Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh won’t leave his family just to start the MLB season

"I see baseball for what it is, which is an amazing game, but not an essential activity."

FILE - In this May 1, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis. McHugh agreed to a $600,000, one-year contract with the pitching-needy Boston Red Sox, a deal that allows him earn up to $4.25 million. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
Collin McHugh. –AP Photo/Jim Mone

As MLB explores ways to open the season amid the coronavirus pandemic, Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh said the idea of leaving his family to play games in isolation was a “non-starter” for him.

McHugh, who signed with the Red Sox in March, appeared on MassLive’s “The Fenway Rundown” podcast on Wednesday, shared his views on how – and when – baseball should emerge from its shutdown.

“I see baseball for what it is, which is an amazing game, but not an essential activity,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of things going on in this world that we need to happen and need to get going, and we need to do it in safe manner.

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“It’s going to be really hard to get the risk level down to zero no matter what we’re doing. As long as this virus is still out there and as long as we don’t have a treatment or vaccine, there’s going to be risk inherent in leaving your house. For me, as a major league baseball player and as a husband and father, I want to make sure I’m protecting myself and my family, first and foremost.”

McHugh, a married father of two, said he believes players may decide to sit out this season, whether to protect themselves or their families. Other players, including Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw, have also spoken out against the league’s reported plans, including resuming the season in isolation in Arizona.

“We’re in a situation right now where you can’t make this mandatory,” McHugh said. “You can’t tell a guy you have to come play or else or your roster spot is not going to be here when you come back. You can’t tell a guy to risk his life and the life of his family and the lives of anyone he chooses to be around to come play this game.”

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