While there has been optimism over the past few weeks from all parties involved, does Major League Baseball submitting a 67-page document on health guidelines and safety protocols in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic raise some concern?
It’s one of the topics host Jeff Spiegel and DodgerBlue.com managing editor Matthew Moreno discussed on the latest episode of “DodgerHeads.” Spiegel has long been weary of travel requirements — even on a limited basis — and Moreno wonders if the health factor may ultimately be too much to overcome.
There also is the factor of a financial disagreement between MLB and the Players Association. The MLBPA continues to maintain a March agreement for prorated salaries addressed the matter, but owners are now claiming the deal was not based on staging games without fans in attendance.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell strongly voiced his opinion on the matter, which earned him plenty of public criticism. Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw noted Snell’s approach may not have been best, but he explained the MLBPA is of the opinion the March deal certainly is still valid.
If MLB and the union manage to find common ground, the 2020 season is expected to see a designated hitter introduced in the National League. The change was likely coming within a few years anyhow — presumably with a new collective bargaining agreement — but some purists, Moreno included, are not thrilled by the prospect of a universal DH.
While Spiegel and Moreno have different opinions of the DH arriving in the NL, they agreed it is a positive development for a talented and deep team such as the Dodgers.
And as the league and MLBPA remain at odds, California Gov. Gavin Newsom essentially cleared the way for sports to begin as soon as June — of course without fans in attendance. “We’re just talking about the opportunity to begin to work with county health directors and work with the state to begin the process of organizing around what that may or may not look like,” Newsom said in his daily address.
“And so we’ve been moving in that direction. As I noted on at least two or three occasions very publicly, we’ve been talking with league representatives from all the major league sports and working with our collaborative through the Western Governors Association and others, comparing and contrasting best practices, what’s happening in a number of other states that have professional sports in their states.
“And we are looking to advance those conversations now, not just more publicly, but advance them at a county level, working with county health officials to put out those guidelines on what that may or may not look like.”
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