While players are able to opt out of the 2020 season over health concerns, a few KC Royals players will continue to push forward and play.
It’s a strange time that everyone is living in. Sports are finally coming back into play, which will help to make things seem more normal, but for fans of the KC Royals and baseball, things may still seem out of place for a while.
With a much shorter season, larger roster sizes, and health and safety protocols in place, the 2020 season is bound to be very different. One looming concern is the pandemic that is still at large around the country. While the MLB is ensuring that measures to stay safe are present at all sites, there are still concerns for many players.
The MLB is allowing players to opt out of the season over health concerns, and some players have taken this option. For a few KC Royals players, though, the game will continue and they will just play everything safe.
Jeffrey Flanagan at MLB.com recently got a chance to speak with Tim Hill about some concerns. It wasn’t long ago that Hill was going through chemo treatments, having been diagnosed with colon cancer. Hill survived cancer, though he also has Lynch syndrome which puts him at a higher risk for cancer.
When asked, though, the decision was easy for Hill. There was no way he was going to miss playing this season.
"“I know there are people worried about me,” Hill said, “but honestly I don’t feel that high risk. I take care of myself through nutrition and working out. I never really considered opting out. I know that’s an option but I’m not going to do that.”"
Hill plans to be very cautious and continue to focus on safety procedures as he has done for the past few months.
Hill also mentioned that there were some concerns surrounding Jorge Lopez. Lopez has a son who battles Familial Mediterranean Fever and Crohn’s disease, two conditions that put him at a higher risk.
Lopez has no plans to opt out of the season, though, according to Hill.
"“Jorge is one incredible guy,” Hill said. “You can tell a person’s character about how much they have to go through, and Jorge has been through so much with his son. But he has handled it to the best of his ability.“Jorge is a strong person. He doesn’t show it, all the heartache he goes through with his son. It speaks to his character.”"
The 2020 season is likely to present some challenges, but for these couple of Royals, they look to be facing everything head-on. While there is a chance for some concerns as the season progresses, there will be plenty of precautions in place and players will have to ensure they are doing everything they can to continue to stay safe.
Tim Hill and Jorge Lopez are just two of many MLB players who have concerns and risks involved with playing during the 2020 season. They have no plans to opt out, though, and will continue to pitch once the season gets started.