Dodgers Part-Owner Magic Johnson Calls On MLB Players To Be ‘Unselfish’
Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

While Major League Baseball is attempting to play its 2020 season in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it isn’t exactly going smoothly as the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals have already seen outbreaks in their organizations.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently warned players that if they do not follow the health and safety protocols and there is another outbreak, the season would be in danger of being postponed once again or cancelled altogether.

Manfred then added there was no cause for a shutdown at this time, so games are going on as scheduled for the time being. Though, not for the Cardinals as the league errs on the side of caution.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the teams taking the protocols seriously, which is part of the reason why they haven’t had any positive tests since the season began.

Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson, who is familiar with dealing with a potentially deadly virus in HIV, recently gave some advice to the players on how to get through the season without another outbreak, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:

“You can’t be selfish,” he said. “You just can’t. That’s the word you’ve got to use. It’s not about them. You have to be unselfish, because when you’re doing the right thing, that means you are caring not only about yourself but other people — your teammates and your family. That’s for your health, your teammates’ lives, your families’ lives, everybody.

“You can miss out on fun for three or four months. I’m being real, right? That fun will be there and then it will be safe for you to go back to going out to restaurants and bars and nightclubs once we get this vaccine. But right now? ‘OK, I’ve got to do this for myself, for my family and for my teammates.’ That’s it. You hold yourself accountable and you hold your teammates accountable.”

There is speculation that Marlins and Cardinals players were seen at a club and casino, respectively, before their team’s outbreaks, which would be extremely disappointing if true. The Cleveland Indians took action with Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger, who both broke protocols while on the road.

Hopefully teams around the league can use this as a wake-up call. Considering everyone worked so hard to make this season possible, it would be unfortunate if everything was shut down due to another outbreak that could have been avoided.

Dodgers make stricter health and safety protocols

In response to the Marlins and Cardinals’ outbreaks, the Dodgers, led by Justin Turner, decided to make stricter health and safety protocols.

Among the new protocols the Dodgers established are all players must wear face coverings in the dugout during games, players who aren’t in the game cannot sit in the dugout, pitching coaches are no longer in the dugout when the team is on offense, and hitting coaches aren’t present when the team is on defense.

Players and coaches also are no longer shaking hands, and relievers in the bullpen will maintain at least six feet of distance while also wearing a face covering. Additionally, when players are away from the field, they will avoid public marketing appearances.

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