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Gabe Kapler: Proposed safety protocols will present ‘tremendous challenge’

Major League Baseball recently sent a 67-page health and safety proposal to players as part of the league’s ongoing initiative to begin an abbreviated season, and many believe adhering to some of the potential new restrictions will be extremely difficult.

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler reacted to some of the nuances contained in the league’s “operation guidelines” proposal this week, and he believes bans on habitual actions like high fives, hugs and spitting will present a “tremendous challenge” for ballplayers and team staffs.

“When you’ve been doing it your whole life, it’s like breaking any habit. It’s going to be hard when things get stressful not to default to the habit,” Kapler said this week on KNBR’s “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks” show. “But I can tell you this: Everybody’s going to be committed to doing it because it’s so worth it. The trade-off between giving up that habit and getting to play baseball, we’ll play baseball all day long.”

It merits noting that MLB’s proposal must be approved by the Players Association before being implemented in the event the 2020 season is held. What’s more, there are not any real punishments spelled out should players violate any of the proposed protocols.

Kapler isn’t not the first person to weigh in on how challenging it’s going to be to not violate the proposed new safety guidelines. It of course remains to be seen whether MLB and MLBPA will be able to agree on terms that would allow the truncated 2020 season to be played.

It goes without saying that both parties are under tremendous pressure to get America’s pastime back in action, even under such unprecedented circumstances and associated challenges.