With the league and commissioner Rob Manfred threatening to potentially shut down the season after virus outbreaks among several clubs, Dodgers players took it upon themselves to step up their own health and safety protocols.
On Friday, veteran Justin Turner sent a message to fans through Alanna Rizzo and the SportsNet LA team listing the ways that they will be enhancing their protocols.
— AlaNNa Rizzo (@alannarizzo) August 1, 2020
In the wake of 18 (!) Miami Marlins players having now tested positive for COVID-19, along with the league threatening a potential shut down of play after addional positives on other teams, Los Angeles hopes to lead by example with this list.
Moreover, when asked about the expansive list put together by Dodgers players and not an MLB mandate, pitcher Ross Stripling told Rizzo, “with the year the way it is, you don’t want to be the guy to screw it up.”
With a game still to be played, an opportunity arose to really see if players could adhere when Mookie Betts connected on his first home run in Dodger blue. Noteably, the big fly featured a markedly different display when it came to celebrating with teammates. Manager Dave Roberts spoke about that after the game.
I thought we did well [with the new protocols]. There were a lot of air high-fives, and I think even the spacing in the dugout — we had starters above the dugout, guys in the pen in the stands. It’s very important.
The fate of the 2020 season rests in the hand of players and faculty. While not every team in baseball has a shot at winning a title at the end of October, they each can lead to the plug being pulled for a second time this year. Thankfully the Dodgers are trying to ensure it’s not them.