04/09 10:38 CDT Nats' Ryan Zimmerman's AP diary: Is baseball that important?
Nats' Ryan Zimmerman's AP diary: Is baseball that important?
By RYAN ZIMMERMAN
For The Associated Press
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ryan Zimmerman is a two-time All-Star infielder who has played
15 years in the majors, all with the Washington Nationals. He holds most of the
team's career hitting records, and his two homers and seven RBIs last
postseason helped the Nationals win their first World Series. With baseball on
hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Zimmerman occasionally will offer his
thoughts -- as told to AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich -- while waiting for
the 2020 season to begin. This is the second installment.
Putting every team in Arizona in May? There would be so many variables and so
many things that would have to be worked out that it's hard to fathom that it
One example: I get to the field at 2 o'clock to play a 7 o'clock game at night.
If we're not going to be able to have any crossover between teams, then say
we're playing Game 3 of a tripleheader at Chase Field that day -- how much time
do they have between games to disinfect the entire clubhouse?
Do I have a locker? Or do I just show up with my uniform on, AAU travel ball
style? And then I just go right out to the field with my bag to start the game?
Then you're going to have people getting hurt.
We don't get there at 2 o'clock for a 7 o'clock game just to get a chance to
hang out with our friends. We have a whole process that we go through to
prepare and get our bodies ready to play so we don't get injured.
Also: People forget that we're actually human beings.
I have my third child due in June. If this "bubble" in Arizona was going to
happen starting in May, you're trying to tell me I'm not going to be able to be
with my wife and see my kid until October?
I'm going to go four or five months without seeing my kid when it's born? I can
tell you right now that's not going to happen.
Not many people have to go through that, nor should they.
Then you might get people who would say, "Oh, well, then someone else who
doesn't have kids will play." The more things that happen like that, then you
have to worry about the product on the field.
I know everything's being done by everyone in good faith. We want to play; we
want to give people something to watch on TV; people love sports.
But you've got to consider the human element. Maybe pump the brakes a little
bit. Maybe this wasn't supposed to be leaked yet. I don't know if we're at the
point to set this sort of thing up yet.
This virus situation is obviously bigger than sports. Bigger than anything.
People's lives and health take precedence over everything.
Would it be nice to have baseball on or something for people to watch on TV? It
actually could keep people inside a little bit more, so it could help with the
quarantine and getting people to follow the rules a little bit more.
So I think the thought process of trying to get sports back is a good idea for
the mental health of the country. People love watching sports, so to give them
that would be great.
It's just you've got to kind of check the temperature of everything going on.
Look, all of us want to play. That's what we do: We play baseball. You wouldn't
ask a single person and have him say, "I want the season to be canceled" or "I
want to continue to not play."
But you have to be sensitive to people dying and people having family members
in intensive care.
And you have to think: Is it really that important to figure out how to play
baseball right now?
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports