Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle said he is leaning toward playing the 2020 season but is not committed to playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It feels weird, man. Lotta mixed emotions," Doolittle told Abraham. "I'm super excited to be back, and I'm really looking forward to seeing my teammates, but the situation we're in with the pandemic and how it's affecting other cities around the country, cities that Major League Baseball is gonna be playing in, there's still a lot that we have to figure out and we don't have a lot of time to figure it out in."
When asked if he was sure he would play, Doolittle took a long pause before he said, "Not entirely."
"I'm here, so I'm very much leaning toward playing," he said. "And that's the way I have prepared, mentally and physically, during the break."
One of the reasons for Doolittle's reticence about playing is his wife, Eireann Dolan, who has a chronic lung condition which means she has an elevated risk for developing complications if infected with COVID-19. If Doolittle decides to play it would likely mean the couple would have to separate for the entirety of the season.
"My wife and I, we think we've come up with a plan for her to stay with some family in the area so that she's relatively close if anything should happen, at least she won't be halfway across the country," he said.
Is Doolittle convinced baseball can work during the pandemic? "No. No, I'm not."
"After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances - three young children, including a newborn, and a mother at high risk - I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season," Zimmerman said in a statement.