The Houston Astros will be re-opening their facilities, meaning the start of the season is getting closer. This move prepares players for a new normal.
The Houston Astros are getting closer to the start of the season with the recent announcement of them being able to open their facilities to players for individual workouts. This is an important step to get things started on the baseball front and more could be on the way as this said step is taken.
The MLB and the MLBPA are still in discussions on how things will get started. It appears as if the owners had pulled away from the table, leaving the players — as well as the union — at odds on how to get everyone back to get an agreement.
The biggest conflict is on the specifics of how they’re going to get paid to which a 50/50 split of revenues off pro-rated pay is currently what’s on the table for now. The big-to-small market debate started to ensure at that point, indicating that smaller markets aren’t going to be able to get an equal piece of the piece as well as the players but since this is the best proposal because no fans will be allowed in stadiums, they’ll either have to take this deal or cancel the season.
Certainly, the latter isn’t an option as I’m sure many want to get back out on the field safely but valid arguments are being raised.
I think a deal will get done but while that’s happening, the Houston Astros have opened up Minute Maid Park and FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. for individual workouts.
The most stringent of safety practices will reportedly be followed and just like other leagues, there will be a limitation of the number of players at each facility.
The Houston Rockets opened up last Monday, followed by the Houston Texans last Tuesday so it goes to show that the Big 3 of the professional sports in H-Town has opened their doors to their athletes.
How will the Houston Astros execute the required safety practices?
Let’s take a look:
- Limited amount of participants (currently at six at each facility today on staggered schedules)
- Temperature checks before entering the facility
- Personal protective equipment is required while working out
- No group workouts allowed
- Pitchers will have their own set of baseballs
Houston Astros general manager says there will also be contact tracing taking place so that if
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there is a player that does get infected, they’ll be able to quickly identify and isolate the player affected. Of course, let’s hope things don’t get to that point.
He also mentioned that he had to get clearance from local governments, Major League Baseball, the CDC and the team doctors to ensure that he could get things re-opened.
This is certainly great news to hear and their guidelines are right on point with other sports.
The main difference is that the players do have to wear masks during workouts as far as baseball but for teams like the Houston Rockets, they do not because the nearest human being — a member of the training staff — will be at least 12 feet away so that’s understandable.
It’s great news to hear things are moving in the direction of restarting but this certainly alludes to the fact that this important step is getting players prepared for the new normal of resuming their schedule.
Let’s hope for the best…