Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire admitted Thursday it’s difficult to wear a mask in the dugout during the dog days of summer with baseball’s official start around the corner.
The 62-year-old Gardenhire told 97.1 The Ticket’s “Jamie and Stoney Show” that he understands the mask will keep him safe in the long run.
“I just had a long conversation with one of my bosses about wearing that mask in the dugout during a game,” Gardenhire said. “That’s really hard. You’re so used to doing it one way. But we’re all trying to ad-lib and do what they want us to do and stay safe. That’s the most important thing.”
He said he was worried that the mask would hamper communication and make things hard for him during the summer months.
“It’s also 90-something degrees, they got me in a mask in the dugout. That’s a big difference,” he told the station. “When it’s cold I don’t mind wearing that thing, but when it’s hot it’s not that easy to do. The conversations you have in the dugout are different and I don’t want someone saying, ‘What, what?’ and I have to take my mask off every time. So those are the conversations I’m going to be having, trying to figure this thing out and making sure we can do the right thing,” he said.
“Again, it’s all about safety, and the protocol is we’re supposed to wear a mask. I’ll have more and more conversations because if we’re going to play baseball, let us play baseball and do it as safe as we possibly can. A mask in the dugout is a little bit more difficult for me.”
Some Tigers players or staff members have tested positive for coronavirus.
Gardenhire said he’s preached responsibility to his players and will make sure that, if his players go act, they act in a way that’s not going to get them sick.