Although Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is widely regarded as the best player in the Major League Baseball, he rarely takes the trouble to comment on many subjects or to make history. Trout’s taciturn nature can work against him, as it limits his visibility and global exposure, but it also gives extra weight to the statements he makes.
Wednesday provided an example of this effect at work. Trout joined Mike Tirico for an interview on NBC Sports Network, during which he discussed plans proposed by MLB to return this year, but with some modifications in response to the spread of the new coronavirus. These could include the fact that all players relate to a single state (possibly Arizona) and remain isolated to avoid becoming infected.
Here’s an excerpt from what Trout said:
For those who prefer to read Trout’s words, let’s go:
“Obviously I want to play as fast as possible. Going to a city, maybe Arizona, they reject Florida… but being quarantined in a city, I read – if we play – a few months, it would be difficult for some guys. What are you going to do with family members? My wife is pregnant, what will I do when she goes to work – will I have to quarantine for two weeks after my return “Obviously, I cannot miss the birth of our first child. There are a lot of red flags, there are a lot of questions. Obviously, we will have to agree as players. I think the mindset is that we want to get back as soon as possible. But it must be realistic. He can’t sit in our hotel rooms, go from field to hotel room, and be unable to do anything. I think it’s pretty crazy. ”
Trout’s objections are valid and echo the feelings expressed by other players in recent weeks. They come shortly after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said that sport could return this summer in an interview.
“There is a way to do it,” Fauci told Peter Hamby of Snapchat. “No one comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in large 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 just let them play the season. “
It is clear that the MLB (and other leagues) will need to modify their proposals to treat players (and their families) as humans rather than cogs in a machine. If they can find a way to do it, Trout and his company would probably be more than willing to approve things.