Yankees: Mandating Masks is Least MLB Could Do Moving Forward
By Adam Weinrib
Didi Gregorius of the Phillies and Clint Frazier of the Yankees had it right. Wear a mask.
Former Yankees icon Didi Gregorius wears a mask because he’s a high-risk individual playing a wide open and dangerous game, battling a kidney disorder that will be with him for his whole life.
Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier wears a mask not because he’s at a greater risk of infection than the general public, but simply because it’s the proactive thing to do. The literal least possible sacrifice MLB players can make to turn their mid-pandemic experiment into something semi-viable.
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But Gregorius, despite his better efforts, was exposed to the virus in some capacity on Sunday in Philadelphia. Don Mattingly’s Marlins recklessly agreed to move forward with their game against the Phillies, agreeing to show the virus what’s what by…sending a group text to each other, and exposing more players to its potentially-calamitous effects.
Imagine if the beloved ex-Yankee had gone into that fray unmasked?
The way this virus was sold to the general public since day one has negatively impacted mitigation, as well as empowered truthers and grifters like Clay Travis.
We were told, in an effort to calm frayed nerves, that the disease would mainly affect the elderly, and that for empathy’s sake but no other reason, really, we should be cautious. That didn’t work, since many continually harbor a complete lack of said empathy.
While the vast majority of young people who are exposed to the virus will escape theoretically asymptomatic, we have no idea what the effects of infection are long-term. Additionally, many healthy young people who get exposed will simply not be OK immediately.
Red Sox No. 2 started Eduardo Rodriguez developed serious heart complications after battling the virus. The odds state that if MLB continues this season unimpeded, he will not be alone.
The bottom line is, if MLB looks at the Marlins, Orioles, Yankees and Phillies, and decides 24 hours later to resume the season after a spate of negative tests, or a rash of angry calls from Camping World about a potential cancellation, that would not be unexpected.
But if they intend to put the league’s players further at risk, with more opt-outs expected, the literal least they can do is mandate the wearing of masks, which has been statistically proven to slow the spread of infection.
What was previously viewed by MLB as a luxury, for some reason, or a necessity only for endangered players should quite clearly become the norm. Whether or not it’s enough to save the season, I have no idea.
But it’s the bare minimum, and it’s so, so easy.