The baseball world received some good news Tuesday, but a dark cloud still looms over MLB and the rest of the sports landscape.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains prevalent in the United States. While many states are trending in the right direction in terms of diminishing the number of coronavirus cases, other states are seeing spikes, which very well could make MLB’s and other leagues’ returns and maintained play an arduous task.
So, how will MLB, specifically, go about trying to prevent the spread of the virus during the upcoming season? Here’s a list of some noteworthy measures, as provided by MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince:
— Players, coaches and support staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day during Spring Training, the regular season and postseason.
— Players will receive temperature/symptom checks twice per day.
— Antibody testing will be conducted once per month.
— Social distancing will be encouraged as much as possible both on the field and off. Players and other team personnel not participating in the game will be sitting in the stands, at least six feet apart.
— Non-playing personnel must wear masks in the dugout and bullpen at all times.
— No pregame exchange of lineup cards.
— No celebratory contact (high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.).
— No spitting or chewing of tobacco and/or sunflower seeds. Chewing gum is allowed.
— A ball will be thrown out once it has been touched by multiple players.
— Fights are strictly prohibited.
Limited travel also should, theoretically, limit the danger of the virus spreading. As noted in MLB’s statement on the parameters of the 2020 campaign, each team’s 60-game season will only consist of divisional matchups and games against teams from the same geographic region in the opposing league. (For example, the Boston Red Sox will play against the American League East and the National League East.)
Players are set to report to training camp July 1. The regular season will begin July 23 or July 24.