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Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed is willing to follow the lead of the Korean Baseball Organization and wear a face mask during games if it means he gets to return to work, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
"I'll be up for anything at this point just to be able to play," Ahmed said during a conference call on Tuesday. "If they said, hey, you can start games, whenever it is, May 15 or June 1, but you have to wear masks, if that's the only thing holding us back, then, sure, guys would do it."
However, the two-time Gold Glove winner mentioned he wasn't sure how practical social distancing would be for a baseball player.
"I don’t know," he said. "There's a dugout. There's a clubhouse. There's a bus. There's a plane. I don't know how realistic that actually is. It sounds good in theory to be able to try to get games going a lot quicker and a lot sooner and miss out on a lot less games, but I don't know. Maybe if it was golf it might work a little better. But I don't think it's very practical with a team sport."
On March 28, the Lotte Giants of the KBO played an intrasquad game in front of an empty stadium, and a number of players on the field wore masks.
The Giants play in South Korea, which has been one of the more successful countries at flattening the curve since the coronavirus outbreak.
Ahmed added he "no longer has an appetite" for an extended spring training, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, and believes he could be ready to play again with 15-to-20 at-bats under his belt.
Pitchers might not be in favor of that idea, though.
Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon, who is a players' union representative for his team, said in a conference call on Monday he believes there would need to be at least a three-week spring training for pitchers alone, according to Alex Stumpf of DKPittsburghSports.com.