The Los Angeles Dodgers held their first official workout of Spring Training 2.0 on Friday, which provided players with a first look at stringent health and safety protocols put into place this season.
After nearly a four-month hiatus, players are a mere three weeks away from beginning the 2020 regular season. Of course, much of that hinges on avoiding a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak throughout the league.
“It’s on the players to some extent when we leave the field. I think everybody knows that,” Clayton Kershaw said when asked about concerns whether being responsible will extend beyond the stadium.
“I don’t know how much different guys have to harp on that. If you want to see the season through, if you want to play the season, if you want to give it its best shot, you can’t be stupid. Some guys are still going to get it and be as safe as possible. It’s just not worth the risk.
“It’s easier for me to say, obviously, since I’ve got a wife and three kids. I can just go home and to the ballpark and feel great about it. It’s going to be harder for guys that are single or living in apartments and things like that. I understand that, but if you want to get things off the ground, if you want to play, that’s as good incentive as any to do the right thing.”
Even with Major League Baseball implementing regular testing, there was some surprise playing the season under a bubble concept was abandoned relatively quickly. Of course, those scenarios involved states where the number of cases have spiked in recent weeks.
California, and specifically L.A. County, have experienced a surge, which makes it all the more imperative players are cautious. “I have a lot of confidence about the players because they understand what’s at stake,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said.
“We’ve also spent so much time with each of them up until now going through the processes and going through the steps leading up to getting here to the opening of Summer Camp here today. Obviously there’s a dimension to this that involves more than just the players, it’s wherever they are when they’re not here and where those people that they come in contact with are in the rest of their lives.
“So it’s complicated, it’s tricky. I have a high level of confidence about our players who have, I think, been made to appreciate the seriousness of all this. But, as I said, this is a problem that extends far beyond just the players and we’re aware of that. I think we’re prepared to deal with that in the most responsible, safe and appropriate way.”
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