Usually by this time of year I have my Spring Training trip booked. And I go kind of Griswold on this: scouring the schedule to pick a group of 4-5 games, booking a fairly central AirBnB, even buying game tickets. But not this year. Not yet, anyway. But the door is open.
MLB has told owners to expect a full 162 game season. The league safety protocols would allow for fan attendance as early as Spring Training, in pods separated by at least six feet, with masks, etc.
Here’s a good breakdown of the protocols for Spring Training. Fans in attendance will no longer roam the back fields or cram by the dugouts looking for autographs. The first three rows will be empty and seating will be limited.
As of now MLB does not plan on implementing a policy demanding vaccine cards for entry to stadiums. Plan on plenty of local and state agencies to do so anyhow, taking MLB off the hot seat for that decision.
Japan has a number of sensible measures in place and is using baseball as a dry run for potential Olympic attendance. MLB would be wise to look at their model and learn from it.
For their part, MLB stadiums across the country are being used as vaccination sites including Dodger Statdium and Petco Park in the Southland. Citi Field will be operating around the clock.
I realize this topic has serious potential to turn into a political debate and to a degree that’s unavoidable. I also realize this is a baseball forum and we use data here rather than simple platitudes. This isn’t a one size fits all pandemic and there isn’t a one size fits all solution. There are, however, multiple calculators to help you calculate your personal risk for a serious Covid illness and the risk for those in your household. Take a look and attend or don’t attend games according to your risk and comfort level. Just be smart about it, please.
As far as who plays those games for the Angels, GM Perry Minasian recently said basically nothing on MLB radio. One constant during his tenure in Atlanta was a solid bullpen and there are still plenty of arms he could add.
One name off that list is Archie Bradley, who went to Philadelphia on a one year $6 million deal.
And who will be the voice of the Angels once the season begins? Friend of the site Victor Rojas has moved on to his front office goals, much to the dismay of the Angels faithful. The Athletic took a look at some potential replacements.
Prior to getting to know Vic I used to think he had the best job in the world. Then I became a husband and a father and saw how much time he spent away from his family. You just don’t get that time back.
As for a long form read or documentary to watch, I can think of only one thing as we head into a weekend dedicated to celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. I’m grateful every day for his impact. And, of course, he was a baseball fan and friend of Jackie Robinson.
Enjoy the extra day off if you get one. Be safe.