Windsor

'A lot has to go right' for major league baseball to have a successful season, says Blue Jays broadcaster

Major league baseball players are back on the field. What many are calling "summer training" kicked off this weekend while the COVID-19 pandemic reaches new heights in several US states. 

Plans for teams to train in Florida and Arizona were scrapped and teams are now training in their home cities

Blue Jays players are arriving in Toronto this weekend to begin training. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Major league baseball players are back on the field. What many are calling "summer training" kicked off this weekend while the COVID-19 pandemic reaches new heights in several US states. 

"Do I think it's a great idea? Yes. But am I concerned that it's not going to last either this summer camp or this season? Absolutely," Windsorite and Blue Jays broadcaster, Joe Siddall said. 

"I will believe there is a World Series Champion when I see it because a lot has to go right for major league baseball and the other sports." 

The league plans to start a shortened season in three weeks time. California, Texas, Arizona and Florida have all seen large numbers of positive cases of the novel coronavirus cropping up in recent days.

"If things were settling all over the United States. This would be a different conversation but it's not and that to me is what's so concerning," Siddall said.

"I think with what's happening in the United States and I specifically refer to Arizona, Florida, Texas and California, this might not be such a great idea after all."

Joe Siddall is a broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays who lives in Windsor and is a former catcher for the Detroit Tigers.

An initial plan for teams to train in their normal training facilities in Arizona and Florida was scrapped. The decision was made for teams to train in their home cities.

"The fact that these teams are all going to be training in their home cities and that teams are going to be coming in and out and I know there are charter planes and they can sequester them into these hotels and all but I just see so many leaks in those potential bubbles," Siddall said.

Jays to train in Canada but uncertain for regular season games

There would be extra challenges for Blue Jays as well, being the only team based in Canada. Players are arriving in Toronto this weekend to train. Siddall said that the way things have been laid out sound very safe. He said players are being tested twice before boarding a plane and then will be shuttled directly to a hotel attached to the Roger's Centre. It still isn't certain if the team will play in Toronto once the abbreviated "regular season" kicks in.

"They've got all these things in place to reduce (risk) for them but also for the general public," Siddall said. "They're going to walk right down to the ballpark and workout at the facility so they quite literally will not be leaving the building is my understanding." 

He said the real challenge will be once the season gets underway and teams are travelling between cities.

"[The players] are going to have to be very, very responsible, not just when they're at the ballpark following major league baseball's protocols of social distancing but also when they're out on their own." 

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