Buster Posey took part in the Giants’ Summer Camp workouts yesterday. Nevertheless, he was reluctant to commit to playing out the entire 2020 season in a teleconference with reporters, including Andrew Baggarly of the Athletic.
“Yeah, definitely, I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well,” Posey said, presumably in response to Mike Trout expressing some trepidation about playing out the season amidst rising coronavirus cases throughout most of the United States.
“I want to see how things progress here over the next couple weeks,” Posey continued (via Baggarly). “It would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, and not only around here but paying attention to what’s happening in different parts of the country. It’s obviously unprecedented times right now. Most definitely, I’ve thought about it and talked with my wife about it quite a bit.”
To be clear, Posey’s comments don’t suggest he’s on the verge of stepping away. As the virus continues to rage, the situation surely remains fluid for even the most optimistic players. As Posey later pointed out, the virus’ unpredictability makes it virtually impossible for anyone to unequivocally commit to finishing the season.
Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle echoed those thoughts on a conference call with reporters (including Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post) this afternoon. The southpaw indicated he’s leaning towards playing this season, but he’s by no means committing to the entire campaign just yet. “At any point, if I start to feel unsafe, if it starts to take a toll on my mental health, with all the things we have to think about and this cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, then I’ll opt out,” Doolittle said.
Posey’s and Doolittle’s comments are the latest reminder that all players (and non-playing staff, for that matter) have far greater personal and familial concerns outside baseball. We’ve seen a handful of players and coaches, most notably David Price, decide to sit out this season. Even players who’ve already reported to their respective teams could (and, needless to say, have every right to) reverse course and opt out of playing in 2020. Braves right-hander Félix Hernández, in fact, did exactly that last night.