Sport Despite any organized workouts, MLB players improvise to stay in game shape, if and when season starts

17:47  01 april  2020
17:47  01 april  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Jays' Shapiro expects 4-week spring training before season

  Jays' Shapiro expects 4-week spring training before season TORONTO (AP) — With no sign of when training camps can resume, Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro says he thinks Major League Baseball would need at least a month of workouts and exhibition games before regular season play can begin. Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Knowing that so many players are not even having any access to throwing at all or hitting at all, but most importantly just throwing, and probably limited access to just training and exercise, it’s hard to imagine we could get ready in less than four weeks,” Shapiro said in a teleconference with Toronto reporters.

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20 March at 16:23 ·. Organized workouts at the complex were shut down a week ago when MLB suspended spring training and postponed the start of the The team plans to re-assess in two weeks. For now, though, players are largely on their own to work out and stay in shape for the eventual

They are playing catch in the backyard with their wives, like New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole.

a man and a woman holding a skateboard: Diamondbacks infielder Nick Ahmed stood his distance during spring training. © Rob Schumacher, USA TODAY Sports Diamondbacks infielder Nick Ahmed stood his distance during spring training.

They are building makeshift gyms, like Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed.

There is so much free time, but no place to go, no place to even work out.

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Major League Baseball clubs are in uncharted waters during this coronavirus pandemic, trying to make sure their players stay in shape with no scheduled opening day, or whether there will even be a season.

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The players and MLB are desperate to have even the semblance of a season, no matter if they’re playing in front of empty stadiums, playing World Series games until Thanksgiving weekend.

“I’d be up for anything at this point just to be able to play,’’ Ahmed said Tuesday on a Zoom conference call. “If they said, 'Hey, you can start games May 15th or June 1st, but you have to wear masks' -- if that’s the only thing holding us back -- then I’m sure guys would do it.’’

Baseball has been shut down for three weeks now, and it may be months before they can even begin Phase II of spring training. Once they know there’ll be a season, players have got about three weeks to be ready for games.

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  Without spring practice, football coaches try to fill void Since taking over as Florida State coach in December, Mike Norvell has spent seemingly endless hours laying the foundation of his program. Winter is time for coaches to deliver a consistent message, build the culture they want and get players to buy into a way of going about their business whether they are in the weight room, a meeting room or classroom.Norvell has seen plenty of positive signs. Spring practice is the first opportunity to see how it translates to the field. The Seminoles got in three practices before the coronavirus outbreak shut down college sports and upended nearly everything else.

When you start with spring training in March, regular season from late March until September, then World Series it gets rather boring. Originally Answered: How many games will be played for each team in the MLB this season if and when the season ever starts ?

Just as when MLB played 154 games before moving to the 162 schedule, no one just decided “you know I like the number 162 as the number of games in a season ”. A baseball season has a natural number of months or days in it because of weather considerations (basically April-October).

This is why it’s imperative, MLB trainers and strength and conditioning coaches say, that the players stay in shape during this hiatus, no matter whether there’s a single bench press, dumbbell or medicine ball in sight.

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Major League Baseball ordered all of their stadiums and spring-training sites off-limits last week, and with municipalities across the country shutting down gyms and performance-centers, the players have to improvise.

“We sent plenty of messages and guidelines to follow,’’ says Jose Vazquez, the Texas Rangers’ strength and conditioning coach the last 14 years. “You’re calling guys making sure they’re doing the right thing.

“It’s the unknown that’s difficult. As human beings, we all approach the unknown differently. Some guys stay ready no matter what. Other guys tell me they’ll be ready as soon as they get the word. Others say they’ll need a week. Everybody is approaching it differently.

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When I think about how predictable a sport is I think along a couple of lines and effects: How different are the relative strengths of the competitors? And besides the fact that unimportant tournaments are full of surprises, top players at prestigious tournaments rarely disappoint. Is it great for betting though?

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“All we can do is try to make sure they’re prepared."

The Rangers are one of 11 teams using TeamBuildr, a mobile training and strength and conditioning platform, to keep their players ready. The on-line programs have become instrumental, Vazquez and other teams say, particularly at a time like this when there is no interaction.

You’re training in virtual isolation, with nothing more than a video screen on your iPad or phone, following the instructions, while trying not to be bored out of your mind with no workout partners or trainers.

“We just purchased the TeamBuildr, so it’s come in pretty handy with the circumstances,’’ says Derek Somerville, a strength and conditioning coach with the Diamondbacks’ minor-league teams. “We were so used to seeing guys all of the time, and now with the shutdown, all you can do is reach out to guys maybe twice a week, making sure they and their family members are healthy, and giving all of the guidance we can. I think guys have bought into this, knowing that as long as this goes on, it’s the best way for all of us to stay engaged.’’

Will the NBA allow enough time with the restart of games to avoid injuries?

  Will the NBA allow enough time with the restart of games to avoid injuries? When the NBA restart happens there will be a rush to get games going, but move too fasts and it could lead to injuries. Guys need time to get back into game shape.Any athlete at any level will tell you: working out in a gym is not game shape. For the NBA, the consequences of moving too fast could devastate some players and teams.How long a runway into games will teams need before they can play?“I think it’s going to take time… Realistically three weeks, four weeks would be ideal, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” one strength trainer said.

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On the American high school level, the “winter” season starts typically after Thanksgiving Day, with practices starting a week or two before Thanksgiving. Not only are there summer leagues for high-school aged players and below, but there are “fall” leagues that start in late summer and conclude a

It was much easier, of course when the players at least had access to gyms and fitness centers. Few players have the financial wherewithal, and space, to have their own home gym, requiring players like Ahmed to build a makeshift model in his backyard.

Yet, for most of the players, it’s training the old-fashioned way with pushups, sit-ups, running through parks, swinging in their garage, and throwing balls against the wall.

“Unless guys have big money and invested in home gyms,’’ Vazquez said, “they’re going to have to do most of their workouts without equipment, just using their body weight. And for the pitchers, the problem is throwing. You have to have space to throw, and someone to catch your bullpens. You have to get creative.

“We had one guy sending us a video of throwing baseballs into an empty space in his hallway. Some guys are wrapping up balls in their socks, and tying the strap to their wrists. You’ve got to be open to anything.’’

The calendar may read April, but the reality is that it feels a whole lot like December, with two months still remaining before spring training .

Most players, as well as the training staffs, believe that the position players could be ready in about a week when they return, but the pitchers, particularly the starters, will require at least three weeks. If the season resumes, MLB is expected to have an expanded roster of 29 -- adding three players --- for the first month of the season.

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Yet, the longer the layoff lasts, the greater the fear of injuries, no matter whether you’re a pitcher or position player.

“If we do comeback, we need at least three to four weeks to ramp up,’’ Vazquez says. “You can’t assume that everybody is having the same type of training and intensity, but I’d think you’d need at least three weeks. The relievers could get by on two weeks, but the starters need more."

Said Ahmed: “If it comes to playing with no fans for a little while, as much as that would be extremely weird and strange, we’d be open to it. Hopefully, it wouldn’t have to last for a long time.’’

For now, the players can only keep training, utilizing video in a much different fashion than accustomed, and hope one day they have a season.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Despite any organized workouts, MLB players improvise to stay in game shape, if and when season starts

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