When Major League Baseball returns, it will look a little bit different based on the proposed social distancing guidelines. The league outlined the new protocols in a 67-page document that covers everything on and off the field.
Under the proposed guidelines, players will be asked to refrain from high-fiving, fist-bumping, and hugging, even after a player hits a home run. Players will also be prohibited from spitting, using chewing tobacco, and eating sunflower seeds while on the bench.
The league told players they should plan to shower at home and arrive at the ballpark already in uniform.
Players will also be prohibited from touching their face to give signs or licking their fingers. A baseball will be discarded after it is touched by multiple players, and infielders will be discouraged from throwing the ball around after every out.
Teams will be allowed to have 50 players on their roster, but most players will not be permitted in the dugout. Some of the players will have to sit in the stands while remaining at least six feet apart from each other.
The league stressed that the document was a work in progress, and officials are working with the players and owners to come up with a set of protocols that will ensure baseball games can be played safely.
"We emphasize that this is a first draft, and will undergo several rounds of changes as we collect comments and suggestions from the clubs, the players' association, players, and government officials,'' Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote in an email. ''The document is designed to set minimum standards and identify best practices, but we have attempted to provide clubs with enough flexibility to achieve the desired health and safety objectives in a manner that is tailored to their particular circumstances, including ballpark configuration, location, and the nature of any local governmental regulations or restrictions."
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