Baseball’s annual All-Star break would begin tomorrow … if this were a normal, pandemic-free world. Which it’s not.
It is …
… a cheese on apple pie, Wile E. Coyote catches the Roadrunner, messed up, all wrong, pandemic-full world.
It is a cat’s hairball atop a dead cactus atop that moldy slimy thing in the back of the fridge atop the mouse that died under the couch that we didn’t know about until … that smell … world.
It is horrible.
It is a world where Mike Trout’s mother tweets a photo of Mike Trout wearing a mask while playing because she wants to encourage people to wear masks because a lot of people seem to not understand the concept of how masks work to mitigate the spread of disease.
And, “Wear a mask so you won’t die or make other people sick” is, apparently, not encouragement enough for some people.
Sorry. Wandered off.
Even if you can’t stand the All-Star Break and the interminable Home Run Derby, it’s a far sight better than trying to follow training camp in a bubble.
Some players, including David Price, Buster Posey, and Ryan Zimmerman, are opting out of the season – forgoing their 2020 salaries – and I don’t blame them.
I don’t want anybody to take a risk just so I can watch a weirded-up baseball game on television.
(In other words, don’t blame me when this all goes to hell.)
Teams are starting to pipe in crowd noises to create a semblance of normal. Some teams are inviting fans to send photos of themselves that will be blown up into life size “seat-sitters” that will be placed throughout the park.
Fans are, I guess, both indispensable and easily replaceable.
Meanwhile in Canada, Toronto Blue Jays players face up to $750,000 in fines and potential jail time if they break strict quarantine rules and leave the team complex.
NO. LEAVING. THE. BUBBLE.
However, if that’s $750,000 in Canadian dollars, that would only be about $550,000 in US dollars. I’m not sure what the baseline is where breaking curfew becomes worth it.
(I’ll admit, the jail time part has me intrigued, in a “maybe someone will break training just so we can see if they really do wind up in jail” way.)
Actual blue jay. Fleeing.
But, let’s revisit the one safety protocol I think we can all get behind.
Perhaps you’re like me – you don’t spit while you’re working and you’re thinking, “How hard can it be?”
He spits. He blinks. He plays third base.
Let Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner explain:
“It’s just almost second nature. Spitting for a pro baseball player is like blinking. It’s going to be a tough habit to break.”
Fun Fact: the average human blinks 15 to 20 times a minute. It’s essential to keep our eyes lubricated. (Science!)
(So … do ballplayers – who spit away essential hydrating fluids with reckless abandon – suffer more from dry eyes? And, will the ban on spitting lead to team cost-savings on Gatorade?)
Oh, wait. Justin’s not done with the spitting discussion:
“It’s not even just spitting on the ground. A lot of us have routines and habits. You spit a little bit on your glove before each pitch.”
In solidarity with Justin and all those spit-happy players, I am vowing not to spit on the floor or on my hands, or anywhere, really, while watching, reading about, or writing about baseball.
Because I’m a team player.
Join me, won’t you?
* * *
One last thing from my own at-home Bubble …
On March 10, Virginia played UMass-Lowell. Virginia won 24-5.
A blowout, clearly. But, we stayed until the end.
Here’s Tate Ballestero, a first-year, coming in late in the game to play first.
It’s not the best photo I took that day. Not even a particularly good one. It’s important only because it was the last one.
Thank goodness, it wasn’t blurry.
There’s No Spitting In My Bubble. Sincerely, Your Friend, The Baseball Bloggess