It will require approximately a thousand things to go right for this season to be pulled off safely, and not all of them are within the control of MLB, its teams, its management, or its players.
But among the things that are at least partially within the players’ control, I’m very glad to hear that the Cubs have explicitly gotten together to talk about what they need to do for each other:
Schwarber said the players sat down and discussed "what's acceptable and what's not acceptable" in regard to behavior away from ballpark. Self-policing will be important as teams try to keep COVID-19 from reaching camp. So far, no positive tests for Cubs players.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 8, 2020
Schwarber on teammates influencing each other off the field during the pandemic: "I know for a fact that we all kind of sat down and we wanted to outline what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable," when it comes to health and safety.
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) July 8, 2020
I won’t be so crass as to talk about health and safety from the pandemic being a competitive advantage, but I will say that yes, of course, teams that find a way to better adhere to the safety protocols will stand a better chance of completing this season with as many players unaffected as possible. What the players do directly impacts each other (and their families), so it is critical not only that they do the “right” things, but also that they are on the same page about what – realistically – are the “right” things.
This group truly cares about each other, and one thing the organization has done very well is creating an environment of caring about families, too. Hopefully, that helps – as much as possible – keep the players, the coaches, the personnel, and their families safe this year.