Thursday, May 28, 2020

Play in the MLB During the COVID-19 Pandemic - My View

It is July 4th and we are ready to play some baseball. All the players, team staff and coaches have been tested daily and players who test positive have been placed in quarantine away from teammates and the other teams. The purpose of this blog post will be how I see the game of baseball progressing once play resumes (with social distancing measures in place). Some of my ideas will jive with what the MLB is proposing. Anyway, here goes.

First of all, I think it's pretty clear that we are looking at a half-season +1 game schedule (half 162 is 81 so 1 extra game each for 82GP).

Roster sizes should be the traditional 50 players with half being active each game.

Hub Cities should be used as the NHL is doing (one for each league or potentially one each division to minimize travel)

A universal DH should be used for this year only

Players must sit 2 feet apart in the dugout with the stands being used as extra space with players sitting in every other seat and in alternating rows.

No spitting or licking of fingers allowed. To discourage pitchers from licking their fingers, they will be required to dip their pitching fingers in a foul-tasting substance (such as lemon juice or Tabasco sauce) between innings.

No chewing tabacco products or sunflower seeds

No spitting

No base stealing allowed. This will allow the basemen to play a couple of feet in front of or behind the runner

1st, 2nd, and 3rd bases will be replaced by giant bases the size of high jump mats in Track and field so there can be two feet between the base runner and fielder at all times

During mound meetings, the catcher, pitching coach and pitcher must be positioned on the opposite sides of the mound and the pitcher and pitching coach must don a mask and the catcher must keep his catching mask down on his face.

Bottles of disinfectant spray will be placed at the base of the mound and the pitcher must use it whenever he accepts the ball back to disinfect the ball

Everyone must use their own equipment (gloves, batting helmets, bats, etc.). Pitchers will have their own designated set of bullpen balls each session.

The home plate umpire will be effectively eliminated with  roboumps calling strikes/balls. An umpire will be situated in the press gallery to make safe/out calls  at each base

Batters must stand as far forward in the batter's box as possible to maximize the distance between batter/catcher

In the event of a pop fly right between two players, a game of rock/paper/scissors will  decide who goes for it

The balls will be replaced after every pitch

No throwing the ball around the horn after a strike out or put-out

No high-fives, fist bumps or hugs (air hugs are allowed)

Games will be postponed if a player coughs during play

First- and third-base coaches are not to approach baserunners or umpires, and players should not socialize with opponents.

personnel who rub baseballs with mud for the pitchers must use gloves.

all coaches and trainers must stand 6 feet apart in the dugout with the clubhouse being used as overflow

bullpen pitchers must warm up six feet apart from each other or one at a time if not possible 

a player must be removed from the game if they get an open wound from sliding or a blister 

the traditional exchange of lineups will not occur. Instead, each manager will tweet out the teams lineup a couple of hours prior to each game and text each other 

Crowd noise will be blasted through the sound system for the fans watching on TV

Styrofoam fans will be scattered throughout the stadium so it looks kind of occupied (like they are doing in Korea

Got any other crazy ideas of how to play baseball while social distancung? Comment below.