On the day the Los Angeles Dodger departed for the start of their longest road trip of the season, MLB was beginning to grapple with what became a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak within the Miami Marlins traveling party.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and several players had spent previous few weeks voicing confidence in MLB’s health and safety protocols. News of the Marlins’ outbreak — and subsequent trouble within other teams was unsettling — but the Dodgers maintained they could avoid a similar situation.
All appears to have gone well with a nine-game trip over 10 days. L.A. not only went 7-2 away from Dodger Stadium but players additionally abided by stricter-than-normal guidelines on the road.
“I think that going into the season there was a lot of uncertainty and the first thing you hear about is other teams going on road trips and kind of what happened,” Roberts said.
“So for us to kind of run the course itself and kind of see how it plays out, it logistically works and have success, there haven’t been any positive tests from our guys so they’ve been really taking it upon themselves to get through the season.”
That the Dodgers don’t seem to have had any members of the organization contract the virus while on the road is further impressive considering where they visited. “Really encouraged by that,” Ross Stripling said of completing the road trip.
“Especially to go to a few hotbeds between Houston and Arizona, and come out of it unscathed. And obviously three really good teams, a long road trip, to go 7-2 is an accomplishment on its own. Definitely happy to be headed home healthy.”
Joc Pederson added: “It’s huge. You’ve got to tip your hat to our training staff and the players holding each other accountable for our safety and our families’ safety. Really proud of that, and the wins obviously were nice as well.”
Roberts did note he sensed some players going “stir crazy” because of restrictions in place, which Kenley Jansen, who contracted and recovered from COVID-19 before reporting to Summer Camp, acknowledged was the case.
“It’s tough. You want your family to be with you but they can’t. Everything changed,” he said. “Life is not normal right now. You want to be with your family, and it’s hard right now but we’ve got to get through it.”
The Dodgers have a six-game road trip to face the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers at the end of August, and are away from L.A. for seven consecutive games in September for visits to Petco Park and Coors Field.
Roberts gave his team “a solid A” on their first road trip of the season.
Justin Turner spearheads Dodgers protocols
The Dodgers already had shown to be one of the more responsible clubs with respect to adhering to MLB protocols, but the team still took matters into their own hands midway through the trip.
Spearheaded by Justin Turner, the Dodgers required every player and coach to wear a face mask when in the dugout, and have sent those who aren’t in the game to sit in the stands, among other changes.
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