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Max Scherzer Talks to ‘R2C2’ About His Comfort Level Playing During the Pandemic

The Nationals ace discusses MLB’s safety protocols amid the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak

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As announced on Tuesday, six-time MLB All-Star CC Sabathia and Emmy-winning New York sportscaster Ryan Ruocco are bringing their podcast, R2C2, to the Ringer Podcast Network. One of the first guests is Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who talked to CC and Ryan about his comfort level playing during the pandemic and how MLB is handling the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak.

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Ryan Ruocco: Would you guys feel comfortable playing against the Marlins at this point in your home ballpark if you didn’t have to go to Miami, or is even that something that wouldn’t feel comfortable at this point?

Right now, the situation’s fluid. You’re trying to understand how bad of an outbreak they have. I mean, how many times do they have the test negative before you really feel comfortable that they’ve contained their outbreak and that they’ve contained the spread. And also understanding, paying attention to the Phillies as well. How many days did the Phillies need to test negative before you feel comfortable that they didn’t have a spread by playing the Marlins?

And so when you start trying to answer those questions and let it day by day unfold, it seems like every day, your mindset changes on these topics. One day you’re ready to rip through the world, and then the other day you completely calm down and you need to make clear decisions. So, it’s hard to say right now, because that happened on Sunday, where they really did have an outbreak. So now, here we are on Tuesday, two days later. How many more times do they need to test negative before you really feel comfortable that they can be in a clubhouse and really not spread to anybody else?

CC Sabathia: And you know what’s crazy? I saw that one of the clubhouse’s visiting guys in Philly tested positive. So, do we know it came from the Marlins, or did it come from the Philly clubhouse? You know what I’m saying? Those are the things I would want to know. Like, is it safe to go to Philly? Or did it come from the Marlins team, or the plane, or whatever, like something they did? That’s the toughest thing, is trying to figure out where it actually started and how to be safe playing the teams going forward like that, you know?

Yeah. I also think this is where you got to start reevaluating the protocols. OK, so if you have this big a spread and everybody’s wearing masks and you thought we had protocols to prevent this. OK, so how has this happened? You start thinking, “All right, this is aerosol spread. Do we need more air filters?”

I’ve read stuff where you start talking about UVC light. Do you need to find a way to be able to disinfect areas like that? If this is aerosol based, yeah, this is a major challenge, but it’s also pretty fixable at the same time. So, are there ways that we can up the ante here in terms of making sure that there’s not a spread by any little thing that we can do?

So, for me, I’m fascinated, not that I’m fascinated. No one ever wants to ever see this happen. But I’m more fascinated to see, how can we engineer around this? What are we going to be able to do to be able to prevent this in the future?