ST. LOUIS/KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are no easy tests when it comes to baseball returning to play.
“They want tests, and they want the results of those tests,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said. “That’s the problem at the moment, not being able to deliver those.”
But study time is almost over.
The MLB is scheduled to be the first of the four major American professional sports to make it’s return. The Royals opening on the road in Cleveland and the Cardinals at home against the Pirates.
Both on July 24th.
“We get out there and that is our place to enjoy ourselves, which has been the case for us for many of years,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Just to get back to something we love and are familiar with, it feels really good.”
“This isn’t going to get in the way of our thought philosophy of how important it is to stay the course,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “This is an opportunity to show the toughness that this group has, so far they have been on point with everything.”
Not everyone will play this summer. Some big names, including David Price of the Dodgers have opted out. As of Tuesday, the Royals and Cardinals remain intact.
“We’ll take every precaution that we can,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “There are going to be risks whether you are playing baseball or not playing baseball, or whatever it’s going to be. For me personally, I just wanted to play.”
“I have an obligation to those guys in there because those guys are my family as well,” Royals Whit Merrifield said. “I have to show up and perform, if I’m not there, I’m putting those guys in jeopardy this year.”
For the season to be played, there is little room for error. The veterans on the clubs spreading the message loud and clear.
“Listen, if we see y’all stepping out of line, we are going to let you know about it really quick,” Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said. “We’re talking about three months, just three months. After that we cant dictate what you do anymore, but for three months we need everyone to be good soldiers.”
Whatever it takes to make sure the first pitch is thrown in late July.
“They are ready for a hot summer Sunday, a hot dog and a beer and to watch a baseball game,” Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas. “If that has to be from the comfort of your home this year, then that is just the way it is. Being able to escape for just a minute and watch some of your favorite ballplayers, I think that’s a big deal.”