Former NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato used to joke that Japanese baseball was similar to a large boat in the middle of the ocean.

You can make it change directions, sure, but it's going to be a slow and labored process.

Kato has been gone since 2013, but as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the sentiment rings as true as it ever did. The difference now is, while NPB officials may still be at the controls, the coronavirus is most assuredly the captain now.