Joe Maddon is about to enter his first season as manager of the Los Angeles Angels, and as training camps ramp up he decided to unleash a horrible take. Maddon claimed that any players opting out of the 2020 MLB season simply didn't want to follow the protocols put in place. Yeah Joe, you're going to want to take that one back.
While USA Today's Bob Nightengale tried to backtrack for Maddon, the horse was out of the barn:
That's decidedly not what his actual words said, Bob.
Maddon was clearly implying that anyone who did opt out was doing so because they couldn't follow the rules. In fact, a good reason to opt out of the season would be if you didn't trust everyone else to follow them.
Additionally, any players with pre-existing health conditions or family members with them, should absolutely opt out. That has nothing to do with whether or not they can follow the protocols put in place.
This all came up because Angels superstar Mike Trout has expressed reservations about playing this year. Trout's wife is pregnant and he claimed he doesn't "feel comfortable" with the idea of playing right now. Trout says he will play it by ear moving forward.
So with his statement, Maddon essentially implied that if greatest player of his generation opts out for safety reasons, it's because he can't follow the rules. Solid way to start your tenure with the franchise, Joe.