The constantly evolving story surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease and its impact is on the minds of many people, including Major League Baseball players such as Kyle Freeland of the Colorado Rockies.
Kyle Freeland addressed the issue of the impact of the coronavirus and possible implications of the disease on his and the team’s activities during spring training on Thursday morning during an interview session with media at the Colorado Rockies spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Freeland addressed the possibility of facing a scenario of whether the season would continue as scheduled or if spring training games might be halted due to the coronavirus situation.
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“It’s almost impossible to fabricate a competitive environment, especially for spring training games,” he said about the difficulty of preparing for the upcoming season should spring training be suspended or cancelled.
“You can do back field games against minor league hitters, but it still isn’t the same as getting in that competitive attitude, that competitive mindset of going out there and truly trying to beat a team and win even in spring training games. In the grand scheme of things wins and losses don’t matter. But that competitive mentality that you have out there, it’s impossible to fabricate.
“So if we do come to that, it is going to be tough to kind of flip that switch in your head to throw 90 pitches (six innings) in a tunnel … It’s going to be tough, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
The Rockies hurler said it would be difficult to distinguish a difference between team preparations whether spring training was suspended or cancelled and if the start of the regular season suffered the same fate.
“Right now, with the information that we have at hand, I don’t think there’s a way to really separate them,” he said.
“We’ll obviously get information throughout the next however long days, weeks of what we should be preparing for. Obviously, you know information will come down from the top in the Commissioner’s office about what to prepare for. But right now we’re still focused on Day 1 of the season and preparing for that. Whenever there is a change, then we will adjust.”
The Rockies left-hander admitted that he and other members of the club have talked about the coronavirus and have adjusted their daily routines to help best prevent contracting the disease.
“It’s been open conversation,” he said, adding that, “over the past week with all the information that’s come out, especially last (Wednesday) night with the NBA and then a few athletes testing positive for corona(virus).
“Our trainers have been on top of us making sure we’re being smart washing our hands more times than you’re used to, making sure you use hand sanitizer, making sure you’re not touching other people’s stuff. We’re just being as smart as we can because we don’t want anything to happen in MLB like some things that have started to happen in the NBA, soccer overseas, stuff like that.”
Freeland emphasized the importance of the coronavirus issue that the world is now facing.
“It’s just about being smart,” Freeland added. “Don’t take this lightly. It’s obviously something that’s going on globally that everyone needs to be smart about with their decisions and be aware of the situation at hand.”
Editor’s Note: These comments were made before MLB made its announcement regarding the suspension of its activities on Thursday afternoon.