Eliminate 2020 Home Run Trots
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) July 9, 2020
There are a number of reasons why Cespedes did this. It could’ve been this was just an intrasquad game. It could be part of his working his way back. It could just be part of the eccentricities that make Cespedes Cespedes.
Whatever the case, Cespedes is onto something here. During the 2020 season, there’s no need to have home run trots. In fact, it should be eliminated all together.
Even though MLB is coming back to play, there is still a pandemic which necessitates social distancing when possible. Yes, a batter, catcher, and home plate umpire are well within six feet of one another, but they are not on top of every player on the field.
When a player homers, he doesn’t necessarily need to get within six feet of all four infielders, three umpires. and the catcher and home plate umpire again. Instead, he can head back to the bench and minimize contact with other players.
Admittedly, this is absolutely overkill, and trotting past those people will very likely no cause a threat of infection. To even contemplate the risk of infection from this simple act could be ludicrous.
And yet, there’s still a pandemic which threatens to shut baseball down at some point in the season. To the extent you can eliminate any threats of infection, you have to do it.
It’s why stands are being utilized for players to promote distancing efforts. There’s a new ball for every pitch and play (even if multiple people touch the ball anyway). It’s why players are not allowed to stand in CF away from everyone and spit.
In the end, eliminating home run trots may not help the distancing, but then again, it might.
Remember, there are players who watch these trots to try to adjudge the respectfulness of the trot to the game, opposing team, and the pitcher. At times, this starts a war of words with players rushing towards each each screaming with some light pushing. This is the absolute last thing we need to see with this pandemic.
We cannot allow the hot heads and self appointed arbitrators of the sport potentially put everyone at the risk of infection. The best way to avoid that is to eliminate the home run trots. That’s at least until we have moved to a point where we can safely commingle again.
So yes, this is an extreme measure many can argue will have zero impact on reducing the threat of the spread of COVID19. Then again, it could, and in the end, that’s why MLB should contemplate eliminating the home run trot this season.