The spread of the Coronavirus around the world has placed a large blanket of anxiety over both the sports world, and society in general. The severity of the disease is starting to become blatantly clear, and many sports organizations around the world are taking action. Leagues in Italy and Japan have cancelled games, and Indian Wells, one of the biggest non-major tennis tournaments, has been cancelled as well.
While the four major sports have not cancelled games as of yet, steps are certainly being taken to limit the risks of the disease spreading any faster. Along with the NBA and the NHL, MLB has now banned media access to the players in the locker room, after discussing how to handle the disease last week. Now, only players and essential personal will be allowed inside the dressing area.
It's not like the players won't be accessed, like some are already claiming. It just limits the amount of access reporters, who interact with the general public in a way players don't, will get for now. It is an extremely sensible move to protect as much people as they can, against a disease that, quite simply, we don't know a lot about. It is always better to be safer, rather than needlessly risk the health of many in the sports industry.
However, this is sort of a half-measure. Why limit reporter access, but keep fan access to players in place? Giants writer Andrew Baggarly went the extra mile in making his displeasure known.
Sure, it may be seen as a hyper-sensitive move, without an immediate risk to the players. But why even take that risk in the first place? If doctors and everyone in the health industry are preaching caution and recommending limiting public interaction, then you can see how we got here.
Perhaps baseball isn't going far enough, though.