If games are to be played at Fenway Park this summer, Major League Baseball owners and players will need to compromise their vastly different financial proposals. AP

Somehow, it’s June.

I’m tempted to say “time flies,” but time has been moving along at a much slower pace of late. Most of us haven’t had a lot to do. Or, if we have, we’ve been doing in from the comfort of our own homes. In the comfort of unwashed sweat pants. Time creeps along, but months are dripping away.

At any rate, here we are. We should be rolling into the best sports month of the year. Instead, we’re lamenting everything we miss about June.

We can’t help but miss the Stanley Cup finals. The culmination of the best playoffs in sports. We should be discussing story lines like cheap shots, personal grudges and missed calls. Instead we’re talking about hub cities and round-robin tournaments.

The NHL has a plan, and the boys will be back on the ice as soon as it’s considered safe enough to play in empty arenas. That’s good news for fans, but it might not be great news for the Boston Bruins. They’re officially the President’s Trophy winners (the team with the best regular-season record) but might fall to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference if they don’t take care of business in the round robin.

It’s a small price to pay to get the playoffs back, but it is a price. And it will sting if it leads to an early exit for the black and gold.


We’re also missing the NBA finals. Basketball was the first sport to shutdown in March, and could be the first sport to hold its entire playoffs in one city if the remaining teams descend on Orlando in late July as expected.

We’ll see if there’s any Disney magic awaiting the Boston Celtics, who would be third in the Eastern Conference if the current standings hold and the traditional playoff structure is put in place.

That’s a big if. There are a several different formats being bandied about, each with its own challenges. If the Celtics wind up facing tougher Western Conference foes early in the playoffs that could be trouble.

On the other hand, they could stay with an Eastern Conference format that would keep Boston from facing the formidable home-court advantages of Milwaukee and Toronto. Empty arenas could help the Celtics roll deep into August.

Deep into August? It’s all part of the new normal.

We’re missing long nights at the ballpark. Fenway Park has been quiet, except for the sound of the Dropkick Murphys, who played there for a streaming audience last Friday.


We have no idea when major leaguers will take that, or any other, field. Team owners and players have been taking heavy criticism for their inability to come to an agreement over the economics of a return.

Tony Clark, left, head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred are under pressure to work out a deal to start the 2020 season. AP

On Sunday, the MLB Players Association responded to an owners proposal and the initial reaction doesn’t seem great. The owners were asking for additional pay cuts beyond what they asked for in March. The players responded by asking for more games, and more pay.

The good news is that we now have to proposals. They are far apart, but two points on a line mean there is a middle ground.

The future of the game hangs in the balance. It took years and a steroid-fueled home run chase to bring baseball back from the brink after the last work stoppage in 1994; it will take even longer to overcome the anger of fans if the season is canceled this time around.

The MLBPA took five days to come up with a counter proposal to the owners’ original plan. They need to get on a Zoom conference ASAP and hammer this out. Both sides want to be playing by July 4, meaning an agreement needs to be reached by the end of this week to make it happen.

The clock is ticking. Time is flying by on these negotiations. Even if it’s crawling by for the rest of us.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column runs on Tuesdays in the Portland Press Herald.

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