David Ross addressed a wide range of topics on Friday that all pointed back to how the Chicago Cubs are handling and plan to handle playing the season during a coronavirus pandemic. Among the issues he touched on were how he expects the players to comport themselves during downtime.
Major League Baseball has laid out what teams and players are going to do in order to try and stay safe when they’re at the ballpark. What is questionable is how each individual team is going to handle it when the game is over and people want to blow off steam.
Cubs website writer Jordan Bastion reported on Twitter that Ross felt like he was torn when asked what players are going to be doing during their free time. Part of the issue is that both spring training and the regular season will take place at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The ballpark is smack dab in the middle of a huge section of the city that is littered with night clubs and bars.
In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Ross said he is 100 percent against any of his players barhopping. At the same time, the first-year manager sounded as though he’s not going to ban “nightlife” as part of the team rules.
“You can’t hold these guys’ hands,” Ross said during a video conference with the media. “They’re grown men.”
The Cubs manager added that it would be “a selfish move” for players to go out and go against protocols when not at the ballpark or with the team. He also said everyone was relying on quite a bit of “self-policing” when it came to what the players are going to do before and after games.
NBC Chicago‘s Tim Stebbins later tweeted that Ross isn’t just going to leave it entirely up to the players. He did say he would address it with the team and layout the expectations of their behavior.
Ross was addressing his concerns over how the Cubs will approach the season on the first official day of resumed training. So far, none of the players have tested positive for the coronavirus and none have opted out of playing during the season.
However, the team’s pitching coach, Tommy Hottovy, detailed his problems in getting over COVID-19 after he contracted it. Hottovy said earlier this week that despite being 45 days out from the initial diagnosis, he still doesn’t feel fully recovered.