Dodgers News: Kershaw doubles down against playing under quarantine
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw balances his desire to return to the mound with the practicalities of playing under tight quarantine conditions if a season returns in 2020.
If Major League Baseball returns in 2020, it seems increasingly likely it will only do so in empty stadiums. Whether those empty stadiums are located throughout the country where players can remain close to their families, or situated within a bubble in Arizona is yet to be decided.
Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw is not a fan of any plan that takes him away from his family for too long. After making it clear last week to SportsNet host John Hartung that he wasn’t going to leave his family behind for 4.5 months to play baseball under strict quarantine conditions, he reiterated his stance to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.
“We all want to play baseball. I get that; I want to play baseball too,” Kershaw said. “But there is something about being in the big leagues and you can’t compromise that. Playing in spring training stadiums and quarantining for months without your family and certain things like that, I don’t think that’s doable if you’re talking about doing it for four to five months.”
Kershaw’s quote shouldn’t be confused with the idea that he doesn’t want baseball to return in 2020. A creature of habit, it’s been an adjustment for him to live without the routine that a baseball season normally brings. He is excited about chasing an elusive World Series title with a stacked Dodgers team that made some key additions during the offseason.
“That’s the most frustrating thing,” Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times. “We brought in Mookie and David and traded some really good talent to get them, so to not have a season would be hard.”
Kershaw’s seemingly contradicting desires of wanting to play baseball at all costs while not wanting to leave his family behind highlights one of the greatest challenges associated with planning for a 2020 season amid a global pandemic.
Is it possible to find a way to play baseball on some remote corner of the earth, tucked away from the evil reach of the coronavirus?
Of course it is. There are always options. But at what cost? Players will be asking themselves this as they consider different proposals for getting a shortened season started, hopefully, sometime this summer. Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times he has been working off the idea they will be playing by June or July.
The “Arizona plan” being considered by Major League Baseball would isolate all 30 teams in the Phoenix area around Spring Training facilities to create a safe “bubble” where they could play a season with players restricted in their movements outside of traveling to and from the ballpark from a quarantined hotel.
Dodgers: Three players with milestones at risk if 2020 season is lost
Kershaw 300 wins? Bellinger 500 home runs? Betts 3000 hits? Milestones that could be impacted by a 2020 season lost due to the coronavirus.
The Players Association has their work cut out for them as they negotiate with the owners on an plan that is acceptable to public health officials, considers the desires of players to stay close to their families, and juggles the interests of union members who don’t have families, or have different financial considerations associated with losing one full year of pay.
A lot of obstacles to overcome before a meaningful pitch can be thrown in 2020.