There has long been fear and trepidation among Major League Baseball players about getting back to playing in 2020.
On Monday, several players including veteran infielder Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals announced that it simply isn’t worth the risk.
“After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances – three young children, including a newborn, and a mother at high risk – I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season,” Zimmerman said in a statement.
“I cannot speak for anyone else, but given the unusual nature of the season, this is the best decision for me and my family.”.
Zimmerman’s teammate, pitcher Joe Ross, also announced that he will be opting out.
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“We are one hundred percent supportive of their decision to not play this year,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Monday.
The news from the Nationals organization came shortly after Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake said he wouldn’t be playing in 2020.
The 35-year-old Zimmerman, who has been with the Nationals since 2005, had been hinting for weeks that he might sit the year out.
“There’s a lot of factors that I and others have to consider,” Zimmerman told the Associated Press last week. “I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer; it’s everybody’s individual choice. At the end of the day, does a player feel comfortable going to the field every day and, in my case, more importantly, feel comfortable coming home every day and feel like they’re not putting anyone else in danger?”.