ARLINGTON, Texas — We did it. We made it to the World Series. I have to give major props to the MLB for pulling off its season during a pandemic.
There were some scares along the way, with COVID-19 outbreaks in the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals organizations, but Commissioner Rob Manfred never had to shut down the season and all team members stayed safe.
There are several layers of virus protocols here.
The first is Tier 1: The players, coaches, team doctors, etc. They are bubbled in a hotel.
I was pleasantly surprised to see we were physically much closer to the team during workouts at Globe Life Field than we were at the Trop during the regular season.
I could actually see people's faces and wave!
Here's Yandy Diaz having to do his best LeBron James impression on Monday:
The second level is Tier 2: The wives, girlfriends and children who live with the team members.
The third is Tier 3: These are media members (me!), player family members who don't live with them regularly, Rays staff members, etc.
Media members must have a temperature scan before entering the stadium. I constantly measure in the 97's... yeah, I know, I got ice in my veins.
We're also served individually-prepared meals in the press box, instead of the usual buffet line. I have no idea what the name of this meal is. I know it looks suspect and has that school lunch appeal... but it was tasty.
And finally, there are the fans.
Everyone in the building is required to wear a face covering. For the most part, I've seen people easily comply. Some fans have told me the event staff has been strict in issuing warnings to people who take their masks off for too long.
It's been absolutely refreshing and fun to interact with fans at the game again. Truly, I catch myself grinning like a goober when I look around the ballpark.
I wish we could all be at Tropicana Field together, but it's pretty special to watch the Rays compete at this level regardless of the situation. Enjoy the games, folks.
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