MLB's coronavirus plan for Arizona-based games is 'steep hill to climb': Keith Hernandez

Playing the 2020 baseball season in Arizona will increase testing demand for COVID-19, Hernandez said

New York Mets World Series champion Keith Hernandez said Major League Baseball's plan to have all teams play in Phoenix, Arizona, for the 2020 season will be "very difficult" to do amid coronavirus.

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"The Japanese major leagues tried to play their season -- they started it up -- and they played without any attendance. And a couple of players came up positive and they had to can the season, or re-postpone it," Hernandez told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster. “Sports are a very important part of our society, but I just feel that [playing in Phoenix] is going to be a very, very difficult thing to do.”

MLB DISCUSSING PLAYING ALL GAMES IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA AMID CORONAVIRUS

Hernandez said the league increased the number of active players on game-day rosters, potentially impacting testing availability demand in Arizona.

Ushers leave empty Hammond Stadium, after a baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles was canceled, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

“I read an article yesterday... They expanded their rosters to 26 -- you've got all the other subsidiary and personnel -- that's around 50 people a team and if they were to do testing before every game... in a month it would be 20,000 tests," he said. "In Arizona, the most that they have tested so far is 30,000 in a month. So it’s really a steep hill to climb.”

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In addition to lack of available testing, Hernandez said players will be forced to quarantine together, no families allowed and will be playing in intense, Arizona summertime heat.

“It’s going to be 110, 115 degrees,” he said. “Boy, oh, boy, that’s going to be tough.”

Hernandez believes once the pandemic passes, Americans will have a “greater appreciation” for what the U.S. has to offer and will recognize it’s “a great place to be able to grow up and live in."

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