Epstein Hopes Baseball Can Be Something 'Beautiful'

(670 The Score) Though its return-to-play negotiations have been difficult and ugly, the hope for Major League Baseball is to get on the field in 2020 and lift the spirits of its fans.

Baseball has been on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, and the ongoing labor dispute has only complicated matters. If MLB does return to ballparks around the country, it will look different while returning in the pandemic. There won't be fans in the stands, and the season will be significantly shortened.

Even so, it's also something Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein hopes the game embraces.

"The right perspective to take on it, and it's something we're all learning to do in almost every aspect of our life, is to maybe not compare it to what we're used to," Epstein said on the Laurence Holmes Show on Friday afternoon. "Because that's a losing proposition and you end up seeing the negatives if you play that game mentally.

"Look at it as an opportunity to craft something new in a difficult time. Craft something that won't be the same but will have meaning and substances and will resonate with people in a lot of ways.

"Embrace the new, challenging landscape and try to make something beautiful out of it. That's what the players are going to do and hopefully the whole institution of baseball can do, is put out a really good product for the fans because they certainly deserve it. 

"This is the most challenging year that most of us have been through. To be able to deliver something redeeming for people would be something that we're all proud of."

On Saturday, the players' union declined the league's latest return-to-play proposal and stated it wouldn't counter with a new offer. The union is awaiting instructions from the league for how it wants to proceed with a season imposed by commissioner Rob Manfred.

MLB suspended its season in March as the pandemic outbreak began just two weeks ahead of Opening Day.