Oakland A’s leery of plans to begin season in Arizona

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 04: A general view of the field during Batting Practice prior to Game One of the American League Division Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on October 4, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 04: A general view of the field during Batting Practice prior to Game One of the American League Division Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on October 4, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Major League Baseball is hoping to begin the 2020 season soon. The Oakland A’s are understandably leery of those plans.

While every team has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oakland A’s have been particularly hard hit. Minor league coach Webster Garrison is still hospitalized as he is battling the virus. Former star Dave Stewart had his own coronavirus scare, but just had a particularly nasty cold.

Considering those health issues, the A’s are understandably leery of any desire to begin the season before the pandemic is truly contained. As such, Oakland is particularly concerned about the idea that Major League Baseball could look to begin the season as soon as possible in Arizona.

Right now, the plan would be to play in empty stadiums throughout Arizona beginning sometime in May. The teams and players would remain isolated while the pandemic is continuing, heading out to train and play their abbreviated schedules.

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It is worth noting that these plans are very preliminary. MLB has yet to do more than bandy about the idea, although it is understandable that they would want to have something that fans can watch in the comfort of their homes. But logistically, this could be a nightmare, especially for the teams that had been at spring training in Florida.

Beyond the logistics, there is still the matter of containing the pandemic. While some areas have done an admirable job in flattening the curve, others have not been so fortunate. Effective treatments have not really been developed. A vaccine may still be a year and a half away. There is still a great deal that needs to happen.

Until that happens, these plans are nothing more than idle chatter. As A’s union representative Marcus Semien said, it is still just a rough draft without a real plan for a return to the diamond. For now, the A’s, just like every other team, are stuck in limbo, waiting for a chance to play should one appear.

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The Oakland A’s, just like every other team, want to get on the diamond. But until there is a plan that ensures everyone’s safety, it is not likely to happen anytime soon.

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