Astros: Baseball returns with some questionable changes
By Karen Watson
In the beginning, another adjustment will be the lack of crowd noises coming from the stands. I wonder how weird this will be for the players. As a spectator, it’s going to be weird not to hear the roar of the crowds on my television.
Among other teams, the Astros have expressed their intent to potentially host fans at some point this year. We’ll have to see how that plays out because players and other team personnel not actively participating in the games will be required to sit in the stands separated by at least six feet.
This leads us to one of the most difficult changes both for players and spectators. Because of social distancing rules, there will be no in-game celebrations — no high-fives, no fist bumps, no hugs, etc. Also, as much as is practical when on the field, players will be required to maintain a minimal distance between base runners and fielders and between themselves, coaches, and the umps.
Even though baseball is for the most part a non-contact sport, there are some scenarios that just might not work out for this requirement. For example, what happens with plays that require tagging? Or what about when a runner on first base is trying to steal second and the pitcher is keeping them in check?
Personal Protective Gear
There are some rules about masks that seem to not have been very well thought out. For instance, managers and team personnel inside the dugout will be required to wear masks at all times. However, players that are actively on the field will be pretty close together when inside the dugout and they will not be wearing masks. This mask requirement seems a bit of an obscure measure and to me is somewhat pointless.