea of what will happen should there be a significant outbreak.

If you're a betting person with even a tenuous grasp of the news you would understand that it's not a lock the baseball season even reaches a mildly satisfying conclusion. There's a lot of things -- both easily anticipated or otherwise -- that could go wrong between now and late fall.

So how about this. A bunch of teams are going to try their level best to play a baseball season. What happens will happen. If they can finish, that's great. If they can manage to keep everyone safe and avoid a preventable death, that's better.

We can cross the less urgent legacy and record-keeping bridges when and if we get there.