NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — "I just don't know," said Arkansas Travelers' Assistant General Manager Rusty Meeks, "I think it's uncharted waters for everyone."
That's been the current state of Minor League Baseball since MLB moved to shut down spring training at the beginning of March. But the proposal agreed to by the owners Monday has given clubs like the Travelers a glimmer of hope.
"Best case scenario would be that a deal gets done here in the next two weeks or so and they go back to spring training in June like they're proposing," Meeks said. "MLB starts in July and then they send us minor league players. Towards the end of July based off of the timetable that's out there, that seems to be when it would happen for us."
Meeks doesn't think it would take long to get the team ready to go.
"From a facilities standpoint, we got ready for the season like it was happening," he said, "so it would not take us long to get up and running."
However, most of the time getting ready would be spent ensuring the safety of the Travelers' staff, players, and fans.
"We'll certainly follow the Governor's guidelines and everything that he suggests," said Meeks. "We'll certainly try and follow those the best we can. Hand sanitizers, masks and even if we have to mark the concourse and those types of things."
As an organization, the Travelers have experienced tremendous success over the last several seasons. This year, the bar for success isn't lower, but it is substantially different.
"If we have some sort of post season, if we make it great," Meeks said, "but that's definitely not going to be the focus by any means."
And while Meeks and the rest of the Travelers are anxious for the return of baseball, it's really the return of the fans that they're looking forward to the most.
"We do this for the fans, and the kids that are out here at the ballpark. I can't tell you how much we miss that," he said. "We'll do whatever we need to do to make people feel comfortable to come out and enjoy some baseball."