The Angels' Kevin Appier is calling for a series in Toronto to be moved to Anaheim because of the high incidence of SARS in the Ontario city. I guess that's not much of a disadvantage for the Blue Jays. Why not just make them a traveling road team (there's an independent-league team called the Road Warriors that does it)? I know a stadium in San Juan that they could use if they want to re-locate...
I guess you can't blame the players for being a bit skittish since the World Health Organization has already advised travelers to avoid Toronto. But the Angels are not travelers: they are conducting business. The Asian economy has already taken a healthy hit from SARS. Is Canada next? Isn't time for the ballplayers to step up and be the heroes that they so revered after 9-11, people who were heroically going about their lives under extraordinary circumstances? Can't the ballplayers lead by example here? I know that it's easy for me to say this given that I am not traveling to Toronto on business any time soon. But I wonder what the odds are that the players would come in contact with an infected individual:
"The fact is SARS is there,'' said Dr. Elliot Pellman, MLB's medical adviser. "The other fact is there are 111/2 million people in Ontario, 21/2 million in the greater Toronto area. Take those figures and it's not an epidemic or the black plague. With proper precaution there is very little risk. Is there some risk? Yes.''
That's 140 infected out of 2.5 million people. The possibility seems extremely remote. It's time for the ballplayers to be the heroes that they are painted to be: it's their turns to do something heroic just by going about their lives in extraordinary circumstances.