Ryan Zimmerman: ‘Pump the brakes a bit' on MLB's Arizona plan


If Major League Baseball is serious about implementing the reported plan to begin the 2020 season in mid-May with all 30 teams playing in ballparks across Arizona, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has a few questions.

Zimmerman is publishing a diary series for the Associated Press while baseball is on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, he put out his thoughts on the reported proposal that would change everything about games from replacing umpires with automated strike zones to putting players in the stands instead of dugouts so that they properly practice social distancing.

“I know everything’s being done by everyone in good faith,” Zimmerman said, as told by AP sports writer Howard Fendrich. “We want to play; we want to give people something to watch on TV; people love sports.

“But you’ve got to consider the human element. Maybe pump the brakes a little bit. Maybe this wasn’t supposed to be leaked yet. I don’t know if we’re at the point to set this sort of thing up yet.”


The recently crowned World Series champion pointed out numerous issues with the idea, including the loss of pregame preparation time at ballparks and the fact that he would refuse to be isolated from his family with his third child due in June. Zimmerman notes that while the return of sports would help keep people indoors, he isn’t sure baseball should be a priority with everything going on.

“Look, all of us want to play,” he wrote. “That’s what we do: We play baseball. You wouldn’t ask a single person and have him say, ‘I want the season to be canceled’ or ‘I want to continue to not play.’

“But you have to be sensitive to people dying and people having family members in intensive care. And you have to think: Is it really that important to figure out how to play baseball right now?”

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