EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ASTROS ANALYST
Mike Stanton on MLB's return & Astros chances of winning another championship
Baseball fans aren't quite sure what to call Major League Baseball's second attempt at starting the 2020 season but Wednesday marks the start of Spring Training 2.0 or MLB Summer Camp. Most MLB teams are preparing for the upcoming 60-game season at their home city ballparks instead of their usual Spring Training locations, but not every player will be playing for their team in 2020.
Multiple players have decided to opt-out of playing the 2020 season for various reasons regarding health concerns or potentially exposing the virus to an at-risk person in their family. The Nationals Ryan Zimmerman, announced earlier in the week he was opting out of playing because he has a newborn child and a mother suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
But will the rest of the players on those teams losing key members support or resent these decisions?
Former MLB All-Star reliever and current Houston Astros analyst on AT&T SportsNet Mike Stanton joined The Jake Asman Show on Gow Media's SB Nation Radio Wednesday to discuss this situation. When asked if what players say publicly about supporting their opting-out teammates differs from what they may think privately, Stanton said that could definitely be a factor.
"I think there could be some resentment," Stanton said. "I don't know if it ever becomes public or if it ever becomes known by the player that opts-out, but yeah there is going to be some of that here or there. I'm not going to say it's going to be rapid because I think the players that do opt-out will be dealing with inner turmoil with that decision. It's not going to be a decision that is made on a whim, a snap decision, it's not going to be an emotional decision, there's going to be a lot of things that go into that. I think most players are going to understand why these players are going to be opting out but there might be some players that go 'man I wish Mike Stanton' was here today."
Unlike other sports attempting to return, MLB will not be playing games in an isolated bubble meaning that it will be on the players to police themselves and abide by the social distancing guidelines when they are away from the ballparks. Stanton says veteran players are going to have to lead the way to ensure that the younger players follow in-line.
"There is going to have to be accountability," Stanton said. "Those conversations need to be had in between the players... You can't be on the road and be like 'I'm tired of this hotel room, I'm going to go out to lunch today' you just can't do that. You have to maintain your discipline and not get too comfortable in your situation because that is when mistakes happen."
How does the current Astros analyst on AT&T SportsNet feel about the 2020 Astros chances of winning another championship?
"I think they are definitely one of the top two or three teams in the American League," Stanton said. "I think they have as good of a chance as anyone… Especially in a short season, really anything can happen."
Great insight from @MikeStanton29 on the #Astros and the rest of MLB's chances of winning in 2020 when Mike joined the @JakeAsmanShow earlier. pic.twitter.com/qRI8skBNg1
— Jake Asman (@JakeAsman) July 1, 2020
You can listen to The Jake Asman Show weekdays from 8 AM -10 AM Central on SB Nation Radio.