The Dodgers are one of the many teams in baseball working to be better with the COVID-19 policies. While MLB does have strict guidelines, it ultimately falls on individual teams to properly enforce them.
Per The Athletic, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts met with team leader Justin Turner this week. With everything going on with the Marlins and other teams who have had cases, a change was needed. Roberts floated the idea of player wearing masks at all times in the dugout, and that started on Friday night. Players were seen wearing neck-gainers that can be used as masks throughout the course of the game.
Roberts admitted that sticking to the guidelines at times can be difficult, given the nature of the sport. The Dodgers have not been without their faults in MLB’s effort to minimize person-to-person contact.
I’m an emotional guy. I like to give dap to the players. But I’ve got to be better; we’ve all got to be better. It’s just got to be a more conscious effort by all of us to minimize the touching.
There were still several moments throughout the game where you saw players slipping up. Austin Barnes and Edwin Rios not wearing a mask in the dugout was one of them. But the differences from the last week of games is incredibly noticeable, and any efforts to better social distancing guidelines will only help long term. The Dodgers will need to keep that up in order to make a run at the World Series in 2020 if we can get that far.
In addition to the masks, the Dodgers players are already committed to not leaving their hotels. MLB has asked that teams be better about allowing players to congregate in public spaces. You will also see far more air high-fives after homeruns, much like Mookie Betts’ on Friday night.
The Dodgers will play one more in Arizona this afternoon before heading to San Diego for a three-game series. Clayton Kershaw gets the ball in his first outing of the season after being sidelined on Opening Day.