It didn’t take long at all for baseball’s safety protocols to be tested. We barely made it a week into the season before the first major outbreak of the coronavirus hit an MLB team, forcing others to reassess their preparedness for a similar situation.
The commissioner has already threatened the suspension of the season if things do not get better fast, and the timeline that he gave doesn’t give teams much time to address any issues.
In text conversations with teammates Friday, MLBPA player reps warned that if there is a big jump in COVID+ tests over the weekend, MLB season may be canceled. While it remains unclear what the threshold is, @CraigMish is reporting the Cardinals have more than five new positives.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2020
The Dodgers have yet to report any new positives since the start of the season, but they are still making changes in the hopes of keeping their season alive. These changes took effect at the start of Friday night’s game and are meant to go one step further than the league mandates on safety.
Dodgers COVID-19 Precautions
- All players will wear face coverings in the dugout
- Any player not in the lineup or game will not be in the dugout during the game
- Pitching coaches will not be in the dugout when the team is on offense
- Hitting coaches will not be in the dugout when the team is on defense
- Readdressed high fives and handshakes
- 6 feet of distancing and face coverings in the bullpens where guys may have to sit in the stands to ensure space
- Avoid public appearances for marketing purposes
The main theme with these new precautions is limiting the number of people in the dugout at all times. Social distancing was not exactly seen during the first week of games, as players could be seen standing next to each other on the dugout steps, high fives were still being given, and masks were not being worn. These new rules should help give players and coaches more space, but it is ultimately up to them to change old habits and follow them.
The season is hanging on by a thread at the moment, and we may know as early as Monday if it will be canceled. While that outcome still seems unlikely due to the revenue that it would cost the league, it remains a possibility. Hopefully, other teams follow the Dodgers’ lead and go above and beyond to protect their players and coaches from themselves.