Mike Trout: Arizona Bubble League idea is ‘pretty crazy’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on a Snapchat interview today and said that if Major League Baseball is going to return it’ll have to be via the idea floated last week that involved a fan-free, Arizona-only, quarantined players scenario:

“There’s a way of doing that . . . Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled . . . Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”

I’m sure they’ll love the idea of being “very well surveilled.” And given how much of a testing shortage we have right now, I’m curious to know how we’re supposed to find the testing capacity to test over 1,000 players and scores of team employees who have to come into contact with them each week for something like 16 weeks or more.

It’s also worth noting that as soon as that idea was floated last week there was immediate backlash, causing Major League Baseball to issue a statement that it had not endorsed the plan or any other specific plan itself. Since then a number of other scenarios have been floated.

The backlash came from players as well as outside critics.

Less than two hours ago, on NBC Sports’ Lunch Talk Live, Mike Trout talked about the idea. He said, “there’s a lot of red flags . . . we want to get back as soon as we can, but obviously it’s got to be realistic. It can’t be sitting in our hotel rooms, just going from the field to the hotel room and not being able to do anything. I think that’s pretty crazy.”


Similarly, Clayton Kershaw said this about the idea this week:

“I will say that situation, I just don’t see that happening. I’m not going to be away from my family and not seem them for four and a half months. I just talked about how much Cooper changes over one week, so to miss four months of his life right now, I’m just not going to do it.

“And there’s a lot of other things that are just wrong with that proposal. But it’s not to say we can’t go somewhere with it. There’s just a lot of things they’re going to have to figure out before I go quarantine myself with my team for four months.”

He would not be alone in that sentiment. A lot of players — let alone managers, coaches, team staff members, and the hundreds if not thousands of people who would be have to support the playing of games and/or the housing of players — would feel the same way.

These are not robot gladiators. They’re people. You, me, and everyone else is going a little nuts right now and it’s (a) been a month; and (b) we get to be with our families and we aren’t “very well surveilled” or what have you. You expect baseball players to undergo this for four months or more just so we can have some baseball? It’s not going to happen.

All of which is to say, if there is not a viable method of playing that does not require this level of quarantine and lockdown, we’re not going to have a baseball season.

Padres claim 2-time All-Star catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from Mets

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — The scuffling San Diego Padres claimed catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from the New York Mets.

The two-time All-Star was designated for assignment after playing in three games for the Mets. He went 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and an RBI, looking shaky at times behind the plate.

With the disappointing Padres (24-29) getting meager offensive production at catcher, they hope Sánchez can provide a boost. Austin Nola is batting .131 with three extra-base hits and a paltry .434 OPS in 39 games. His part-time platoon partner, second-stringer Brett Sullivan, is hitting .170 with four extra-base hits and a .482 OPS in 21 games since getting called up from the minors April 16.

Luis Campusano has been on the injured list since April 17 and is expected to be sidelined until around the All-Star break following left thumb surgery.

San Diego is responsible for just over $1 million in salary for Sánchez after assuming his $1.5 million, one-year contract.

The star-studded Padres have lost seven of 11 and are 3-3 on a nine-game East Coast trip. They open a three-game series at Miami.

San Diego becomes the third National League team to take a close look at the 30-year-old Sánchez this season. He spent time in the minors with San Francisco before getting released May 2 and signing a minor league contract a week later with the Mets, who were minus a couple of injured catchers at the time.

After hitting well in a short stint at Triple-A Syracuse, he was promoted to the big leagues May 19. When the Mets reinstated catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list last week, Sánchez was cut.

Sánchez’s best seasons came early in his career with the New York Yankees, where he was runner-up in 2016 AL Rookie of the Year voting and made the AL All-Star team in 2017 and 2019.

He was traded to Minnesota before the 2022 season and batted .205 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 128 games last year.

With the Padres, Sánchez could also be a candidate for at-bats at designated hitter, where 42-year-old Nelson Cruz is batting .245 with three homers, 16 RBIs and a .670 OPS, and 37-year-old Matt Carpenter is hitting .174 with four homers, 21 RBIs and a .652 OPS.