“Grupo de alto riesgo”: el nuevo escollo de MLB

Las Grandes Ligas, como todos los deportes, necesitan a sus principales estrellas en el campo. Son ellas las que atraen a más público, acaparan la atención de los medios y generan más ganancias económicas. Sin embargo, algunas de esas figuras padecen o tienen familiares con enfermedades, por lo que son considerados “grupo de alto riesgo” y eso amenaza la posibilidad de verlos jugar en 2020.

La venidera temporada de las Grandes Ligas, marcada por negociaciones tumultuosas y una pandemia desatada, tiene un nuevo problema. A falta de horas para que los campamentos de entrenamientos reabran, son varios los beisbolistas que rechazaron jugar en la campaña.

Uno de los primeros en bajarse fue Mike Leake, lanzador de los Cascabeles de Arizona. El estadounidense, tras conversar con su familia, expresó que no estará con el equipo y renunciará a los 15 millones de dólares que iba a ganar en la zafra. Por su parte, el conjunto se quedó sin un brazo que estaba asegurado en su rotación.

Leake, de 32 años de edad, no entra en el grupo de alto riesgo, pero muchos de sus familiares sí. Tiene padres de la tercera edad, esposa e hijos, que no desea poner en riesgo por potenciales contagios durante la campaña de las mayores.

Todo pelotero, personal de cuerpo técnico o trabajador de una organización de Major League Baseball (MLB) que padezca de una enfermedad, es considerada de alto riesgo. Sufrir un padecimiento aumenta la posibilidad de muerte ante un contagio por el coronavirus, COVID-19.

Esa es la razón que comunicó Ryan Zimmerman para no jugar en 2020. Su madre, que tiene esclerosis, no estaría del todo segura a su lado cuando regrese de las giras por otras ciudades. Tampoco su pareja e hijo recién nacido. Será la primera temporada en la historia de los Nacionales de Washington sin Zimmerman.

“Por razones familiares con tres hijos, un recién nacido y una madre que pertenece al grupo de alto riesgo, decidió no participar en la temporada 2020”, dijo Zimmerman en una carta. “Todos saben lo que significa para mí ser parte del equipo y extrañaré la camarería. Me encantaría buscar título en años consecutivos, pero es la mejor decisión para mí y mi familia”.

Además de su inicialista y capitán, los Nacionales, actuales campeones de las Grandes Ligas, tampoco tendrán a Joe Ross. El que iba a ser el quinto en la rotación del equipo renunció a estar en 2020 por motivos “de salud y familiares”.

Grupo de alto riesgo: equipos corren riesgos y otros no

La necesidad o el deseo de jugar beisbol llevó a muchos peloteros a correr riesgos. En medio de la pandemia y, sin importar ser parte del grupo de alto riesgo, algunos se colocarán su uniforme para estar en un estadio.

Es el caso de Anthony Rizzo, estelar inicialista de los Cachorros de Chicago que ya confirmó su presencia para la zafra. El pelotero, sobreviviente de un cáncer, estará en la alineación de los oseznos para el día inaugural el 24 o 25 de julio.

El caso de poderoso bateador es particular. Como fue diagnosticado de un linfoma de Hodgkin en 2008, se le introduce en el grupo de alto riesgo. Por eso, puede mantenerse cobrando su salario, aunque renuncie a jugar. Sin embargo, no consideró esa opción y tampoco lo Cachorros lo forzarán.

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Un riesgo que los Mellizos de Minnesota no están dispuestos a correr. Para la venidera zafra, no contarán con Bob McClure, de 68 años, y Bill Evers, de 66 años, dos miembros de su cuerpo técnico que, por sus edades, son considerados del grupo de alto riesgo.

Cuando el equipo salte al terreno, no tendrán a su instructor de bullpen ni al coordinador de pitcheo. Sin embargo, la organización informó que les pagará sus sueldos por todo el año.

Así las Grandes Ligas lucha con un nuevo dolor de cabeza. El grupo de alto riesgo ya provocó deserciones y no hay razón para no creer que llegarán más mientras la pandemia siga activa.

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