On Monday, Major League Baseball released its schedule for an expected 60-game season. The timing of the schedule’s release seemed somewhat ironic as the number of COVID-19 continues to grow and has surpassed 11,000 new cases a day in some states. Several teams across the league have already had to cancel workouts and training sessions because of delays in test results.
With these circumstances in mind, Mookie Betts was questioned about the probability of him playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers this year. Given his pending free agency, the question also begs if he will ever suit up for the team, for that matter.
Betts expressed his doubts about returning to the league based on the current state of affairs in the U.S., not only regarding COVID-19, but also the prominence of racial injustice issues within the industry.
He claims to be preparing in the same ways, and although he is fully expecting to play, Betts still has his doubts on the upcoming season. The new Dodgers’ player suggested he needed facts and a concrete plan in order to form his own plan better.
Betts’ First Season with the Dodgers Has Come With Its Hardships
During the trade in February, Mookie Betts joined the Dodgers along with David Price in a five-player trade. Unfortunately, they only played for four weeks with their new team before the pandemic halted the start of the upcoming season.
Over three months after quarantine regulations were placed in effect, MLB and the MLB Players Association have agreed on a frame of reference for the season. Although these plans were met with initial excitement, the first few days of what the league is calling “Summer Camp” have already created issues regarding COVID-19 testing. The holiday weekend has not and will not make the testing process any easier as cases are expected to continue to rise.
Dave Roberts, the Dodgers manager, claims that despite popular belief, testing has gone fluidly and efficiently as results were expedited and athletes tested. Betts is not feeling as optimistic as some of his fellow athletes and superiors. He claims he cannot be confident in the matter until he is shown evidence of measures being put into place to ensure COVID-19 is controlled within the league.
He acknowledges that the circumstances in the league regarding COVID-19 testing are beyond his control. However, they are within the means of someone, and that person should work diligently in solving a still growing issue. If the situation is not controlled soon, Betts feels it is worth considering postponing the season yet again.
If Things Go As Planned
If the season continues as planned, Betts will play alongside some of the best players in the MLB today and in “one of the deepest lineups in baseball history.” Recently, it was announced that Jimmy Nelson decided to undergo back surgery and another fellow teammate, David Price, decided he would be opting out of the season.
Betts expressed support for Price’s decision and claims Price is one of the best teammates he has ever had.
It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out, both with MLB and COVID-19, nationwide.