Braves: No Player Should be Judged Harshly for Sitting Out 2020 Season

As more players decide to sit out the 2020 MLB season it seems inevitable that an Atlanta Braves player will do the same at some point.

Maybe it won’t happen before the season starts, but it seems likely that at some point an Atlanta Braves player will opt-out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 issues.

Whether it’s a player who has a wife or kid that has health issues or the spread of the virus just becomes too much for them to want to risk it.

And any player or coach that makes that decision shouldn’t be viewed as scared or weak.

What we sometimes forget as fans are that sports are there for our entertainment — it is not essential for life to go on.

As I write that I realize that I’m one of those fans that feel lost without baseball on TV every night this summer.

While baseball is a billion-dollar business, it’s still just there for our entertainment and if it went away the world would still go on.

Yes, I think sports can do a lot of good for people beyond just entertaining them. As I’ve written before, baseball is a way that I communicate with others, it’s how I spend quality time with my parents and now my son.

It goes beyond the game and I believe the sport coming back is crucial for our country getting back to feeling normal and having something to rally around.

But at the same time, a person’s life and lives of their loved ones are far more important than anything I just mentioned.

For players like Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross, Ian Desmond, and the others that will likely choose to sit out in 2020, they shouldn’t be looked on poorly or like they’ve given up on their team.

They’ve had to make a very difficult decision, but a decision that is best for them and their family.

While I certainly hope we don’t have any Braves players opt out of the 2020 season, I’m not going to think harshly of any who do — especially for family reasons.

The 2020 season is already tainted because of the weird schedule and circumstances. If the Braves win the World Series in 2020 I’ll be ecstatic, but deep down I’ll know this season comes with an asterisk.

Getting the game back in 2020 is not so much about winning as it is giving people entertainment during this extended quarantine and a little bit of hope that things could get back to normal one day.

Next: 2020 still in limbo?

I appreciate all of the players who are risking their health to give us this form of entertainment and won’t judge anyone who decides it’s not worth the risk.