David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Appearing on 105.3 The Fan (h/t Josh Clark of Radio.com), Kiner–Falefa said road trips are “almost like prison” with all of the ways players are restricted in their hotels:
“MLB actually has someone just walking around the hotel to make sure we don’t do anything. Just based off previous teams and what they’ve done and how it affected the season. So MLB has been very strict. It’s almost cooler to be at home because you can at least do a little more and have some people around. But when you’re on the road it’s almost like prison. You can’t leave your room. Even if you go down to the lobby (you’ll get in trouble). I think for us this year, the physical part’s been okay, but mentally it’s starting to wear on a lot of people. (I’m) just curious how far this can go on.”
Per CNN’s Jill Martin and Cesar Marin, the changes included lowering the size of traveling parties with teams, requiring players and staffers to wear masks on the road and prohibiting meetings between players and team staffers in hotel rooms without prior approval.
The St. Louis Cardinals also had a COVID-19 outbreak that prevented them from playing games from July 30-Aug. 15. MLB adjusted their schedule to fit 53 games into 43 days, including nine doubleheaders.
As part of MLB’s attempt to reduce travel, teams are only playing within their division and the opposite league’s corresponding geographical division.
MLB’s 60-game regular season is scheduled to end on Sept. 27.