The deep chasm that exists between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA threatens to wipe out the 2020 season. The clock is ticking. Unless the sides arrive at some common ground, and soon, there will be no baseball until 2021.
Ron Roenicke can hear that clock ticking, too, as much as he might choose to ignore it.
The Red Sox manager has a contract in place only through the end of this season. In actuality, it's the original contract he signed when he joined former manager Alex Cora's coaching staff for the 2017 season, one presumably sweetened when he was named interim manager, then manager, earlier this spring.
He was less than two weeks from managing his first game when the sport got put on pause in mid-March.
"I was so looking forward to the start of the season (in March),'' said Roenicke. "As crazy as things were (the Mookie Betts trade, the MLB investigation, the Chris Sale injury) and all the things that were happening to us, I was really looking forward to managing and enjoying it. I was enjoying the whole thing."
If a 2020 season is salvaged at all, Roenicke will have a shortened season -- as few as 82 games -- to prove his worth. And he'll do so having had his best player traded away while his best pitcher recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Meanwhile, if a 2020 season is wiped out altogether, Roenicke won't have any chance at all. He'll turn 64 in August in a job where, increasingly, teams are seeking younger candidates, the better to communicate with today's player. And there will be some high-profile managers, currently out of work, available on the open market -- including, but not limited to, Cora himself.
After being fired in the first month of the 2015 season by the Milwaukee Brewers, Roenicke waited another five seasons to get his second chance in the dugout. Now, that chance could be brief -- if it takes place at all.
"It goes through my head, but