Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart spoke with the media about being away from baseball, missing opening day, and what’s one of the tough things about how to prepare for the season without knowing how things are going to play out.
“It’s tough. I was legitimately sad on Opening Day. It hurt me to not be playing. It was weird. Obviously it seems kind of crappy to talk about baseball at a time like this, but I think it also brings people some normalcy – myself included,” said Barnhart. “So when you get to opening day and nothing’s happening and you’re having to watch re-runs of games, although it’s fun, it sucks. We’re going to play baseball. It’s going to come back, but I think every one of us would tell you that we’re itching to get back sooner rather than later and it still feels like we’re a ways from that. It hurts. ”
There’s still a big unknown as to when baseball is going to come back. Anyone who suggests they know when it can or will happen doesn’t actually know what they are talking about. And perhaps that’s the toughest part of it all – not knowing when things will return.
“I think we’re in such a weird position right now. If things continue to be shut down and we venture into months, a couple months layoff – then you’re talking about another offseason. And I think we have, roughly 8 weeks of spring training after an offseason to get ready for the season and that won’t be the case this year. They’re not going to give us 8 weeks to get ready – that’s obvious. Without knowing a firm start date or having really any idea of when you’re going to start spring training 2.0, it’s tough to kind of figure out what you should be doing at this current moment,” Barnhart said.
“Should I be taking it like I’m in the middle of the season and do something baseball related every day? Or should I take a little time off and kind of prepare myself for a longer season than normal? I think it’s the preparedness that I’m struggling with just to try and find out what to do on a daily basis just so that if we are playing into November that I’m not just physically exhausted from starting in November of last year and basically playing baseball for a year straight.”
There’s been a lot of talk about trying to get in as many games as possible. Some ideas that were floated out there involved playing games at neutral sites in November where there’s either warmer weather or a dome as a way to extend the season to allow more games to be played. If that happens there’s a question of just how players will react in 2021 when it comes to injuries because of less rest in the offseason – but that’s something we’ll have to worry more about then if it happens.