Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is getting ready to head to Milwaukee for what might be his last season, but at this point, he’s still unsure if there will be a season.
While the league is still planning on a 60-game season, Braun doesn’t sound totally convinced that things will go down as planned in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“There’s still a part of me that isn’t quite sure we will actually play games,” said Braun, a six-time All-Star. “I’m optimistic that we will play games, but obviously if we look at what’s happening in the country, the COVID numbers are not good. There are a significant number of athletes who have tested positive, which is indicative of the overall numbers in our country right now.”
Like many players, including new Brewer Brock Holt, Braun says he’s leaving his family behind as he gets ready to report to Summer Camp this weekend. Holt’s wife is pregnant, making her high-risk for COVID-19, while Braun and his wife recently welcomed a newborn son.
We don’t know what the schedule will look like yet, but Braun seems to think it would be foolish to assume everything goes according to plan.
“We recognize there might be some situations where teams have to move or game locations are moved at the last minute and we’re fine with that,” he said. “I think we’re ready to embrace that because playing a season will positively impact so many people’s lives. … We’re excited about the idea of getting started but there’s also some nervousness and some apprehension.”
Braun knows how the players can help take fans’ minds off things, even for a short while, but that also does come with significant risk — especially since the longterm effects of the virus, even in young and otherwise healthy people, are still relatively unknown.
“I’m excited about having the opportunity to go back and play, but at the same time I’m a little bit scared of what it will look like,” Braun said. “My biggest priority is being a father first and a husband second, so to leave three young children and my wife to go into an environment where I don’t know what it will look like or when exactly I will come back or how safe it will be, it’s a little bit scary and completely different than anything I’ve experienced before.”
A solid reminder that these guys are human, and some have some very good personal and family reasons for being apprehensive right now.
You can watch a video of Braun’s interview over at the LA Times.