Nick Ahmed is ready to get back to baseball, and the Arizona Diamondbacks infielder said the team is willing to take the field in protective masks in the name of safety.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association continue dialogue regarding returning to the field and the stipulations for starting the season. Spring training was postponed on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Other pro sports leagues have held similar conversations, which include the possibility of playing in empty stadiums and arenas. Japan's Nippon Pro Baseball is resuming spring workouts, but one of the most highly regarded international pitchers -- Shintaro Fujinami -- has tested positive for the coronavirus. That league still plans to start the regular season April 24.
Health officials in the United States have advised against using masks for non-medical purposes due to the state-by-state shortage of appropriate personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks in hospitals.
Ahmed told the Associated Press that he would endorse wearing the mask if baseball suggested the use of face coverings temporarily.
"I'll be up for anything at this point just to be able to play," Ahmed said. "If they said, 'Hey, you can start games on May 15th or June 1st, but you have to wear masks.' If that's the only thing holding us back then sure, guys would do it."
"If it comes to playing with no fans for a little while, as much as that would be extremely weird and strange, we'd be open to it. Hopefully it wouldn't have to last a long time but to get more games in and get games on TV for fans to watch, we're all for that."
--Field Level Media