D-backs’ Nick Ahmed: Idea to put MLB teams in AZ is still far off
If you’re waiting on Major League Baseball to bring all 30 of its teams to Arizona for an isolated resumption of the season, don’t hold your breath.
MLB itself released a statement on Tuesday slowing any premature excitement regarding the plan, which had reportedly been discussed and strongly considered. It entails having teams play at the various Cactus League ballparks throughout the Valley and doing so in isolation as to prevent the continued spread of coronavirus.
“While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan,” the statement read.
Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed also indicated Wednesday that the idea is a distance away from imminent reality.
“To be quite honest, guys, I don’t have like a personal take on it yet,” he told Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports. “I think MLB and the players association are discussing all possibilities, rightly, I think they should. Everybody wants to be playing baseball and playing as soon as possible.
“But I think that possibility and that proposal that they’re just in the infant stages of talking is so far off. Selfishly, it would be great for a team like us, who is here, but I think it’s going to be some sort of a logistical nightmare trying to figure that out. I applaud MLB for trying and talking about all possible situations to get games going and playing, but obviously we have to figure out what’s going on with our country and health situation first and foremost.”
Some MLB players have expressed concern over prolonged separation from their families, which already is an issue that pro athletes face with demanding schedules and long travel.
“I understand the situation but I just know how far off it is as a possibility and know that there’s obviously people that feel strongly about wanting to be dads, potentially, and husbands, and see their families,” Ahmed said.
One question facing sports leagues is what to do when it is safe to resume the season. When asked what number of games would make it worthwhile for MLB to resume its season and maintain competitive integrity, Ahmed seemed willing to take what he could get.
“I would play 30 games, just to get out and play,” Ahmed said. “I think they’re talking about how many games you can possibly play in the schedule to actually have a competitive and realistic postseason, which I understand. Just for me, as someone who loves the game and loves to play, like I said, I would play any amount of games at all over nothing.
“What I’ve heard is 60 is probably a number that’s still going to happen. Obviously everybody hopes we’re going to play a lot more than that. But if it does come down to that and we don’t start until August or something like that, we’re still all going to give it a go.”