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Torey Lovullo is ready to use social distancing while arguing with umpires

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (17) argues with umpire D.J. Reyburn, right, after Lovullo is ejected during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Baseball is kind of gross sometimes.

The sport has its own sort of subculture to it with sunflower seeds, tobacco, peanuts and so on. Basically, we’ve all gotten used to watching baseball players having something in their mouths and spitting stuff out of it.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, though, everyone is going to have to get rid of those habits.

Included in the MLB’s plan for starting a shortened 2020 season is this:

Spitting is prohibited (including but not limited to: saliva, sunflower seeds or peanut shells, or tobacco) at all times in Club facilities (including on the field). Chewing gum is permitted.

That’s something to really soak in with how different the sport will look.

“That’s gonna be extremely hard for me,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Thursday. “But I’ve been learning some new normals and I’m going to follow this protocol because that’s my responsibility.”

Lovullo is going to have to be mindful of that in the heat of the moment, and nothing describes heat of the moment quite like the moments when a manager gets right in the face of an umpire and screams at him.

Social distancing while going out for discussions is another one for the manager to get used to.

I’m gonna do my best to back off six feet and say what I need to say,” Lovullo said. “With no fans in the stand, I think you’ll be able to get your point across from six feet.”

Another one of those instances is when the team celebrates, especially with baseball’s traditions on walk-offs of throwing things on that guy and grabbing at his jersey.

Lovullo described that one specifically as something that will be “extremely difficult” to get acclimated for, but they’ll get it done.

“I know under the current guidelines if we are told to stay away from one another and have no contact, we are going to follow those guidelines to a T, as hard as it will be,” he said.


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