Max Scherzer threw six innings in the Washington Nationals’ win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night, and it sounds like he would have preferred to do so in front of more fans.
The Nationals have been given permission by their local government to have 5,000 fans at their ballpark, which is roughly how many attended Tuesday’s game. There were no fans seated in the upper deck area, and Scherzer found that puzzling. He said as much while speaking with reporters after the 6-5 victory.
Max Scherzer says it doesn't make sense that there weren't fans in the upper deck. Says he would "love an explanation" on why there weren't more people socially distanced, and that's all he will say.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) April 6, 2021
That is a fair question.
With the exception of the Texas Rangers, most MLB teams and their local governments are limiting fan capacity to a certain percentage. The argument from Scherzer and others is that allowing such limited capacity in a large outdoor venue defies logic and common sense.
The point of having a limited number of fans is to allow people to properly social distance. Surely, the Nationals and other teams don’t need entire sections empty in order to accomplish that. If they want to limit capacity so fans remain socially distanced, it would make more sense to allow a certain percentage of fans per section — not the entire ballpark.
Scherzer is not the first pro athlete to question regulations that have been implemented during the pandemic. We’ve seen the same from Aaron Rodgers, who even called out one well-known politician recently.