Liam Hendriks describes ‘surreal' camp preparing for 2020 MLB season


The last three weeks of "Camp Coliseum" have been a lot to mentally process for A’s players and staff.  

While baseball indeed is "back," the altered routines and rhythms don’t make it feel any kind of normal.

“I think it’s all a little surreal right now," Liam Hendriks said on Sunday via FaceTime.

“The biggest difference for us is that everything feels rushed. We’re not allowed to be at the field for a certain amount of time. We’ve got staggered arrivals. We have certain things where people come to the field super early and then they’re out before the next group even gets there.”

So far, the A’s and all MLB teams have yet to fully hit the road, as they will once this weekend arrives. Hendriks says travel won’t necessarily be baseball’s biggest challenge against COVID-19, but timely responses will.

He suggests the troubling scenario where a player tests positive from a sample they submitted 48 hours earlier. 

“That’s just undoubtedly going to happen at some point,” Hendriks said. “But hopefully the protocols we have in place while wearing masks in the clubhouse, hand sanitizing, all of this… that will kind of limit the exposure to the rest of the team and it’s not going to cause an entire team to get wiped out.”

Which would be among the worst-case scenarios, from the standpoint of personal health risks, and everything MLB players and staff are putting on the line to attempt the season

[RELATED: A's need vintage Sean Manaea to bolster banged-up starting rotation]

Personal accountability isn’t just a team-wide mandate.  It has to be sport-wide.

“You don’t want to be that guy, that all of a sudden gets it because you were doing something you weren’t supposed to,” Hendriks said. 

“And then passes it around the team, and then someone ends up on a ventilator. That’s not what anyone wants. And that’s what we’re trying to prevent having all these protocols in place.”

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