Houston Astros: How the new COVID safety protocols will affect the team

The Houston Astros will be starting the season toward the end of next month and will report for Spring Training next week. What are the safety protocols?

The Houston Astros will finally be seen this year.  After months of wrestling between the MLB and the MLBPA in regard to how the best way to start up the season with each side trying to tweak the current collective bargaining agreement, it turns out that they just went back to the original agreement that was made about “return-to-play” March 26.

There will be a 60-game season, players will receive their full, prorated salary, the terms of the postseason will not change and there will be — *gasp* — a designated hitter in both leagues this season!  Wow!

I’m really excited to see baseball once again and it’s time for the Houston Astros to settle a score that they’ve been itching on doing so since the release of the sign-stealing scandal earlier this year.

It’s time for Jose Altuve, Justin Verlander, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Zack Greinke as well as the rest of the supporting cast to shine!

But with the latest news, it turns out that the Houston Astros weren’t the only team that had their hands dirty, the Boston Red Sox, allegedly the Los Angeles Dodgers and worst of all, the New York Yankees all had their hands in some cheating pie which certainly alludes to the unacceptable notion that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred allowed this to happen and the Houston Astros were set as an example with the hefty penalties that were placed on the team.

But that’s a different rant for a different day so it’s time to talk about these new safety protocols now that the season will start.

The illustrious Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY got his hands on the 100-page or so operations manual for the MLB season and some of the rules are quite quirky but yet understandable to help players prevent the spread or be infected by the coronavirus.

Nightengale reports that players will have to report to their home stadiums July 1 and Spring

Training will start July 3.  They’ll have to submit to a temperature check and they’ll have to have a test for not only the virus but for the antibodies as well.

They’ll have to quarantine for 24 to 48 hours and while they’re waiting, they’ll have to complete a COVID-19 educational course before they get back out the diamond to work out if everything clears for them to do so.

As usual, pitchers will report first — with the exception of catchers — and the rest of the roster would report a few days later.

If a player’s temperature reaches 100.4 or more — they’ll be checked twice daily — then they won’t be allowed into the stadium.

As far as coronavirus testing, they will be given the saliva-type every other day and they’ll get the antibodies test once a month.

Here are some other particulars:

  • No lounging in the clubhouse
  • Can’t arrive earlier than five hours before game time
  • Must leave 90 minutes after the game
  • No buffet
  • No showers (must do so at home or at the hotel if on the road)
  • No spitting
  • Pitchers can’t lick their hands anymore; must use a wet rag

The Houston Astros — including coaches and staff — will have to stay six feet apart and some will sit in the dugout and there will be sections warded off in the stands where players will sit to help everybody spread out.

More interesting info is listed in Nightengale’s article and I find it mind-boggling on how players will adhere to all that’s needed but they’ll find a way.

Next: Rob Manfred must step down as MLB Commissioner

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And we’ll be appreciative of their presence out on the diamond…

It’s time — let’s go Houston Astros!

 

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