No spitting. No high fives. No hugging. No showers in the clubhouse. Take two steps back after every pitch to get away from base runners. Third- and first-base coaches must stand way back. Every pitcher has his own bag of balls. Any ball touched by more than one player is put out of commission. No licking your fingers. No fraternizing with first basemen after you hit a single. No sharing of any equipment. No fans in the stands, of course, and no fighting.
Those are just a few suggestions in Major League Baseball’s 67-page safety protocol proposal. These are the things that would apparently have to take place in order to ensure the safety of players. That’s assuming the owners and players can figure out how to split up hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure the Blake Snells of the world get their money.
I have a better idea after reading all that junk and listening to these players complain about not getting their full salary: How about no baseball in 2020 and check in again in 2021 to see if it is safe to play yet?
If this is what it is going to take to have baseball, then it isn’t worth it. It isn’t even realistic to think all of this stuff can happen. No fighting? Really? So guys in the heat of the moment get beaned in the head and are not going to charge the mound because they will be rational enough to stay away?
They aren’t allowed to fight now and they still do. Give me a break.
I am all for safety, but most of this stuff is not necessary because the presumption is everyone who is in the ballpark has been tested regularly and is negative. And they will be doing daily health screens as well. And if everyone has tested negative and everyone is being screened daily, why are all the over-the-top measures necessary?
It’s all just pandering and part of the “new reality” we are told we are supposed to live in.
Clearly there are issues when you start bringing fans into the stands, and that changes the dynamic for the players. The players and coaches, though, will be in a controlled environment and the overwhelming majority of them will be in the age group and health category that statistically puts them at an extremely low risk of getting seriously ill.
It isn’t like, say, workers at Wal-Mart who are exposed to random crowds of people of all ages and health statuses every day yet are asked to work with some minimal safety guidelines.
That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some safety and social-distancing measures taken. I have no issues with having all the bench players sit in the stands 10 feet apart. It is smart to try and make the clubhouse as safe as possible.
You combine all of these safety measures the league wants to propose with the fact that players view splitting revenues 50/50 with the owners as a “no- starter,” and you come to this conclusion: What is the point of trying to move on with a season? If players don’t want to play for reduced salary, then don’t play. It really is that simple. Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want to do.
Regardless, I am optimistic about the NBA returning soon in some form. The 24-team NHL tournament sounds intriguing and could be very entertaining. I think we will have the NFL this fall and it won’t even shock me if there will be fans – though with reduced capacity – in the stands.
Those three leagues all seem like they have players and owners who want to play, are motivated to get back out and play and are willing to work together to get through the issues in order to get back out and play.
Major League Baseball, on the other hand, has done nothing to convince me they are interested in playing any time soon. The opposite actually seems true, given the league’s unrealistic proposals for safety and the players’ unrealistic demands for money. So they should all just save their energy and stop pretending they want to play and get back to us next year.