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New MLB Rules Ban Spitting, Showers, Buffets

But mascots have been given a reprieve
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2020 5:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chewing tobacco is now banned from ballparks—along with sunflower seeds and spitting in general. A 101-page operations manual for the reopening of Major League Baseball goes into exhaustive detail on measures to avoid infection, even providing diagrams on how to maintain social distancing while conducting defensive drills, the Boston Globe reports. Postgame buffets are banned and players are expected to be out of the ballpark within 90 minutes of the last pitch. Some players will have to sit in the stands instead of the dugout, and windows on team buses back to the hotel will have to stay open—which may be for the best, since postgame showers at the ballpark are also banned. Players have been told to shower at their hotels instead.

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Players, who will be tested for COVID-19 every second day after the season begins, have been told to avoid fist bumps, handshakes, hugs, and high fives. "The days of mobbing players at home plate, dumping coolers of Gatorade, and shoving pies in their face, are over," writes Alex Nightengale at USA Today. But the regulations do have some good news for the likes of Phillie Phanatic, Mariner Moose, and the Pirate Parrot, the AP reports. Mascots, who were banned from ballparks in a draft of the reopening manual released last month, will be allowed—but in the stands, not on the field. (Read more Major League Baseball stories.)

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