BRONX — As the Summer Camp ship sails towards Opening Day, some players allow their enthusiasm to guide them towards playing baseball, while others have showed doubts and some have already opt-out of the 2020 season citing health concerns due to COVID-19.
As the hours of the day roll by, my phone receives alert after alert to notify me of the next MLB player who has bravely walked away from the game they love to protect themselves and people who own a bigger part of their heart.
2010 Cy Young winner Félix Hernández, a new addition to the Atlanta Braves roster, made his decision hours after it was announced that Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman and four Braves players tested positive for COVID-19.
Felix hernandez con miedo al COVID-19 ,no jugará en la temporada 2020 , Felix hernandez with fear of Covid -19 does not feel well to play in the 2020 season
— Wilfredo Polidor (@wpolidor19) July 5, 2020
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Pérez and New York Yankees pitcher Luis Cessa both tested positive for COVID-19 in the first round of testing during the first week of Summer Camp. On Friday, it was reported by MLB and the MLBPA that 38 tests were confirmed positive.
Newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price made the decision to hang up his cleats for the 2020 season. Price cited health concerns for him and his family as a driven factor in his decision to opt-out of his first year with the Dodgers.
— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) July 4, 2020
Arguably baseball’s best player, Los Angeles Angels All-Star Mike Trout has shown skepticism towards playing the 2020 season, as he and his wife, Jessica, are expecting a child. Trout has been seen around Summer Camp at Angels Stadium taking precautions and adhering to social distancing guidelines while wearing a mask during workouts.
Minnesota Twins second baseman Luis Arraez took to Twitter to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask to the public and fellow players around the league. Arraez has shown much joy being back on the diamond since the first day of Summer Camp but has taken a step back to put a lense on the precautions that are necessary to play baseball in 2020.
Some things are different now, the only thing that will never change is that baseball always gives us a reason to dream and enjoy. ⚾️ #WearAMask #MNTwins #SummerCamp
Algunas cosas son diferentes ahora pero el béisbol siempre nos da un motivo para soñar y disfrutar. pic.twitter.com/IkLYFY3sF5
— Luis Arraez (@Arraez_21) July 7, 2020
Players who are sailing steadfast towards Opening Day include New York Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres, who has a rejuvenated sense of optimism as baseball enters uncharted territory.
“I feel pretty good the first couple days,” Torres said in a video-call press conference on Sunday. “Right now I feel getting better and better. I think the most important thing for me is mentality and my mentality is one-hundred percent to play right now. I can’t wait to start the season and just play.”
Most fans have expressed both excitement and uncertainty as Opening Day can be seen in the horizon. But only time will let us know if we will “play ball” in 2020.
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