Cincinnati Reds: Walk-off celebrations likely to be discouraged

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 07: Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 07: Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds had their fair share of walk-off celebrations at home plate last season. It seems as though that’ll be discouraged in 2020.

Imagine, if you will, the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals are knotted at four runs a piece in the bottom of the ninth at Great American Ball Park. With Nick Senzel sitting at second base, Mike Moustakas homers into the moon deck in right field and the Reds win; except no one is embracing Senzel at home or ripping off Moustakas’ jersey. That’s what we’re likely to see in 2020.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic obtained a copy of Major League Baseball’s proposed medical and safety protocols for the 2020 season amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The 67-page document lays out several different criteria and suggestions for players to abide by while concerns over COVID-19 exist.

Admittedly, I find some of these restrictions and protocols strange, but they’re being implemented with player safety in mind. Being that we’re looking at a shortened 2020 season to begin with, the last thing any team, including the Reds would want, is a player or several players being unavailable due to illness.

A few of the interesting items were as follows; players not on the field will be required to wear face coverings, each club will be limited to 50 players during “spring training”, communal water coolers will not be permitted and showering will be discouraged at club facilities.

So, whether a player is in the dugout (six feet apart) or in the bullpen, if you’re not on the field, you’ll be wearing a mask. I’m sure that Reds manager David Bell will be wearing one almost all the time. I’m also very curious as to the players that choose to make a statement with their face coverings. Should be interesting.

The limited roster size is nothing surprising. It’s been discussed that the 2020 season could see team’s roster size increased to 30 active players and a 20-player taxi squad. More than anything, I’m interested to see how that impacts the Reds 40-man roster if they’re using 50 players.

The likes of Nick Lodolo, Jose Garcia and Jonathan India are not yet on Cincinnati’s 40-man roster. However, having a skilled shortstop like Garcia or a left-hander like Lodolo on the Reds taxi squad could be a nice benefit.

No communal water coolers means no postgame Gatorade showers for the game’s hero. We’ve seen several Cincinnati Reds players doused with beverages over the years, usually alongside Jim Day or Jeff Piecoro during a postgame interview.

Next. MLB Draft to be held remotely

Sadly, the thing I’ll miss the most is the camaraderie between the players. Whether it’s a fist bump, a midair high five or Eugenio Suárez and Derek Dietrich screaming in each other’s faces, we’re unlikely to see any of that in 2020. Hopefully we get to see baseball played in the coming weeks, and at least that will help us get back to some form of normalcy.