WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner was clad in his cold-weather gear despite the temperature creeping toward 90 degrees. He often starts the season in the Spider-Man style getup, hood tight to his head and up over his mouth and ears. It’s typically used as protection from the chill of Opening Day. Turner does not like the cold.
Wearing it Tuesday was more of a test and sign. Players are not mandated to wear masks on the field. Some do, some do not. Turner said he probably won’t wear the ensemble during the season, but was checking on it during what resembled the team’s first full practice of Summer Camp. That was the test. Seeing him in the gear was a sign of how much players are feeling out the first portions of Major League Baseball’s reboot.
"For me I try to be positive,” Turner said. “There's gonna be bumps in the road and I've always said, control what you can control. We've got a great medical staff in place and what they say goes. They're looking out for our best interests and I trust them. ...But we're gonna have a little bit of hiccups along the way. As long as everyone stays safe and abides by rules I think we can get through a lot of it. Hopefully testing gets turned around a little quicker and they work those things out, because I think that's very important, maybe the most important thing, is to find out those results as quickly as possible.”
Turner spent the time between baseball’s initial shutdown and its attempted return at his house in Florida with his wife, Kristen Harabedian. He, like everyone else, had the option not to play this year if he felt unsafe. He never considered it.
“I always was leaning toward playing,” Turner said. “But that's a fluid question. You know, if it's going bad, you obviously can take all things into consideration and whatnot. But I think if we continue to do what we've done so far in these first three days then it's been the right decision, at least for me, to play.”
Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross, two players Turner has now been around for years, chose not to play.
“Everyone's got their own situation,” Turner said. “They've got families. They come from different backgrounds. We'll support each and everybody in their decision whether to play or not to play. Those are guys I have a lot of respect for and I'm happy for them.
“It's a hard decision. It's not easy to choose to play or to not play, because you don't know what somebody's dealing with, you don't know if they're dealing with something, their family's dealing with something, somebody close to them's dealing with someone, whatever it may be. That's their decision and you've gotta support them in it. I hope those guys are staying safe. We're gonna miss them and hopefully we can play some games, because that's what a lot of us are looking forward to."
The Nationals’ trial run into all of this continued Wednesday with their fifth workout. They are 10 days from their first exhibition game and 15 days from hosting the New York Yankees on national TV to start the season -- if everyone makes it there. As Turner said, everything is a fluid situation, from masks to who will play. And, his voice is now becoming more of a factor: Turner will be the longest-tenured Nationals position player on the field for the first pitch of 2020.
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