The Major League Baseball is currently on indefinite break due to the new threat from the coronavirus, and the league is considering many different scenarios for a possible comeback., which requires playing all games in the greater Phoenix area (at Chase Field, spring training parks, etc.) and isolating players at their hotels and stadiums.
Beyond the logistical problems with the Arizona plan, many players do not wish to leave their families for an extended period.. Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw has a similar sentiment. He doesn’t think it is reasonable to separate players from their families for months.
Here’s what Kershaw said to Arash Markazi of Los Angeles Times:
“We all want to play baseball. I understand. I also want to play baseball, ”said Kershaw. “But there is something to be in the big leagues and you cannot compromise that. Playing in training stadiums in the spring and quarantining for months without your family and things like that, I don’t think it’s doable if you talk about doing it for four to five months. “You just lose the product on the ground because the guys are not in their natural element. We’re all ready to take drastic steps to make this season a reality, but there are also some things that will affect the product on the pitch, and that’s what you need to be careful about. “
Kershaw’s concerns are reasonable, of course. The players are human beings – well paid human beings, but still human beings – not robots that exist only for our entertainment. They have families and are concerned about the pandemic like everyone else. As much as we all want to recover baseball, players need to take care of themselves and their families.
It should be noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said that sports could return during the summer months. This would require an increase in the availability of tests. The MLB would need testing for players and other personnel without compromising testing capabilities for the general public.
“There is a way to do it,” Fauci told Peter Hamby of Snapchat. “No one comes to the stadium. Put (the players) in the big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well watched… Have them tested every week and make sure they don’t end up infecting each other or their families, and leave -play them the season. “
The MLB and other sports leagues will no doubt consider many different scenarios for the league to be operational after the pandemic. However, this should be done fairly for the players.