Ozzie Albies and Ron Washington put a new twist on an old celebration.
The Atlanta Braves, like most MLB teams, are adjusting to new social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As they do their best to ensure a baseball season happens at all — especially after Freddie Freeman contracted COVID-19, and the likes of Felix Hernandez and Nick Markakis opted out — even the team’s celebrations will look different moving forward.
Upon reaching third base in the team’s intrasquad game, Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies went to dap up coach Ron Washington, but thought better of it. The third base coach backed up to ensure he kept his distance, and then acknowledged Albies in the best way.
This is the future, folks.
MLB players are struggling to adapt to new COVID-19 regulations, even the Braves.
The Braves’ own struggles with COVID-19 thus far have made them one of the most forward-thinking teams in terms of acting on the fly. Watching Washington’s immediate reaction to Albies completely natural want of affirmation is a positive sign, as it’s what every first and third base coach must do moving forward.
Washington previously stated that he expects to wear a mask the entire MLB season, which at the time was unthinkable. Given the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases around the country, and Washington’s advanced age, it turns out he was ahead of the curve.
“I’m going to keep a pair of gloves on at all times. Going to have to give imaginary love, won’t be able to be giving that real love. Don’t mean we can’t bump elbows or fists. They’re going to realize the love is there no matter what,” Washington said at the time.
Less than a month later, and Washington kept his word, taking initiative with Albies heading towards third base. Such actions will be very important in the season to come.