Major League Baseball is on indefinite hiatus because of the novel coronavirus threat, and the league is considering many different scenarios for a possible return., which calls for playing all games in the greater Phoenix area (at Chase Field, spring training parks, etc.) and isolating players at their hotel and at the ballpark.
Beyond the logistical issues with the Arizona Plan, many players aren't keen on the idea of leaving their family for an extended period. Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw has a similar sentiment. He doesn't believe it's reasonable to separate players from their families for months on end..
"We all want to play baseball. I get that; I want to play baseball too," Kershaw said. "But there is something about being in the big leagues and you can't compromise that. Playing in spring training stadiums and quarantining for months without your family and certain things like that, I don't think that's doable if you're talking about doing it for four to five months."You just lose the product on the field because guys aren't in their natural element. We're all ready to take drastic measures to make this season happen, but there's also certain things that will affect the product on the field, and that's what you have to be careful about."
Kershaw's concerns are reasonable, of course. Players are human beings -- well-paid human beings, but still human beings -- not robots who exist only for our entertainment. They have families and they're concerned about the pandemic just like everyone else. As much as we all want baseball back, the players have to look out for their and their family's interests.
It should be noted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said sports could return during the summer months. That would require an increase in testing availability. MLB would need tests for players and other personnel without compromising testing capabilities for the public at large.
"There's a way of doing that," Fauci told Snapchat's Peter Hamby. "Nobody comes to the stadium. Put (the players) in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled ... Have them tested every single week and make sure they don't wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out."
MLB and other sports leagues will undoubtedly consider many different scenarios to get the league up and running following the pandemic. It will have to be done in a way that is fair to the players, however.