As MLB’s Opening Day for the 2020 season draws closer, more players are opting out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now with more than 10 players already sitting out, 11 umpires are also set to not participate in the upcoming MLB season.
11 MLB umpires will sit out of 2020 season
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, 11 MLB umpires decided not to take part in the 2020 season. Either due to family-related health issues or personal concerns regarding the risk of playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB will lose 11 of its umpires.
The situation is particularly problematic for the league given there are only 70 umpires to begin the year. MLB is losing a significant portion of its operations with just weeks remaining until Opening Day.
The umpires’ union recently expressed its support for the league’s COVID-19 safety protocols. They recently reported for work at various team camps and intrasquad games, in preparation for the upcoming season.
MLB can certainly look towards the minors for more umpires, given there won’t be an MiLB season. Given the criticism experienced MLB umps normally face from fans, players and managers, it could be even worse this year for those called into action.