Ryan Zimmerman, citing family health, still decides whether to play this season


The first line clarified its position. He said, “I always decide whether to play or not. “

“At the end of the day, does a player feel comfortable going into the field every day and – in my case, more importantly – feels comfortable going in every day and feel like you’re not putting anyone in danger? Zimmerman wrote later in the journal. “I am by no means someone who thinks that we should all hide in our homes until a vaccine is found. It’s not possible for anyone. We just have to do it in a smart and intelligent way. “

Zimmerman shared his thoughts three days after the MLB and the players’ union finalized plans for a 60-game season, with training camps set to resume next week. Zimmerman, 35, is the father of a three-week-old boy and two young girls. His mother suffers from multiple sclerosis and is “at very high risk,” he writes, and he fears that he will not be seen until well after this season, if it is even played.

Zimmerman expressed doubts about the global model, the MLB deciding to operate without a “bubble” or center cities. The NBA return-to-play plan includes the isolation of teams returning outside of Orlando; the WNBA, MLS and the National Women’s Soccer League have opted for similar approaches. The NHL plans to designate two pitches and put 12 teams in each. Baseball teams, however, will travel between cities – by plane or train – and will trust thousands of people to exercise caution while being away from the team’s facilities.

Players, coaches and staff will sleep at home. Their families will have to be just as smart and safe for this to work. In addition to this, the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are among the state teams that have recently been hot spots for case peaks of coronavirus.

“If you’re going to participate, there are rules you have to follow,” wrote Zimmerman. MLB has left it to each team to create and implement an off-premises driving policy.

“The” bubble “is as good as the people inside the” bubble “. It’s not like there are COVID police on the floors of our hotels, “said Zimmerman. “So it will depend on the players and everyone involved and what they will do every second of their day. When you start thinking about it like this, it starts to get a little more complicated. “

Zimmerman has made more than $ 137 million in a 15-year major league career, according to Baseball-Reference. He signed a $ 2 million, one-year contract for 2020, saying he could still produce with a reduced rule. This year was to be the start of his curtain call. He even wrote in a PA diary that the pandemic – and being at home with his family – made him feel at peace with retirement.

But that doesn’t mean that Zimmerman’s reservations are unique. It’s likely that over the next few days and weeks, more players will express themselves as much. A person in close contact with many National players said that Zimmerman was not alone and that others had initiated the idea of ​​sitting down. And how this season has gone, after tough negotiations between the owners and the players, has left many people with a sour feeling to come back.

This feeling was infused into Zimmerman’s story on Friday. He made sure to note who was putting their health at risk and who was not.

“I’ll tell you this about baseball: the owners are not going to travel with us. I’m sure they’ll hang out at home, watch baseball on TV, “he wrote. “We are going to be the ones over there, if we decide to play. We take all the risks. ”


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