Spinning in place.
That currently serves to sum up the situation being confronted by front-office personnel with the Mooresville Spinners’ late spring/summer collegiate-level wooden bat baseball organization.
As a direct result, the Spinners — in existence since 2014 — will not be able to engage in regular-season opening play over the course of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Initially, the Spinners — with already a pair of league championship postseason tournament titles in hand— were slated to debut with a home game to take place on their own Moor Park facility Saturday night. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, those best-laid plans have — like so many other affairs — been postponed.
“We’ve very disappointed over the fact that there will not be any Spinners baseball played at this time,’ said Phillip Loftin, the team’s general manager. “It’s just not going to happen. We were looking forward to getting the season underway. We do have a back-up plan in place. A lot of factors regarding the coronavirus safety concerns have to work in our favor. We’re very optimistic that we will have some baseball at some point. Right now, like just about everybody else, we just don’t know when.”
At least a tentative date has been determined.
The Spinners have temporarily designated June 13 as the new date for their season-opening ceremonies.
“We are confident that, by the middle June,” said Loftin, “we will be able to be playing. We will be following all required guidelines to assure the safety and well-being of all our players and, of course, our faithful fans.”
The team’s league affiliation may also have some say-so in the proceedings.
The SCBL, established in 1999, has also currently delayed the start of its season’s schedule. According to the commissioner, the circuit will continue to monitor matters with local and state government leaders in order to provide a safe environment for play. League officials will remain in constant contact with each of the league’s teams to share all vital information.
“The league still wants to play,’’ said Loftin. “Of course, we do, too. We are currently working on a new schedule that will suit all the teams. We are meeting on a regular basis to discuss all matters related to all health concerns.”
The matter of available players has also been addressed.
With the complete cancellation of the past spring’s college baseball season, there was some concern as to whether players would be accessible.
“The interest among the players have been incredible,’’ said Loftin. “We’ve been contacted by players themselves and college coaches looking to provide players seeking some place to play. They are biting at the bit to perform. We were very excited about the roster we were putting together. Hopefully, there will come a time when we can put the product on the field.”
The Spinners are coming off a successful season that saw them post an overall 30-13 record that was best among all the SCBL entries. The team’s 25-wins against league foes tied for the best among the field. Mooresville again reached the semifinals of the postseason tournament to stretch a four-year run that regard before having a bid for a second straight tournament title denied.
“The way the season ended for us last year left a bad taste in our mouths,’’ said Loftin. “We were looking forward to bringing another tournament trophy back home.”
All is not lost in regards to possibly making that happen.
With Phase of North Carolina’s reopening process in effect for weeks, Phase 2 could possibly begin as early as this week. That would allow, among other things, an increase in the number of people allowed at public gatherings that could directly be associated with fans in attendance at Spinners games.
“We always have our fan base in mind,” said Loftin. “They have been so supportive in the past. We want to bring baseball back for their sake. But we have to make sure it is considered safe for them to return.”