The Dodgers are just the latest team to take counteractive steps to avoid the coronavirus. Addressing the media in a designated session on Wednesday, President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman gave his thoughts on what the coming weeks would look like.
It’s something we are spending a lot of time and energy on. A lot of conversations with different stakeholders. Things are changing. It’s obviously very fluid.
Major League Baseball already banned media personnel from lockerrooms in an effort to limit contact with players. The media session Friedman sat in on is now a scheduled process at a dedicated location rather than the media freely moving throughout spring camp. The Dodgers have not yet announced anything regarding moving games around, but baseball has.
The Mariners will be forced to play their home opener in either a different state or without spectators. The Giants and A’s cancelled their exhibition planned for later this month, as San Francisco started limiting crowd sizes. Whether or not the A’s will need to change their Opening Day plans depends entirely on how long the crowd limit policy is in place. The Dodgers obviously play in the same state as those two teams, so that is a concern.
The good news is that the Dodgers are taking preventative measures to protect both fans and players. Friedman acknowledged that one way they are combating the risk is by having players hand out pre-signed cards rather than signing autographs for fans. This way the players still get the signatures they so desperately want, and the players can avoid contact.
In the meantime, Friedman said one thing the Dodgers have done in hopes of limiting the chances of the virus spreading is giving players cards to autograph and hand out to fans instead of taking things from fans to sign.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) March 11, 2020
The signing of cards and balls beforehand is one thing some teams around the league started doing last month. We will update with more information as we get it.