Unlike the NBA and NHL, Major League Baseball is not confining its teams into a bubble as it prepares for its 2020 season amid COVID-19.
MLB players are able to go home, dine outdoors and will be spending time at hotels and visiting different cities when on the road.
Yet, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks is confident – at least in his team – that they will limit social interaction outside of the ballpark due to one thing: video games.
“All our team does is play video games,” he said, per the New York Daily News. “I’m not too worried about my team and you know, going out and getting wild, cuz they like their video games.”
It is a different era of athletes, as millennials and Gen Zers now dominate much of the league and have grown up on gaming.
The Yankees reportedly have a highly competitive Madden NFL league, in which reliever Tommy Kahnle – the team’s MLB The Show Players’ League representative -- serves as the commissioner.
If video games don’t keep players inside, Hicks added there is also Netflix.
“It’s kind of what I would assume,” he said. “That’s definitely what I’m going to be doing. So I just start from there.”
Despite Hicks’ optimism, 58 players still tested positive through MLB’s final round intake testing – a rate of 1.8 percent – including 27 of the 30 teams had at least one positive.
Hicks’ teammates – DJ LeMahieu, Luis Cessa and Aroldis Chapman – have also all tested positive since players began reporting to camp. Several players around the league, including David Price and Buster Posey, have decided to opt out of the season altogether, with more expected to follow.
But Hicks does not expect any of his teammates to opt out.
“My team is prepared to play this year and we’re motivated to play this year,” he said. “So obviously, we haven’t had anybody say that they don’t want to play. So you know, I just feel like we’re putting ourselves in a position to get ready for the season.”