SportsPulse: This baseball season will be a downright sprint and certifiably crazy. Mackenzie Salmon breaks down everything you need to know about the 2020 season with numbers.
The Colorado Rockies’ Ian Desmond announced on social media Monday night that he is opting out of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
At the end of a passionate Instagram post that also touched on police brutality, racial inequality and how it relates to baseball, Desmond revealed the reasoning behind his decision to not play in the abbreviated 60-game season.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking,” Desmond wrote.
He continued: “With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now. Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.”
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Before the announcement to opt out of this season, Desmond wrote about the lack of inclusion in baseball.
He wrote, in part: “In clubhouses we’ve got racist, sexist, homophobic jokes or flat-out problems. We’ve got cheating. We’ve got a minority issue from the top down. One African American GM. Two African American managers. Less than 8% Black players. No Black majority team owners.
“Perhaps most disheartening of all is a puzzling lack of focus on understanding how to change those numbers. A lack of focus on making baseball accessible and possible for all kids, not just those who are privileged enough to afford it. If baseball is America’s pastime, maybe it’s never been a more fitting one than now.”
Desmond was the fourth player to announce his intentions Monday to opt out of playing this season, joining Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake, and Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross.
Desmond – who is signed through the 2021 season with a club option for 2022, per Spotrac – has played 11 seasons in the majors, including the last three for the Rockies. He is a two-time All-Star selection. who has played multiple positions in the infield and outfield throughout his career.