Angels Notes: Players do their part to end mask debate

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Angels are setting an example when it comes to the unending debates raging across the United States on whether or not to wear a mask.

As the United States, and more importantly those closest around them in Orange County, continues to see a spike in coronavirus cases, the importance of doing their part has not been lost on the Los Angeles Angels. The team has shown time and again that they are committed to slowing the spread, even if only in their little bubbles.

It started with a silent statement from the team’s leader, Mike Trout, when he was shown running the bases early in camp wearing a simple N95 mask. Trout, who has a wife at home that is expecting the couple’s first child, is concerned with possibly picking up the virus and being unable to attend the birth. He’s acknowledged that the worry weighs heavily on him and keeping those around him is of the utmost importance right now, even if it means he doesn’t play in 2020.

If Mike Trout can wear a mask while running the bases, why can’t those of us who are not athletes manage to do so while running to the grocery store?

While Trout made his statement in the typical, stoic Trout fashion, other players on the team have been more vocal about their efforts. Opening Day starter and the team’s union representative Andrew Heaney told the media on Wednesday that the team has committed to each other that they are wearing masks in public.

"“If you’re not at the field, if you’re not in your car, if you’re not in your house, you need to wear a mask. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a state that doesn’t enforce it, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to wear a mask.”"

Newly acquired third baseman Anthony Rendon took it a step further on Thursday, speaking about the responsibilities that the club has, not only to one another, but those people at home that may be secondary contacts.

"“We’ve still got to be aware of coming into the clubhouse because not everyone’s families are like that (without high risk),” Rendon said. “We have a lot of high-risk people that are on staff. We have a lot of players that have family members at home that are at high risk. So we have to wear our masks just to protect other people. At this time, we have to be selfless toward everyone around us because we don’t know what everyone’s situation is. And I think this is a good opportunity for us as a world to realize that selfishness doesn’t go a long way, so we have to look out for one another.”"

Whether spurred on by religious beliefs, political postulations, or even other similar misgivings, there is a growing sect of the population that is fighting tooth and nail to avoid wearing protective face coverings. But while they are entitled to their beliefs on the matter, the COVID-19 virus is running more and more rampant in our society and threatening not only our health and well-being but also our everyday lives.

What the Angels are showing in their efforts is a microcosm of what our society as a whole needs to exhibit. People are so caught up in the question of whether or not it is right to force people to wear a mask, they are not seeing that there is a reason why those measures are being taken. The choice was given in many areas and yet despite the knowledge of what is going on and how to prevent it, people as a whole ignored it out of spite because they didn’t want to be inconvenienced.

Yes, sports as a whole are being impacted by the spread of this disease. Baseball was delayed nearly four months and still needs to get through two more weeks to be in the clear. Basketball and hockey are still working their way back. Football, which doesn’t start until the fall, has quite a few hurdles to get over before they can even think about starting. But this goes beyond sports. it touches each and every home across the country and around the world.

These practices and commitments are not only for their teammates but also to those outside the team bubble. They show the Angels setting an example for the rest of society. That same bubble exists in each of our worlds, as we touch on the lives of countless others, and they in turn have their own circles. We are all one big overlapping Venn diagram built of dominoes, and the goal is to ensure that they all remain standing. One domino falling doesn’t just impact that one person or circle, it extends to countless others.

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The Los Angeles Angels get that. Shouldn’t we all?