Part 1: Will There Be Fans At All?
Since the MLB won't tell teams not to have fans, it's still up in the air as to whether teams will bring in fans. And while there has been reason to believe that there will be fans (Jim Crane saying, "That's the plan"), there's also plenty of reason to believe that there won't be fans. Crane is the owner of the Astros -- a team in Texas -- where cases have been rising by 6,000 per day. Same goes with the Rangers -- although GM Jon Daniels was concerned about fans safety. But will there be fans?
At this point there are 5 teams that are at least in consideration of having fans. Those teams are:
The Marlins are seeming more and more unlikely as cases in Florida are rising, so that puts the Cubs and the White Sox as main candidates to have fans. And there's reason to doubt both of them -- as they are both in the city of Chicago. If one goes down by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the other one goes down as well.
But there's also reason to believe because Illinois governor JB Pritzker said that Chicago teams could hold fans as long as it remains 20% capacity. And at this point it seems more likely that the White Sox will have fans than the Cubs only because the White Sox have started to make plans to hold fans -- and it's still unclear whether the Cubs have started to make plans.
Of course, protocols come with fans. Those protocols for the Cubs and the White Sox would likely include:
20% capacity (again, it wouldn't be a concern for the White Sox as that's always the case)
All fans MUST wear masks for the duration of the game and while they're in the stadium
Fans would be screened for temperature upon entry
Social distancing would be enforced by security
Fans MUST go to their seat as all games would likely be sold out
That, and a lot more.
While Chicago is preparing for 20% capacity, Texas teams would be preparing for 50% capacity. And that wouldn't be good because fans would be crammed in together.
The Marlins would likely take protocols along the lines of Chicago.
Another thing that would make ballparks safer would be not having fans every day. The other days the seating would be deep cleaned or just left so that the COVID-19 would die. I would feel good if about 33%, or 20 games, had fans.
There will likely be fans at some ballparks in America -- we just don't know where or how many.
Part 2: Predicting Which Stadiums Will Have Fans
One other team that's not the Rangers, Marlins, or Tigers
Part 3: Okay, There Are Fans. Now Here's How To Act
Let's pretend that fans are allowed at the ballpark nearest to you, and you've bought a ticket. How should you act and what can or can't you do?
Let's start with the can't:
DO NOT sit in someone else's seat. That seat will likely be filled at some point by someone that won't be very happy that you just sat in their seat.
DO NOT take off your mask. This is a huge no-no -- masks are the main source used to fend off COVID-19. Taking it off is putting others -- and yourself -- at risk, and it will also get you a one way ticket out of the stadium.
DO NOT eat stadium food. Okay, this is just optional, but just think about it. Even though stadiums will take precautions, you're essentially exposing yourself to more people that may have COVID-19. And your body will thank you there.
DO NOT wander around the concourse. Again, optional, but there will likely be fans that may or may not have masks on. It's better to be safe than sorry.
DO NOT buy a scorecard. Again, you're exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. And it's way easier -- and cheaper -- to buy a scorecard on Amazon. Or you can just skip the buying part of that and just make your own!
DO NOT spit. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, or whatever it is, just don't spit. Could there possibly be a more efficient way to spread COVID-19?
DO NOT break social distancing. Again, you're putting yourself and others at risk. Plus, this will again get you a one way ticket out of the stadium.
DO NOT use the bathroom unless you MUST go. The bathroom is an indoor facility, and that's where COVID-19 spreads best. Please, do yourself a favor and use the bathroom before the game.
DO NOT make others feel uncomfortable. Whether it's stretching, getting up, or taking off your mask, remember that they're there because they feel safe. Don't change that.
Now, that was dark wasn't it? But here's what you can do:
That's right! If I didn't include it on the DON'T list, then it's probably safe to do! Please, exercise common sense.