Will MLB teams play ball? Why things may be OK, and how they might fall apart.

Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

A's shortstop Marcus Semien took it upon himself well before the team came together to reiterate to the front office that he would ensure the players followed protocol. They were taking this seriously. Leaders will emerge to keep players in line and remind them that the sacrifice is temporary.

"We talked about this with the group today. If you see something that isn't following the protocols, I have no problem reminding someone to put their mask on," Semien said. "It's not me being a stickler, but everyone understands it's important. We know that with the testing system we have right now, it's known we don't get the results right away. So we have to be as safe as we can at all times."

"You can get every essential item delivered to your house. If you can't do it for 90 days, I honestly don't know if I really want to talk to you," Diekman said.

"Everybody has a responsibility. We understand that," Semien said. "Coming to the Bay Area, you realize right away how life is here. Everyone is wearing a mask on the field. Things are similar in the clubhouse, maybe more strict in the clubhouse. But when you go out in the public, you see everyone wearing a mask six feet apart, you'll realize that I need to start practicing if my hometown didn't have it."

A's manager Bob Melvin delivered a message to the group to get them on the same page, safety-wise, but said he is encouraged by the players' initiative.

"They're on it already, they're coming to me," Melvin said. "I'm tempering it, shortening it today because our guys are very aware of what they need to do."

That urgency is mirrored by team across the Bay.


"I'll be wearing the mask as often as I can, everywhere I can when I'm not playing," San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence said to reporters on Zoom. "I'm going as extreme as I can. I realize the opportunity to have a season depends on all of us doing the right things."

Players are aware, conscientious -- we can at least hear that sentiment through team leaders like Semien and Pence. Optimism might ride on an ideal that their message sticks with the rest of the team for the duration.

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