Pedro Martinez doesn’t want to see the COVID-19 outbreak derail Major League Baseball’s 2020 season.
The Boston Red Sox legend recently helped create the “Step Up to the Plate” fund with more than 40 other MLB players from the Dominican Republic to help the country cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But he’s got the league’s 2020 season on his mind, as well.
In fact, Martinez hopes the coalition can play a small part in helping MLB get back on its feet. But he knows time is limited.
“One of the many things that players can accomplish when they unite is getting the commissioner on the phone,” Martinez said, as transcribed by ESPN. “We talked to the commissioner, and he assured us that MLB is working hard to return to play this season. There have been suggestions to play out the season in places like Arizona, Texas and Florida. They haven’t figured things out yet, but the commissioner told us it’s his goal to have baseball this season.
“I’ve talked to a lot of the active players that are part of the coalition, and they feel like they are running out of time. The players need to be ready; the league needs to be ready,” Martinez added. “As of right now, it’s unclear how we will get to play this season, but the commissioner reassured us that we will have baseball this year. In speaking with him, my perception was that one of the things they will do is limit the amount of personnel inside stadiums, and in the beginning, games will likely be played without fans. The commissioner also told us that players’ health and safety will be paramount, and I feel confident that their well-being will never be put in jeopardy. MLB and the MLBPA have some of the best staffs in the world. They know how to run a business, and I am sure they will take all the precautions necessary to be able to play this season.”
We’ll second that.
While it’s unclear when MLB’s 2020 season will kick off, a mid-summer Opening Day is becoming increasingly likely. A full 162-game season, however, appears out of reach.