Major League Baseball has been struggling to operate without a “bubble” and just two weeks into the season, TWO TEAMS have already had to shut down due to full-blown outbreaks. In response, yesterday, the MLB released revised protocols, and threatened to suspend players and staff members for the rest of the season for significant violations.
And the new guidelines are SO controlling, that it feels like a list of rules that chaperones have for elementary school field trips.
Here are some highlights:
1. Players and staff must wear face coverings at all times, with the exception of players ON the field. They must also wear masks at all times in the hotel and at public places on the road.
2. Players are strictly prohibited from meeting in hotel rooms, not even to share food. Each team will have a large room at the hotel with food that’s set-up for social distancing.
Yet, while eating and drinking, players are discouraged from talking to each another, or even FACING one another.
3. Players are not allowed to sit side-by-side on buses, and every other row must be empty. On planes, players can’t get up from their seats unless they have to use the bathroom.
4. Eating and drinking is still permitted on planes, but players and staff are prohibited from TALKING to one another while doing so.
5. Players must notify their “compliance officer” if they want to leave their hotel. The officer will decide “whether their planned trip outside complies with the manual and the club’s code of conduct.”
6. While at home, players and staff members are strictly prohibited from visiting bars, lounges, malls, or places with large groups of people.
“USA Today” has the full list of rules.