As Major League Baseball tries to figure out a way to play this season, Cody Bellinger is willing to do what it takes to get back on the field.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger is ready to get back on the playing field, regardless of the format agreed to between Major League Baseball and the Player’s Association. The 2019 National League MVP is one of the younger players on the Dodger roster, and his views represent a common theme coming from players who do not have the same family responsibilities as some of the veteran players, such as teammate Clayton Kershaw, who has been outspoken against playing in a situation that would require him to be quarantined away from home.
“I’m down for whatever,” Bellinger told SportsNet LA host John Hartung earlier this week. “That’s my mentality, as long as we get to go out and play.”
When asked if he is concerned about the possibility of playing in the extreme temperatures of Arizona, Bellinger said, “It’s not the most ideal situation, but it’s better than not playing any games.”
Several MLB plans have been floated in the media, detailing how a 2020 season could look. There are proponents for playing the entire season in an essential “bubble” around Spring Training facilities in Arizona, and perhaps Florida. There are alternative ideas that would see teams playing in their home ballparks, absent of fans, in a new league format that would reduce travel requirements, and put the Dodgers and Astros in the same division.
The Dodgers issued updated guidance earlier this week for fans looking for credits or refunds on tickets purchased in March and April. While optimism continues to build toward a 2020 season starting by July, it is clear that fans will be left as couch spectators in the near, and possible long-term future.
Bellinger is coming off an historic season in the Dodger blue. He batted .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs and 115 RBIs on way to his MVP award. He also proved his value in the field, where he won the Gold Glove Award as an outfielder. He will be transitioning to a new position whenever baseball returns, moving over to centerfield to make room for Mookie Betts, who the Dodgers want to make feel as happy as possible in early efforts of recruiting him to eventually sign a long-term deal with the team.