[WK.1] Baseball is back. Wow. Something I thought we would not be saying this year but here we are at spring training 2.0, summer camp, a 60 game season. Except this season things are so so different.
72 hours. 72 long and stressful hours. That is the amount of time between finding out Rob was one of the 45 players invited to “Summer Camp”, packing up the car, and heading to Baltimore. If it sounds like I’m complaining, I promise I’m not. Rob and I couldn’t be more thankful right now. There was a time not long ago we didn’t even know if MLB was going to attempt a season and Rob has a lot of friends that had their season (MiLB) cancelled.
Seeing the Minor League season get cancelled was tough. It really put things into perspective just how serious this is and how quickly my husband’s career can be put on pause. The MiLB is a huge part of baseball and especially every ball player that dreams of working their way up through the system to achieve their dream of playing in the big leagues.
As if baseball isn’t a constant merry-go-round of uncertainty through out a normal season, this year has been quite crazy from the beginning since COVID-19 shut down spring training back in March and then put the season on hold for 3 months. BUT MLB is back.
- No more Dinner/brunch dates. Pickup and delivery only.
- Can’t drop Rob off at field. Tier 1 (players and coaches) access only allowed into the parking lot.
- No outside food or beverages allowed into stadium.
- Food must be consumed at lockers on TV trays instead of cafeteria.
- Masks on at all times except when on the field. Including workouts and training room activity.
- No fans at games including wives, GFs, and family members. BUMMER. Hopefully this changes as the weeks go on.
- Intake testing is every day. Basically making sure no one has symptoms before they enter the park
- No high fives. Surprisingly tough.
- Every pitcher gets their own set of baseballs.
- No sharing baseballs.
- Hand washing stations after they play catch.
- Lockers, sinks, urinals, shower heads are 6ft away from each other.
- Food is individually packaged instead of buffet style.
- No spitting.
- No licking fingers while pitching. Pitchers are given “Wet rag” to get grip on baseball.
- Players are given “Tier 1” passes. If left at home, no access to field or parking lot. No exceptions.
- Saliva test every other day.
- Taking a wellness survey every morning and taking own temperature twice before going to field
- No going out. Don’t wanna be the guy who brings the virus to the rest of the organization.
- Media interviews on Zoom only.
- No clubhouse meetings in person. All meetings are on Zoom.
From my perspective this week, it has been HARD and great all at once. During baseball season I am used to exploring the city we are in, socializing with other wives and girlfriends to get me through the year, having dates with Rob’s out in the city, trying new gyms, coffee shop work days, having friends and family out for games, and much more that makes a new city feel like home.
Again a lot has been put into perspective and has made me look back and laugh at all the little things I used to complain about last season. What I would do just be at a ballpark watching Rob pitch and to see the Orioles Stadium outside of the red brick walls.
Things are a lot different. It definitely is a challenge but the Orioles staff is working hard to make sure things are as comfortable and safe for players, coaches, and staff and ensuring a smooth transition for all. Hats off to the clubbies, training staff, coach, and OPs people that are working overtime to make this season possible.
At the end of the day I am so happy and grateful to be in the position we are in to be back in baseball season. Baltimore has been a delight our first week here and I hope we get to truly explore more of this city. Until then take out and long walks with dogs will do the job.
P.S. WEAR YOUR MASKS and GO O’S!!