Baseball sends new protocols to teams, warns suspensions for violations

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After outbreaks on two teams that forced drastic changes to their schedule, Major League Baseball has adjusted its protocols, and threatened suspensions for those who do not comply.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, MLB issued a six-page memo to all teams last night which outlined new procedures for dealing with COVID-19.

“We recognize that these changes place additional burdens and restrictions on players and staff,” the memo read. “But if we desire to play, they are necessary to limit infections and, if someone does test positive, to keep the virus from spreading. The behavior of every covered individual affects the players and staff on his or her team, and on other clubs as well.

“Everyone must be accountable for their own conduct because the careless or reckless actions of a few can impact the health and well-being of everyone.”

The memo also warned of serious punishment.

“Any covered individuals — whether players or club staff — who are found to have repeatedly or flagrantly violated the protocols, including refusing to wear a face covering when required and reminded to do so,” the memo reads, “risks being prohibited from further participation in the 2020 season and postseason.”

The new protocols include a requirement for everyone to wear masks at all times, except for players when they are on the field. That includes all coaches and umpires, and also requires them to all wear masks in the hotel and in public places on the road.

Clubs are also required to reduce the size of traveling parties to only the truly essential, with the team compliance officer required to make sure they’re not dragging extraneous people around. The policies also outline changes to policies for travel, to prohibit gatherings of people in common spaces, eating near each other, and to create more space in planes and buses. It also prohibits players from visiting bars, lounges, malls, and other places where people gather.

Having 33 players from the Marlins and Cardinals test positive necessitated the new measures, but also underscores the difficulty of trying to keep players safe from the virus without playing in a bubble like the NBA (where no players have tested positive).

7 responses to “Baseball sends new protocols to teams, warns suspensions for violations

  1. NFL teams are twice as large, but they travel less. so maybe the season can work out if the players take it seriously?
    the problem I see is the season is 17 weeks rather than baseballs 60 games.
    If a team suffers an outbreak it could cost them a few games and there may be a lot of randomness in the wins and losses this year.

  2. About time too. This should have been put in place from the start.

    Also, the NFL would do well to put something similar to this in place

  3. I’ve been saying all along that people need to police themselves on these protocols. We can’t depend on the government or our employers to follow us around and make sure we are compliant with the recommendations of the CDC. If we have too many people who think the rules don’t apply to them, we could be wearing these masks for years and watching sports being played in empty stadiums.

  4. It’s a little like going to college- you have to behave yourself (for the most part) for 4-5 years, skip a lot of things in order to study and get your education. It’s all worth it in the end.

    Same with this, they gotta suck it up and behave if they want to continue to earn the good money. Unlike NFL players, most don’t have that solid college education to fall back on.

  5. They can’t police themselves when a percentage think its not real and or that they are immune.

  6. “It’s a little like going to college- you have to behave yourself (for the most part) for 4-5 years, skip a lot of things in order to study and get your education. It’s all worth it in the end“

    Lol, the number of people I’ve met who regret going to college and/or who now have a job that has NOTHING to do with their degrees, I couldn’t even say. Most, easily. A university is a money pit first and a place of education second

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