Major League Baseball and the players union are still in deep discussions regarding their return to play plan for the 2020 season. Payment structure for players is obviously a hurdle both sides will have to leap over, but the other topic holding them up is their health and safety protocols. You can count an MLB legend as being skeptical over the aforementioned guidelines.
Former Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics pitcher Dennis Eckersley appeared on NESN's "After Hours" on Monday, and said he's not confident that the league can police social distancing on the field, or the force of habit of spitting.
"It's going to take some doing," Eckersley said, via NESN. "This thing could blow up in their faces. I hate to say that, but it could. Don't think they don't know all the things that could happen. That's one huge one that could stop it, too. There's a lot of risk involved for everybody, and everybody wants to play. But this is ambitious, to say the least."
Eckersley continued by saying that players are superstitious and that it's going to be difficult for them to break away from normal routines. The Hall of Fame pitcher is most concerned about a player unknowingly spreading the virus if they were to stay in a hotel or return home.
Additionally, Eckersley expressed pessimism in the league's ability to begin the regular season in July due to the ongoing discrepancy over the revenue split this year. If they don't reach an agreement in a couple of weeks, the July 4 start is "kind of a pipe dream," per Eckersley.
Everyone initially thought that the 2020 regular season would start with no issues. But with both sides far from being on the same page with June just around the corner, we can see why Eckersley isn't convinced the return to play plan will even work.