Players’ union mulls protocols for starting the MLB season: report

GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Mike Ehrmann Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida, is pictured empty on May 20

Major League Baseball players have concerns about coronavirus testing protocols that the owners have proposed in an exhaustive new 67-page health and safety plan, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The draft of the safety protocols was delivered to the 30 teams and the Major League Baseball’s Players Association on May 15.

“The union has spent the past several days carefully reviewing the manual and gathering feedback from its medical experts and players across the league, including a 3.5-hour video conference with 100-plus player leaders on Monday,” a spokesman for the union told the Post.

Before the planned start of the delayed season due to the coronavirus outbreak, the union is seeking answers on several key issues including testing frequency, player compensation, protections for family members and social distancing guidelines.

Baseball is seeking to begin the season around July 4. Before that there is a mini-spring training planned which would start in mid-June.

MLB hopes to open play without spectators, but in as many of the teams’ home stadiums as possible.

Under the new safety plan, players would be banned from spitting or exchanging high-fives, taking showers after games, and not allowed to move around outside their hotels while on the road. They would also have to arrive at the stadium in uniform.

MLB has modified one of its drug testing labs in Utah to be used as a Covid-19 testing facility.

Testing is a big issue with the players. MLB said they would be tested several times a week but some players, like Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout, are asking to be tested every day.

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