Houston Astros: Team’s Coronavirus procedures could spill into season

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves from the spread of the Coronavirus. These measures could spill into the season. How?

Houston Astros fans — this Coronavirus thing is real and the appropriate measures are being taken to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly illness.  Concerts have been canceled, business conferences have been postponed and people are having second thoughts on whether travel is necessary just to ensure that their health isn’t jeopardized.

It’s a concerning time to be in the midst of all of these happenings but all one can do is prepare to the utmost to ensure that they are protected as much as possible from intercepting the strain of that virus that everybody’s talking about.

Pro sports franchises are none the exception as their lifeblood is the fans and some travel from all around the world just to see their favorite players.  As a result, most major sports leagues are already implementing procedures to ensure that their most-valuable product, the players are less susceptible to contracting the malady.

The Houston Astros have changed their policies on how they interact with fans in Spring Training when it comes to autographs at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, their home field in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Here’s what those changes are in a recent statement that was released by the team:

These new changes are direct from recommendations made by MLB, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.  There will be no shaking of hands and fans won’t be allowed to bring their own items for players to sign.

Instead, they’ll be items that will be pre-signed and will be distributed throughout various segments of the game.

These measures are quite drastic and it does take away from the experience a bit but I’m sure fans

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understand how much of a risk these players take if they were to interact as they usually would, especially when there’s a threat of this virus spreading.

I’m sure fist bumps are still in the realm of what would be safe to make that direct connection with fans before games during batting practice but that should likely be the extent of it.

With the start of the season being just a few weeks away, I’m positive these same procedures will stick with fan/player events at Minute Maid Park but when they go out into the community as well.

It’s tough to tell how long we’re all going to have to be on a heightened sense of awareness of our health but I can honestly say that it will be for the foreseeable future until nations around the world — including ours — get a strong handle on contagion.

But I’m perfectly fine with this and I’m sure we’ve all been affected in some way with these heightened measures, whether at work, at the gym or any public area.  Our hopes will just be pinned on eradicating this awful ailment as soon as possible.

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More info about the measures fans should take can be found here.

While that’s going on, I’ll continue to enjoy my Houston Astros which each game that passes — even if I’m at the ballpark — and hope that they continue making a strong case to win the World Series title in 2020.