MLB Adjusts to COVID-19 Protocols Amid Spring Return


Catherine Corbin

Local major league baseball teams get ready and anticipate a hopeful 2021 season.


Major League Baseball (MLB) returned to television screens on April 1, 2021, after a long-awaited season. With various vaccines now available and a full season ahead, baseball fans are ready for the 2021 season. 

“I’m excited to watch my favorite players on TV and hopefully even get a chance at some point to go to a game in person,” junior baseball player Sam Brami said. 

The 2020 season ended on a high note for Los Angeles, clinching the National League title and defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in game 6 of the World Series.

As for the 2021 season, Washington and Baltimore look to redeem themselves from finishing second to last in both of their divisions, both finished around 26-34, under .500. 

 “The nationals are going to have to hit well if they want to win,” Brami said. 

Unfortunately, the Nationals had to postpone the first game on April 1st due to COVID-19 and the continuous spread of the virus. Four players tested positive for the virus and seven more were placed in quarantine after coming in contact with players who tested positive. As of May 2021, the Nats have a couple more players who have tested positive and have been placed in quarantine. Nonetheless, the Nationals are still able to play and seem to have it under control. 

The Washington Nationals seem to be finding a groove and adjusting to the new conditions 2021 has to offer on the field. Turner is second in the National League for highest batting percentages, with a .329 batting average.

The Nationals have also added some big hitters to their lineup to ensure success this season.  “The Nationals signed contracts with Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber,” said junior Madelyn Fields. 

As for the Orioles, high hopes are set for the new starters and ongoing franchise. With Trey Mancini back from cancer treatment and Ryan Mountcastle expected to perform, the O’s have a chance to win the AL East division. 

On the mound, the Orioles seem to be adjusting to the new environment and performing well, as of April 2021 the Orioles bullpen era is around 3.40. 

John Means, the pitcher for the Orioles, threw his first career no-hitter, on May 5th. A no-hitter for the Orioles has not been attained since July 13, 1991. As for the offensive side, the Orioles have been struggling and are going to have found a groove sometime or another. 

For the 2020 season, each team played 60 regular-season games because of the outbreak of Covid-19. With vaccines available now and more information on the virus, there will be 162 regular-season games played in 2021. 

“I am very excited to see a new full season occurring this year”, psychology teacher, Christine Zafonte said. 

The number of games is not the only change from the past season, fans are now permitted to attend games. Each stadium is different, but as of April 2021, the Washington and Baltimore stadiums increased their capacity to 25%, allowing around 10,000 fans. 

“I plan on attending a game as long as Covid doesn’t get too bad”, Brami said. 

With the ongoing pandemic, policies are still put in place for the MLB to protect against the virus. Frequent PCR testing will be administered and face-covering must be worn at all times when in club facilities and the dugout. There is no pre-game exchange of lineup cards; instead, teams will input their lineup card into a mobile application to avoid close contact. 

“It’s just great to have something again to watch on TV, just something to take your mind off of things”, Zafonte said.