The COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in much of the United States, and the refusal — by a large percentage of the population — to wear masks appears to be a big part of that. Despite the pandemic just getting worse and having no end in sight, the 2020 Major League Baseball season is scheduled to begin on July 23.
Well, at least two MLB players say that they plan to wear a mask during games this season.
New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier told reporters on Saturday that he intends to wear a mask. The 25-year-old said that he’s “trying to show that it’s easy and the right thing to do,” and he “wants to make sure that [he’s] not the reason why it spreads to anybody.”
Here’s more, from MLB.com:
“I’m just trying to show that it’s easy to do and it’s the right thing to do,” Frazier said on Sunday. “If it helps a little bit, it’s not hard to do, so I’m going to try to do it as much as I can. Hopefully someone sees it and maybe they do it, too.”
“You know, there are two people in the [batter’s] box with me and they are close in proximity,” Frazier said, referring to the catcher and umpire. “I’m obviously here because I want to play, but we do have stuff that’s going on around us. There’s a lot of people that have had this impact them in a way, and there are people in our organization that I’m trying to be respectful towards. I want to make sure that I’m not the reason why it spreads to anybody.”
The Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, and Luis Cessa have all tested positive in recent weeks, with Chapman currently showing mild symptoms.
Additionally, Houston Astros utility man Aledyms Diaz said on Sunday that he’ll try to wear mask, as long as it’s not too uncomfortable and doesn’t hinder his performance.
Diaz added, “I have kids, I have my wife at home. I just try to do everything I can to protect them. The same thing with my teammates.”
Via the Houston Chronicle:
“I’m going to try,” Diaz said after Sunday’s workout. “I think we have to be smart about this. I feel like if I feel comfortable wearing a mask playing on the field, I’m going to use it.”
“I have kids, I have my wife at home,” Diaz said. “I just try to do everything I can to protect them. The same thing with my teammates. If it’s something that’s not uncomfortable and it lets me do my job when I’m taking ground balls or hitting, I’m going to use it.”
Professional athletes wearing masks could definitely open many eyes and make people realize they should do the same, as Frazier suggested. It will be interesting to see how many more pro athletes join Frazier and Diaz in wearing masks during sports competition in the coming weeks.