Baseball’s consensus best player Mike Trout opened up to reporters this morning at Angels’ preseason camp and shared some doubts about returning to play baseball, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The typically tight-lipped kingfish center fielder had a lot to say, as he spoke to The Athletic‘s Fabian Ardaya, saying:
“Honestly, I still don’t feel comfortable. […] We’re risking our families, risking our lives to go out here and play for everyone…I want to play. It’s just a tough situation. I’ve just got to play it by ear. […] One guy could mess this up…Everybody’s got to take responsibility, got to take care of each other…Everybody wants this game back, but we’ve got to get this game back in the right way and the safest way.”
While Trout has not opted out of the season, he has committed to prioritizing his family’s health as his wife Jessica is due with their first child in August. At the bare minimum, one would expect Trout to take time off in August to be with his wife, given the circumstances.
Mike Trout pic.twitter.com/m15uVtO2xE— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 3, 2020
New Angels manager Joe Maddon, similarly, made some waves with his coronavirus comments.
LA #Angels manager Joe Maddon: “The person that opts out is the person who doesn’t want to follow the protocols at any risk. If you in your heart of hearts don’t believe you can do this, you’re the person who should opt out.”— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 3, 2020
“The person that opts out is the person who doesn’t want to follow the protocols at any risk. If you in your heart of hearts don’t believe you can do this, you’re the person who should opt out.”
Nightengale attempted to clarify Maddon’s statement on Twitter, saying “Joe Maddon simply is saying that any player who can’t follow the protocols, endangering the health of their teammates and families, should opt out. He certainly respects anyone’s choice to opt out.”
It’s possible that what Maddon meant to say was something far different than what he conveyed, or that he was misquoted. However, Maddon’s statement characterizes players opting out as those who do not want to follow protocol. According to Nightengale’s clarification, Maddon is saying completely different: that those not following protocol should opt-out.
While baseball fans haven’t seen players play for about nine months now, they should respect Trout’s (and other players’) willingness to prioritize his and his family’s health with so many uncertain implications of the virus, even among young and able-bodied people.
Edit: Bob Nightengale took Maddon’s quote completely out of context. Maddon fully supports players making their own choices for health and safety, unlike Nightengale’s original tweet implies.
Here are the full quotes from Joe Maddon in @BNightengale’s story. Bob would’ve been better served to not send the original tweet out without some context. https://t.co/hRw8h1DR8B https://t.co/Y82ZoIiiri pic.twitter.com/tGP3wJV5pc— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) July 3, 2020
Photo credit: Jeff Fletcher, Orange County Register (via Twitter)
I don’t blame any player, coach, or employee, for opting not to play or be part of this upcoming “season.”
Honestly, I can’t help but to feel, that if ever there was a reason to NOT have a season, this one is it.
It’s not looking good. We still have 2 1/2 weeks before so-called Opening Day and various players are opting out. I have the feeling it’ll be a flood soon, with Trouty one of the players not wanting to risk the health of his loved ones. Which means the season won’t start. I hope I’m wrong.
There’s a nagging feeling that sometime in the future we’ll wonder what kind of numbers Trout would have put up if he hadn’t lost two years of his prime. One would be bad enough.
I hope you are accurate, playing any sport until there is a vaccine is insane. Covid 19 spreads to easily and there are reports that it has mutated 30 times and becomes stronger. The risk is that you pass it on to someone who can’t handle fighting this virus. Maybe it would be better to just wait for next spring. Not popular statement l know, but that is how l feel. “Better to be safe than sorry” right?
I hate to say it, but I think you might be right Eric.
In fact, I sort of predicted this back when the MLB announced plans for the 60 game season and people were celebrating saying “we”re gonna have baseball” and I replied “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
My feeling is. The owners can make, or not lose, money if they are not the ones to cancel the season. If the owners, did what is right, and canceled the season because of COVID-19 being an issue to health and safety. Whatever protection from not having a season in 2020 maybe (insurance, loan protection), would not happen unless it was out of their control (Government, players) are told they can’t, or are unable, to hold the season. Money will roll in. They must have something. Too many strikes, or the threats of, has made them cover all of their bases. They need the income to flow.
If the owners really wanted to have a 2020 season, we would have had been playing already.
Some contract has a minimum amount of games needing to be played, and they are needed to be played during a certain time of the year.
The owners stalled. They will give it just one shot. Knowing that just enough players will be needed, and some of the players are needing to collect a paycheck. The safety out MLB has given the players, is a way to make it look like they are trying to hold a season. All the stipulations MLB has given for the season, is just a way to word it so they can say “because of the situations beyond our control we will no longer be able to continue the 2020 Major League Baseball Championship season. Sorry, and good night.”
The owners are awfully quiet.
oh, now I see what Maddon is saying. He’s saying if you’re a jerk and don’t want to wear a mask and don’t believe in social distancing then do us a favor and don’t show up. That makes sense!
This is where the Angels current emphasis on hiring guys in the Trout ‘good guy’ mold is an advantage. We don’t have many (any?) loose cannons. Rendon, Trout, Fletcher, Simba all seem the family man, best for everyone types. That is best usually, imo, but definitely now when trust is so very important.
I dunno about Simmons, has tweeted/posted about some wild conspiracies before.
Such as ????
At least let’s hope he is not a Flat Earther like Kyrie.
Based on the video footage of Trout stretching, he’s not looking super limber. haha. The teammate next to him is doing full on toe touches and Trout can’t even left his leg above waist level. Yikes.
Bottom line, Trout should do what is best for ME, not his wife and unborn child. I’m bored, and Trout can help assuage that slightly, for like a few hours a day.
Rumor has it that Trout is fat.
The mask is there not only to protect his lungs, but so we can’t see how fat his neck has become.
Don’t know if I am really excited about the MLB season, but I needed some old “HH” humor and this is it!
I mean look at it, the strap doesn’t even go around his neck. That has to be why it is just dangling there, right?
Ah we love the fact that Bob severely takes quotes out of context!
He is not to be trusted.
He’s a giant boob
A teat tweet.
It is starting to seem like there are a lot of players that don’t want to play. That makes perfect sense. There is a surge of coronavirus right now and the MLB probably shouldn’t be moving forward with a season when it looks like a bad idea.
But, this does make me angry with the players as a group. Before shouting “when and where” they should have had the decency to think “If the MLB says tomorrow at your home stadium” do I really want to show up? It looks like the players were just trying to build a case in support of filing a grievance against the owners and now that the owners have raised the players want to fold.
Again, if Trout isn’t comfortable playing he shouldn’t play. My criticism is limited to the players’ past negotiating tactic.
The when and where part of the conversation was still a budget scenario – and both sides acknowledged that this was before discussions of health protocols and that the health situation is an on-going and in flux scenario.