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Volume 26 No. 179
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Fauci: Could See Some Form Of Spectators At MLB Games This Year

Dr. Anthony Fauci said one option when MLB eventually returns to play could be to “limit the amount of people in a stadium and make sure you seat them in way where they are really quite separated and maybe even wearing facemasks.” Fauci, speaking yesterday on YES Network, said, “I know people look at that and they say, ‘What, are you crazy?’ But to me it’s better than no baseball at all. That’s the point.” Fauci said it is "impossible to predict” when MLB could return to play, and, "I don’t think we can say with any confidence that in the middle of this summer we can say, ‘Okay, July 4th let’s start the season in a truncated season.’” Fauci: “It’s more likely that you’re going to have more of a television baseball than a spectator baseball … (because) I cannot see a return this year to what we consider ‘normal.’” But games on TV are "certainly better than nothing.” There is “going to be a new normal for awhile, and it’s not going to be just a few months. It likely will cycle around even into next fall and winter" (“YES, We’re Here,” YES Network, 4/20).

SOMETHING TO USE AS A MODEL? YONHAP's Yoo Jee-Ho reports the Korea Baseball Organization will begin the '20 season on May 5 after postponing the initial March 28 start. All exhibition games and early regular-season games "will be played without fans ... due to lingering concerns over the coronavirus amid a recent decline in new daily cases." South Korea Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun over the weekend "eased guidelines for social distancing" and noted outdoor sports games "could go ahead with proper safety measures in place, such as not allowing fans to attend" (YONHAP, 4/21). In N.Y., Joel Sherman noted in addition to no fans, umpires "will be wearing masks" and players "will have their temperatures taken as they enter the stadiums." Rules also have been added "forbidding spitting and licking fingers." Former MLBer Casey Kelly, who now plays in the KBO, said that it is "mandatory to wear masks to and from the stadium and that all the players are now funneled through a singular entrance at which an infrared body scanner checks their body heat and a team trainer also takes their temperature." Sherman noted it may be "tricky" for MLB to learn anything from the KBO's decision, but MLB officials "have spoken about learning particularly about handling behind-the-scenes/clubhouse issues" (N.Y. POST, 4/20).