MLB continues to struggle with the challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As MLB attempts to get its 2020 season off the ground, things aren’t exactly going smoothly. Now, we’re hearing more bad news on this front.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Monday morning that “Some players are reporting privately their teams are not adhering closely to elements of the health and safety protocol.”

This news comes on the heels of multiple teams dealing with testing issues. The Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels have all had their COVID-19 test results delayed. This has caused cancellations of their team workouts, and no shortage of anger and frustration.

This doesn’t exactly bode well for the season. It’s also a cautionary tale as it concerns football in America — both at the professional and collegiate levels.

However, Olney did provide some necessary context to this situation, noting this is an unprecedented situation.

The hope, of course, is that the testing issues are resolved and that this becomes a non-issue going forward. However, the past week has taught us that this hope could be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Even before the testing problems, MLB saw some of its biggest stars opt out of the 2020 season.

Here’s a list of the players who have opted out so far:

  • Mike Leake, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
  • Joe Ross, Washington Nationals
  • Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies
  • David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Tyson Ross, San Francisco Giants
  • Felix Hernandez, Atlanta Braves

Additionally, other players are considering opting out, including MLB’s biggest star, Mike Trout.

Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle recently laid out a strong case for why this is happening. He, too, is considering opting out, and he expressed frustration with how things are going.

“There’s a lot of players right now that are trying to make decisions that might be participating in camp that aren’t 100 percent comfortable with where things are at right now,” Doolittle said, per Yahoo Sports. “That’s kind of where I am. I think I’m planning on playing. But, if at any point I start to feel unsafe, if it starts to take a toll on my mental health, with all these things we have to worry about, and just kind of this cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, then I’ll opt out.”

Hopefully, MLB resolves this issue quickly. If it doesn’t, things could go downhill fast.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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