The Athletic Reveals Extensive List of MLB’s Proposed Safety Protocols
We had already learned about a ban on spitting and high-fiving, plus guidance against signing autographs, in a Wednesday report from Bob Nightengale. Then came Jared Diamond’s Friday report on how MLB planned to conduct regular testing without suspending the season again in the event of positive tests.
Now comes the most extensive and specific article yet, as Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic obtained a copy of MLB’s 67-page document ($) covering health and safety protocols for the 2020 season. You should follow the link above to see everything they’ve got, which is a lot — like, a LOT — but you’ll find a distillation of some particular points below.
- Each club must maintain dedicated testing and isolation areas in its spring training site.
- Free diagnostic and antibody testing for individuals who live in the same household as players, staff members, healthcare workers.
- Required daily home screenings with personal temperature check each morning. Clubs will provide thermometers.
- Temp checks and symptom questionnaires before entering park/facility.
- 50-player-limit (which fits with 30-man roster and 20-man taxi squad).
- Staggered workouts, maybe even at different locations.
- Report dates staggered, camp divided into three phases.
- Spring games begin between 7-9pm local time.
- Lockers 6 feet apart.
- Showering at facility discouraged.
- Pitchers will use personal balls for bullpen sessions.
- Masks should be worn except on the field.
- Try to maintain distance on field when possible.
- Use smaller airports when possible.
- Tons of different guidance on maintaining space and limiting the use of communal and/or indoor spaces.
- MLB to develop COVID-19 education program.
None of this is particularly eye-opening and a lot of it may seem like common sense after what we’ve all gone through over the last several weeks, but it’s interesting to note how granular MLB got here. Now it’s up to the players to determine how well they feel this addresses their collective concerns and whether they believe they’ll be able to play under these new parameters. My guess is that their desire to return to play will lead to an adoption of these regulations, though perhaps with a few tweaks here and there.
Seriously, though, go check out the full list at The Athletic because there’s a great deal more info there than I have here.