Although Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is widely held as the best player in Major League Baseball, he seldom goes out of his way to comment on many topics, or to otherwise insert himself into the story. Trout's taciturn nature can work against him, as it limits his visibility and worldwide exposure, but it also grants extra weight to the statements he does make.
Wednesday provided an example of that effect at work. Trout joined Mike Tirico for an interview on NBC Sports Network, during which he discussed MLB's proposed plans to return this year, albeit with some alterations in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Those could include having players all report to a single state (likely Arizona) and remain in isolation to avoid becoming infected.
Here's a snippet of what Trout said:
For those who would prefer to read Trout's words, here you go:
"I obviously want to play as fast as we can. Get to a city, maybe Arizona, they're throwing out Florida … but being quarantined in a city, I was reading for -- if we play -- a couple of months, it would be difficult for some guys. What are you going to do with family members? My wife is pregnant, what am I going to do when she goes into labor -- am I going to have to quarantine for two weeks after I come back? Obviously I can't miss the birth of our first child. There are a lot of red flags, there are a lot of questions. Obviously we would have to agree on it as players. I think the mentality is that we want to get back as soon as we can. But it has to be realistic. It can't be sitting in our hotel rooms, and just going from the field to the hotel room and not being able to do anything. I think that's pretty crazy."
Trout's objections are valid, and they echo the sentiments expressed by other players in recent weeks. They come not long after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that sports could return this summer during an interview.
"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."
It's clear that MLB (and other leagues) will have to amend their proposals in order to treat players (and their families) like humans rather than cogs in a machine. If they can find a way to do that, then Trout and company would likely be more than willing to sign off on things.