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MLBPA Responds to Virus Protocols: Some Proposals are “Over-the-Top”

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The Major League Baseball Players Association has reportedly issued a response to the league’s 67-page health-and-safety proposal designed to guide baseball’s return to action from its COVID-19 pandemic pause, as first reported by the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman.

One of the proposals that the players believe is “over-the-top” is arriving at the ballparks already dressed. Whether it makes them feel like a recreational softball player or a little leaguer, they are not in favor of MLB’s proposal that discourages showering at facilities, as MLB has suggested that “To the extent showering occurs, clubs should explore modifications to facilities to allow for physical distancing and hygiene.”

The players are reportedly not in favor of the way they would be prohibited to access to pre- and postgame therapies. Post-game treatments such as saunas, steam rooms, pools, and cryotherapy chambers were also discouraged in the league’s original proposal. However, recent news from the Centers for Disease Control may allow MLB to revise this policy. The CDC says there is no evidence the virus spreads through water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas, and that proper operation and maintenance, including disinfection with chlorine and bromine, should kill the virus in the water.

Also, Sherman mentioned that players want the testing volume increased, as daily tests would allow greater comfort and fewer restrictions within the clubhouse and ballpark. It is not sure at this time whether MLB will have enough access to the tests, as well as the ability to have tests returned in a timely fashion, in order to accommodate this request by the time that MLB would like baseball to return in early July.

In an email to owners, team presidents and CEOs, and general managers that accompanied the protocols, MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem wrote: “We emphasize that this is a first draft, and will undergo several rounds of changes as we collect comments and suggestions from the clubs, the players’ association, players, and government officials.”

It is also noted that any suggestions that either MLB and the players propose are just some of the ideas that might come about, and each would be applicable league-wide. However, teams may have to implement specific recommendations for their own parks as government officials might further shape plans based on what is going on at the locations that games are taking place.








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