Major League Baseball will perform thousands of tests for the coronavirus each week and require social distancing among players and staff, according to its road map of how the league can return to play, The Athletic reported on Saturday.
MLB gave the 67-page document to the Major League Baseball Players Association on Friday night for their review, input and ultimately, approval. MLB is striving to begin a shortened 2020 season by early July.
Per The Athletic, the document spells out a comprehensive plan that includes MLB requiring regular testing for all players, managers, coaches and umpires, plus those team staff members in close contact with essential personnel.
Player behavior must change, according to the document. Players no longer can touch each other with fist bumps, hugs or high fives, nor can they spit or chew tobacco or sunflower seeds. Players would be asked to stop showering after games at the stadium, to sanitize their hands each half-inning, and to drink out of their own personal water or sports drink bottles.
Non-playing team personnel would need to wear face coverings in the dugout. Players not in the lineup would need to sit in auxiliary seating at a social distance and not in the dugout. And speaking of the lineup, managers no longer will exchange lineup cards in their typical pregame ritual.
Players would go through multiple temperature screenings each day, and the most essential team personnel would be tested for the coronavirus more than once each week, as would their family members. Anyone testing positive would immediately be quarantined.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)