‘This country needs baseball,’ Rockies Charlie Blackmon, Jake McGee ready to compete

Feb 29, 2020; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) returns to the dugout after an at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning of a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There is no denying the last few months have been difficult for everybody to endure as the world wrestles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most people have been confined to their homes as local businesses have been forced to close up shop while the country tries to figure out a way to defeat the coronavirus.

Being cooped up inside is terrible enough, but the coronavirus also halted all professional sports, taking live entertainment from people as well.

The virus forced Spring Training to come to an abrupt pause, resulting in the indefinite suspension of the MLB season. Now, nearly two months later, there have been indications that baseball could start its season around the Fourth of July.

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is eager to start playing and thinks the return of America’s Pastime is precisely what the country needs right now.

“This country needs baseball,” Blackmon said on the Rich Eisen Show.“We need to get back to summer life. Get back to normalcy, being able to watch live events on TV. We need that badly.”

Blackmon has been staying in Denver recently, working out at the Rockies facilities, and preparing for the eventual start to the season.

Major League Baseball recently participated in a study in which 26 clubs completed over 6000 Covid-19 antibody tests. 0.7% of the participants tested positive for Coivd-19 antibodies, a number that was much lower than researches had initially anticipated.

Blackmon, and other players, are surprised there has not been a spike in Covid-19 cases among professional baseball players. The few numbers of cases have yielded optimism that the season could be played with the proper precautions in place.

“I am surprised at this point that we don’t have more confirmed cases among players in the game,” Blackmon said. “I think we have the ability to test frequently enough and do our best at isolating players so we can get going.

Blackmon noted that players and coaches have been practicing social distancing for over a month now, and adds that implementing guidelines would be nothing people are not already used to.

Rockies’ relief pitcher Jake McGee believes baseball has a unique opportunity to set an example of how professional sports can return in a safe manner.

“If we are the first sport to come back, we can set an example of social distancing,” McGee said in an interview on Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Mason. “It would be pretty neat to be a part of it.”

Players, coaches, and fans are all eager to get the 2020 season started, and the recent discussions between owners and the players’ union indicate that a resolution could be on the horizon.

There are still a few hurdles the owners and union need to overcome, but the general consensus around the sport is that everybody wants to play ball at some point in 2020.

“Everybody wants to play,” Blackmon said. “We are kind of just sitting on ready, trying to stay in shape. Hopefully, this is the beginning where we get the ball rolling, and we move towards normalcy.”

Talks between the two sides are expected to continue throughout the week, and there should be some news regarding the status of the season in the next few days.

For now, Blackmon and the rest of the Rockies will continue to stay ready for whenever baseball finally returns.

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