NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Baseball is back in the Big Apple. The Mets are holding their first summer workouts at Citi Field on Friday, with the abbreviated 2020 season anticipated to start on July 23.
Spring Training was canceled in mid-March and Opening Day has been postponed since March 26 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The sounds of the game have returned to the ballpark.
“Yeah, yeah, as soon as I got to the field, I felt like, you know, baseball is back and we are back. I feel like normal today,” Mets catcher Wilson Ramos said.
Plenty of safety measures were taken just to see players like Jacob deGrom take the field as part of the first workout session, CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reports.
Those players left the ballpark after their workout to make room for the guys in session two. Players are working in small groups and utilizing every part of the ballpark.
One fan seating area has been retrofitted with stationary bikes.
“Once we hit the field, then it was almost like camp. We’re out there. We were maintaining our distances. But once they started playing catch, throwing the ball around and BP that we saw there, it felt pretty normal to us,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.
Players had to pass a series of tests just to get into the ballpark, and then wear masks when traveling between workout stations.
Clubhouse attendees disinfected the baseballs after each session, and just like all interviews, all team meetings are held via Zoom.
It gives this camp a healthy dose of perspective.
“It’s hard right now to, to be here, but at the same time, I’m very happy to be here doing what we love to do. It’s hard to hear about all the news about the virus in all the country, but it’s something that we can fight against,” Ramos said
Baseball would provide a great distraction, but the season is still fragile. No matter how many rules are followed, MLB’s Summer Camp is still full of unknowns
“The number one thing is the health of everyone here and that w’e’re fulfilling the protocols so the guys are able to go out on the field and we can focus on our baseball,” Rojas said.