As the names continue to add up on the side of opting-out, Mike Trout takes centerstage over the next few days as we await his decision on whether to play the MLB 2020 season. A deeply personal decision of whether to play the game he loves to his core versus the need and desire to protect his family leave Trout in an awkward position.
While some have called players selfish for choosing to opt-out of the 2020 season, it is clear that the decision is based on protecting the players’ families, and loved ones. While some, usually the louder voices, seem to think this virus, this pandemic isn’t a genuine threat to life, they are in the minority.
The majority of baseball fans, intelligent, passionate, understand that players are being put in harm’s way for our entertainment, and for the good of the game. Obviously it’s better for baseball if they play the games this summer, and we are all desperate to see some games.
Baseball fans are like no others in the world of sports. With 162 games, baseball fans immerse themselves in the game every waking second. We live and breathe the game, and feel every out and every homer run with every fiber of our being.
And this is as true for Mike Trout, or Buster Posey, the biggest name to opt-out of MLB 2020 so far. With Mike Trout’s wife, Jessica due to give birth this summer, he has a lot to consider when making this decision. It’s bigger than baseball. It’s the health of his family.
If you don’t think the pandemic is that much of a risk please consider this. 560,000 people have died of COVID-19 already. 137,000+ Americans have officially passed as a result of this horrendous virus, with the real number likely much, much higher. So before you blast players for not playing baseball, consider the reality of the situation.
Mike Trout would be a huge domino
And all this helps us see the precarious situation that MLB 2020 finds itself in. If Mike Trout, one of if not the biggest name in the game opts-out, there’s a chance that a lot of other players will feel they should opt-out. The decision between family and the game is easier, once other marquee players choose their family.
Mike Trout’s decision is easier now that Buster Posey has opted-out. Their situations aren’t the same, and they are not directly linked in any way. But the decision is easier once others have made it. And when it comes to Trout, his standing in the game would make it easier for other players to opt-out were he to do it first.
Mike Trout has the right to choose safety over playing the MLB 2020 season. It is already an acrimonious situation between the owners and players, and there is no need for it to become that way between fans are players. Players have a right to look after their families.
Would it be a surprise to see Trout opt-out no it wouldn’t. I fully expect him to join a list that already includes Posey, Ryan Zimmerman, Tyson Ross, Mike Leake, Nick Markakis, Wellington Castillo, and Felix Hernandez to name just a few.
With players like Freddie Freeman, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, and over 60 other players already testing positive this is a cautionary tale that will not have a quick resolution. MLB 2020 will likely see hundreds more positive tests before the season is done, and will probably see more in ’21.
And we are likely not done seeing players opt-out of MLB 2020, regardless of the decision Mike Trout makes in the next few days.