As MLB and its players union discuss terms for what a shortened 2020 season might look like, many players have spoken out about their concerns with playing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Nationals closer Sean Doolittle posted a lengthy Twitter thread laying out the areas he wants league officials to focus on when considering how to protect the health of those involved in putting out games. Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell said on a Twitch stream Wednesday that he won’t play if the union agrees to further pay cuts when they’re the ones putting their health on the line.
In an interview with Cary Chow of NBC4 Washington that aired Thursday evening, Nationals starter Patrick Corbin echoed the thoughts of his teammate Doolittle.
“There’s so many things that need to happen for this to work and obviously the safety—not only for the players, but for the fans, for the players’ families—it’s going to be tough if we’re going to have to play and not be able to see our families for that whole time,” Corbin said. “Obviously, a lot of our parents are older and at that age where this could be a little dangerous, so it’s just tough on everybody.
“I know fans want to get sports on TV and we want to provide that for them, but we got to figure out the right way to do this and I think they’re taking the right steps towards hopefully having a season.”
There is no set deadline for when MLB and the union must come to an agreement in order to have a season but the league is reportedly targeting June 10 to pick spring training back up before starting the regular season in the first week of July.
Corbin, as restless as anyone to get back out on the field, isn’t sure if three weeks is going to be enough time for players to get back into shape—a sentiment shared by his teammate Adam Eaton.
“We want to play as many games as we can,” Corbin said. “We want to get back out there. Guys were built up through spring training and ready to go. The longer this goes, it’s going to take some more time for us to get back to the playing level that we need to.”
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