Clint Frazier has a clear message for his critics: He’s going to wear a mask during the 2020 Major League Baseball season, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it.
On Friday, the New York Yankees outfielder revealed that he’s received backlash on social media in the days since stating his intention to “mask up” on the field. But the opinion of some “trash-talking” fans hasn’t altered his desire to do what he feels is best for his own health and the health of his family and teammates.
Wearing masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus has become a divisive subject despite the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) urging people to do so.
The CDC website specifically says “everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
That sounds an awful lot like the conditions Frazier will be playing in this season. Because of that, Frazier plans to wear his mask as often as possible around the ballpark. That includes while he’s batting due to his close proximity to the opposing catcher and umpire.
Yankees teammate Kyle Higashioka has since followed Frazier’s lead, noting that he also intends to wear a mask on the field. The backup catcher says he’ll wear it in the field, but not at the plate.
“It’s nice, cool material. It doesn’t really hinder me,” Higashioka said in a conference call. “I don’t really like wearing it hitting. It kind of messes with me turning my head. For catching, there’s nothing really that bugs me about it.”
Other catchers and first basemen around MLB have also declared they’ll be wearing masks this season. Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros says he’ll have his mask ready to go every time a runner reaches first base.
Whether people like it not, masks will be a part of baseball in 2020. And the decision to wear one should be respected.
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