By Brian Golden

It stands there like an open coffin at a funeral.

A funeral we’re not yet allowed to attend.

Lancaster Municipal Stadium would be getting ready to start the second half-season of the California League schedule at this time in any of the previous 24 Lancaster JetHawks seasons.

Instead it is an ongoing crime scene, a remote-control murder in broad daylight.

And we know who the killers are, and where they can be found.

By this time Tuesday, they may have delivered the death blow to Major League Baseball, too.

They don’t even have the decency to remove the victim and clean up all the blood.

The players have until Monday to respond to the baseball owners’ latest half-fast, half-brained nonstarter proposal to start the Coronavirus-delayed 2020 season.

They have to get something done by Monday if they are to conduct a sufficient spring training to open by the Fourth of July. 

Already, MLB has achieved a dubious distinction.

Rather than being the first sport to come running to the emotional and patriotic aid of an America imperiled by the Coronavirus and demoralized by ham-handed lockdowns killing the economy, MLB, the sport of summer, will now be the LAST major American sport to  return.

If at all.

NASCAR, the NBA, the NHL, PGA Tour golf, IndyCar, the MLS — Major League Soccer, for crying out loud  — and the NHRA will all be going strong in July.

Baseball may be going, going, gone.

Once the major league situation is resolved, serial killers Rob Manfred and Dan Halem can make it official that minor league baseball is nuked for 2020.

And, for 42 minor league clubs inexplicably including Lancaster, forever.

The coronavirus  lockdowns that have choked so much of the life out of our economy have put MiLB on life support.

Owners have no choice but to accept the dictates of Commissioner Manfred and his chief henchman, Dan Halem, to deprive 20 percent of the nation, geographically, of professional baseball.

Incredibly, some major league owners and their hand puppet, Manfred, see the minor leagues as rivals for their fans.

That poop-for-brains thinking helps explain how MLB attendance has dropped each of the last three years, while MiLB attendance has — you guessed it — increased each of the last three years.

Already the City of Lancaster has been approached by other organizations interested in taking over the operation of The Hangar.

In a sense, we have been dreading the drop-dead date for baseball’s return, because it will officially sign the JetHawks’ death certificate.

We will at least be able to approach the open coffin and pay our respects.

Since the extinction plan for Lancaster was announced last Fall by the worst Commissioner in MLB history, these last few months have been, for all of us, like those extended periods of nausea where you take ever deeper and deeper breaths to fight off the inevitable.

Now, perhaps as early as Monday, we can finally hurl.

It will be the only hurling at our beloved ballpark in 2020.

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