Nationals' Davey Martinez says team has plans for adhering to social distancing rules if baseball returns

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Washington Nationals manager Davey Martinez said he’s had discussions about using social distancing with players if baseball returns without fans this year.

Martinez on Friday told NBC Sports Washington the organization has considered certain measures adhering to social distancing rules, including sitting players in the stands if necessary.

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“We talk about isolation and more than 10 people gathering in one place, with only one field we may have to separate and make groups,” Martinez said. “Whether starting pitchers come in the morning, bullpen guys come another time, then regular players come sometime in the afternoon. With one field it’s going to be hard to do.

"If we have to play scrimmage games, maybe using both dugouts, send guys in the stands. These are all things that are going to have to come into play.”

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It’s unclear whether baseball will return in 2020 because the coronavirus pandemic has made things difficult to come up with plans. There have been several plans reported, but Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league has not decided on anything definite.

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Martinez, however, remains optimistic that his team will be able to defend their World Series title this year.

“First and foremost for me, when you start thinking about scenarios, I don’t want to speculate on what’s going to transpire,” he said. “But what I do try to do every day is tell myself that we will have baseball, baseball’s going to come back.”