MLB Makes MAJOR Changes to COVID Protocols as 2020 Season Continues to Fail

We all love baseball, that’s the truth.

This is the sort of game that makes us proud to be Americans.  This is our national pastime, after all, and any adjustments made to the game itself are truly subject to the whims and wiles of the nation itself.

That’s why this largely-abbreviated season, marred by the effects of coronavirus, has been so tricky:  We want to believe in it, but the scattershot reality of the whole thing has us longing for more.

Now, after repeated failures, Major League Baseball is revamping their coronavirus protocols in order to keep players and staff as safe as possible. 

The revised protocols include:

  • Players and staff wear face coverings at all times, including the dugout and clubhouse, with the exception of players on the field. This includes all coaches on the field, and every member of the umpiring crew. They must also wear face coverings at all times in the hotel and at public places on the road.

  • Clubs now are required to reduce the size of their traveling parties to only personnel who are absolutely essential to playing games. The compliance officers must certify that every member of the traveling party served an essential function on the road trip.

  • Staff and players are strictly prohibited from meeting in hotel rooms while on the road (including to share food), and may not gather in any public areas of the hotel without permission from the team’s compliance officer. Each team will make at least one private large room at the hotel with food and other amenities that is configured to allow for social distancing. Yet, while eating and drinking, individuals are discouraged from talking to one another, or even facing one another.

  • On road trips, clubs must provide a minimum of four buses, with a fully unoccupied row between players and staff members, while prohibiting side-by-side seating. On planes, players and staff members are prohibited from having more than two individuals in a row, and they can’t sit across from one another. They also are prohibiting anyone from leaving their seats except to use the lavatory. Players and staff members also must wear surgical masks or N95/KN95 respirators on the plane, prohibiting cloth face coverings.

  • Eating and drinking are still permitted on planes, but players and staff are prohibited from talking to one another at the same time.

  • Any player or staff member must notify their compliance officer if they intend to leave the hotel on the road. The officer will decide whether their planned trip outside the hotel complies with the manual and the club’s code of conduct.

  • All clubs now are required to provide outdoor, covered spaces for all visiting players and staff members to sit. Whenever possible, players and players are also encouraged to eat outdoors instead of the clubhouse.

  • While at home, players and staff members are strictly prohibited from visiting bars, lounges, malls, or places in which large groups gather.

  • Players and staff members who have been ordered to quarantine or isolate on the road may not leave their hotel rooms under any circumstance. Any club official who does not receive permission from the commissioner’s office to end their quarantine or isolation is subject to discipline.

Those who refuse to adhere to the rules will face lengthy suspensions that the MLB has indicated will be applied to both the regular season as well as the post season.