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MLB’s health, safety plan OK with many; county pleased with Padres’ protocols

05/21/20

Read the full article by Kevin Acee in the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

The document Major League Baseball submitted to its players’ union was 67 pages. It didn’t even cover every concern regarding the health and safety of those who would participate in a 2020 season, should the season occur.

The specifications are certain to change, as the MLB Players Association, after consulting with hundreds of its members, sent its official response to the league Thursday. Among myriad issues the MLBPA reportedly would like to see addressed in more detail were the frequency of COVID-19 testing, protocols for positive tests and protections available to high-risk players and their families.

Major League Baseball is expected to officially submit a financial proposal to the union in the next week. To this point, the sides’ communication regarding money has been done in emails and through the media.

MLB first wanted to assure there is an understanding of what will be required in terms of health and safety protections.

The league has publicly committed to working with its teams, the MLBPA and government officials. The latter group is imperative.

Toward that end, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Thursday, the Padres have worked extensively with the county, including public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

“The Padres have developed a very robust plan that not only meets the guidelines we have of other businesses that are open but in many cases exceeds them,” Fletcher said. “Based on the plans that are drafted and shared with us, once they get the green light from state, I don’t foresee anything locally that would hold them back.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this week he anticipates professional sports could resume without fans as soon as the first week of June.

“We have to do it when it is safe and responsible,” Fletcher said before going on to speak about baseball’s “unique” positioning to aid the nation’s recovery.

“I believe this can play an important part of bringing together a divided community, giving us a venue and platform to come together, cheer together,” Fletcher said.