Cole Hamels is ready to start making sacrifices if it means having a baseball season this year.
The Atlanta Braves pitcher told Jeff Francouer of FOX Sports South that he is willing to isolate himself from his family if that is what it takes for MLB to start the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is going to be the time where we have to kind of sacrifice and go and start either training or playing in some location where [family] might not be able to come and watch us,” he said. “But if they’re able to watch us on TV, I think that’s where it’s at.”
MLB has been exploring myriad of possibilities of restarting the season, with contingency plans including having all teams gather in Arizona and play there, or realigning the leagues based on spring training locations — one in Arizona and the other in Florida — in order to restrict travel and play later into the year.
While many things are still left to be sorted out, it would have to include player approval, which the 36-year-old Hamels appears to have.
However, a source told Christian Red of NBC News that the proposals are “in the pregame stretch” and are still far from reality.
These proposals also include playing in empty stadiums, but Hamels believes that it wll add to the excitement fans will have when they can come back.
“If we sacrifice a month here and there, that’s 30 games,” he said. “But if we can give the fans 140 more games that they have opportunities to come and maybe a postseason that’s a little bit longer … I think that would jump-start and get the fans a little bit more excited for baseball.”
Hamels, who previously pitched for the Phillies, Rangers and Cubs before signing a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves this offseason, is also among many athletes making contributions to the community amid social distancing measure.
The southpaw recently donated $25,000 through his family’s The Hamels Foundation to the Cobb Schools Foundation in Cobb County, Ga. to deliver more than 500 devices to meet digital learning needs of under-resourced children sheltering at home.