Sean Doolittle has some thoughts about MLB’s proposal to restart season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle voiced some concerns as MLB ownership prepares to present a proposal to restart the 2020 season.

Sean Doolittle has some thoughts about MLB’s proposal to restart season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Bill BaerMay 11, 2020, 4:35 PM EDT5 Comments

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle is one of baseball’s truly good guys. He and his wife Eireann Dolan have been involved with numerous philanthropic efforts and Doolittle even earned a nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016 when he was with the Athletics. They have supported Operation Finally Home, which is a nonprofit that provides “custom-built, mortgage-free” homes to members of the military and their widows. They also supported San Francisco’s veterans charity Swords to Plowshares, which “provides needs assessment and case management, employment and training, housing, and legal assistance” to veterans.

In 2015, Doolittle and Dolan hosted Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving amid a turbulent time concerning Syrian refugees and U.S. foreign policy. The pair continued to speak out in support of refugees, including in 2017. Doolittle and Dolan also supported LGBT people in 2015, buying enough tickets to fill the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum on LGBT night. That was in response to critics who vowed to sell their tickets in protest. Last year, Doolittle was recognized for his advocacy of union workers who serve food at MLB stadiums.

This is all to say that Doolittle is a thoughtful guy who puts his money where his mouth is. He doesn’t just shoot from the hip.

Today, we learned that MLB ownership has agreed on a proposal it intends to present to the MLB Players Association on Tuesday regarding the 2020 regular season. The proposal will include details about the schedule, location of games, as well as worker pay. Ahead of that proposal, Doolittle offered his thoughts on the matter in a thread on Twitter. He provides links to many resources, validating his concerns. It’s worth reading and considering.Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · 

Bear with me, but it feels like we’ve zoomed past the most important aspect of any MLB restart plan: health protections for players, families, staff, stadium workers and the workforce it would require to resume a season. Here are some things I’ll be looking for in the proposal…Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

Because this is a novel virus, there is still so much we don’t know – including the long-term effects. On top of respiratory issues, there’s been evidence of kidney, intestinal, and liver damage, as well as neurological malfunctions, blood clots & strokes. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-destroys-lungs-but-doctors-are-finding-its-damage-in-kidneys-hearts-and-elsewhere/2020/04/14/7ff71ee0-7db1-11ea-a3ee-13e1ae0a3571_story.html …Coronavirus destroys lungs. But doctors are finding its damage in kidneys, hearts and elsewhere.A small but growing body of evidence suggests the virus invades other organs and tissues, causing heart arrhythmias, blood clots and renal failure.washingtonpost.com1,825Twitter Ads info and privacy280 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

Covid-19 patients often develop lung scarring, or ‘ground-glass opacities’. These were found even in asymptomatic patients, and because the virus often affects both lungs, can cause permanent damage in some cases. Definitely a concern for an athlete. https://www.vox.com/2020/5/8/21251899/coronavirus-long-term-effects-symptoms …The emerging long-term complications of Covid-19, explained”It is a true roller coaster of symptoms and severities, with each new day offering many unknowns.”vox.comObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

Research has shown Covid-19 may cause issues with male hormone ratios – even in younger men, which could lead to fertility complications. Not ideal. Extremely suboptimal. Zero stars. https://www.vox.com/2020/5/8/21251899/coronavirus-long-term-effects-symptoms …The emerging long-term complications of Covid-19, explained”It is a true roller coaster of symptoms and severities, with each new day offering many unknowns.”vox.com1,498Twitter Ads info and privacy113 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

We know that sharing indoor spaces greatly increases the infection risk, and it’s rare that only 1 person gets sick. Will there be modifications made to clubhouses or other facilities to prevent a spread?https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1.full.pdf …https://thefern.org/2020/04/mapping-covid-19-in-meat-and-food-processing-plants/ …https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/8/20-1274_article …Mapping Covid-19 in meat and food processing plants | Food and Environment Reporting NetworkThis story was updated on May 8] According to data collected by FERN, as of May 8 at 12pm ET, at least 190 meatpacking and processed food plants and four farms have confirmed cases of Covid-19…thefern.orgObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

And we’ve learned that you release the most virus into your environment prior to symptoms even showing. So how frequently will we be testing to stay ahead of a potential spread and to mitigate as much risk as possible? https://virologie-ccm.charite.de/fileadmin/user_upload/microsites/m_cc05/virologie-ccm/dateien_upload/Weitere_Dateien/analysis-of-SARS-CoV-2-viral-load-by-patient-age-v2.pdf …1,097Twitter Ads info and privacy92 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

Fauci spoke about conducting an NFL season & indicated a need for daily testing. Baseball players might not be in close contact during a game the way football players are, but there is a lot of shared space in a clubhouse among players, coaches and staff. https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/05/11/dr-anthony-fauci-football-the-perfect-set-up-for-spreading/ …

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Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

So how many tests do we need to safely play during a pandemic? And not just tests for players. Baseball requires a massive workforce besides the players; coaches, clubhouse staff, security, grounds crews, umpires, gameday stadium staff, TV & media…we need to protect everyone.1,363Twitter Ads info and privacy117 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

And that’s before we get to hotel workers and transportation workers (pilots, flight attendants, bus drivers). They are essential workers. We wouldn’t be able to play a season without them, and they deserve the same protections.Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

We need to consider what level of risk we’re willing to assume. 80% of cases are considered mild, but what if a player, a staff member, an auxiliary worker, or a family member gets a case that’s in the 20% and they develop severe symptoms or chronic issues? 1 feels like too many?1,321Twitter Ads info and privacy103 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

There are a number of players & staff who have pre-existing conditions that they are aware of (and likely more who aren’t yet). We need a plan that seriously considers the increased health concerns of any players, staff or workers who are at higher risk. https://theathletic.com/1806075/2020/05/11/rosenthal-what-players-with-underlying-health-concerns-say-about-a-possible-return/ …Rosenthal: What players with underlying health concerns say…The players only will push forward with the 2020 season if they are assured the league will take every measure to keep them safe.theathletic.comObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

And if even mild cases can cause long-term health effects, will there be added healthcare benefits for players, staff and workers that will extend beyond their employment and into retirement to mitigate the unknown risks of putting on a baseball season during a pandemic?1,150Twitter Ads info and privacy95 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

We don’t have a vaccine yet, and we don’t really have any effective anti-viral treatments. What happens if there is a second wave? Hopefully we can come up with BOTH a proactive health plan focused on prevention AND a reactive plan aimed at containment.Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

Hopefully these concerns will be addressed in MLB’s proposal, first and foremost: 1) what’s the plan to ethically acquire enough tests? 2) what’s the protocol if a player, staff member, or worker contracts the virus? We want to play. And we want everyone to stay safe.1,407Twitter Ads info and privacy132 people are talking about thisObi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo · Replying to @whatwouldDOOdo

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. I’m going to turn my phone off now. Best of luck to my mentions. Stay safe. Keep washing your hands and wearing your masks. I hope we get to play baseball for you again soon. ✌🏻❤️Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle@whatwouldDOOdo

Oh,

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We haven’t heard from many players about the risks they face if they were to resume playing. Doolittle has taken it upon himself to speak up. Hopefully, union reps take his concerns into account before hearing MLB’s proposal tomorrow.

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