Yankees: Didi Gregorius Has Poignant Thoughts on Wearing Masks During 2020 Season
By Adam Weinrib
Former Yankees fan favorite Sir Didi Gregorius will wear a mask in Philly in 2020, and for good reason.
Though the shock was minimized due to the ongoing pandemic-related delay, it will still be quite strange to see Didi Gregorius suited up in red pinstripes instead of Yankees navy this season.
But there’ll be another element missing from Didi’s usual gameday outfit, too: his trademark smile.
Gregorius revealed on Wednesday that he plans to wear a mask throughout the 2020 season, and he has a damned good reason for doing so.
Gregorius detailed his kidney condition for Philadelphia reporters on Wednesday, which has labeled him officially “high-risk” for participation in 2020.
"“I had a really good conversation with the doctors here, and they said I was one of the high-risk players and everything,” Gregorius said. “So, we had a really good conversation. They ask me every day what they can do to make it better for me, so there has been really good communication. We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe. So, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”"
Choosing to participate in 2020 must have been a downright impossible decision for Gregorius.
The affable, slugging shortstop signed a “prove it” deal with the Phillies after a tough partial season in New York following Tommy John surgery. If he’d been (accurately) classified as high-risk, he would’ve accrued service time for sitting out the season, and would’ve entered free agency once again, now well over two years removed from his most recent extended stretch of effective baseball.
He’ll now be wearing a mask when he competes in 2020, and hopes others will join him in the process. Though he’s expressed confidence in the surrounding protocols, Gregorius made it clear that he was referring only to what’s going on within the Phillies locker room, and needs the rest of baseball to follow suit in an effort to keep him, and others, safe.
If the 2020 season is going to succeed, it’s going to do so in the form of a massive puzzle, with a million, fragile pieces fitting together.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that all MLB players and personnel are as health-conscious as the daring Gregorius and Clint Frazier, two shining examples of maturity thus far.
If they don’t keep Didi safe, we riot.