Teams, not just players, think MLB’s safety protocol proposal is ‘over the top’

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After this morning’s post about players and health experts’ take on Major League Baseball’s proposed COVID-19 safety protocols, I read Ken Rosenthal’s report in which he spoke to multiple team executives for their views. Guess what: they see problems too:

Calling the suggested protocols, “way over the top,” one president of baseball operations offered a prediction on Major League Baseball’s 67-page draft on health and safety for the 2020 season.

“That document will look way different after the feedback from teams, the Players Association and players,” the executive said.

Any negotiated thing will, of course, look differently after negotiation. The problem, though, is that in most negotiations the parties are limited only by what they collectively agree to live with. In this negotiation, there is an absolute baseline: safety and medical soundness. If what it considered to, generally, be the only safe way to do a certain thing, the parties cannot responsibly dip below that baseline simply in the name of agreement.

So, what do Rosenthal’s sources say isn’t workable?

  • Testing: the executives to whom he spoke agree with the sentiment Mike Trout shared the other day — and to which experts agree — that testing has to be an every day thing, not just a many-times-a-week thing. The problem, though, is that that kind of capacity may not be available by July; and
  • At-the-park restrictions: the executives agree that all of the at-the-park protocols about spitting, showering, etc., are too restrictive which, again, only increases the need for constant, reliable testing. They likewise think that rather than ban congregating at hotels and socializing on the road, simply wearing masks and washing hands and things is the way to go.

Which, hey, that sounds like the basis for agreement between players and clubs on these terms.

The only problem is: is that place of agreement good enough? And safe enough?

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.