New York Yankees president Randy Levine believes Major League Baseball players' love for the country can play a part in the sport's eventual return.
Appearing on Good Day New York (h/t Ken Davidoff of the New York Post), Levine said "our players are patriots" and "they want to" get back on the field.
"We all are trying to get there," he added. "The commissioner's doing a great job. So hopefully in a little bit, we'll hear, 'Play ball!'"
Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, the league is expected to present the MLB Players Association a return-to-play proposal within the next week.
Passan noted teams have been encouraging players to prepare for a second spring training that could start in mid-June and the regular season possibly starting in July, but a "significant number of hurdles remain" at this point.
If—or when—MLB is able to play games this season, Passan stated fans won't be allowed into stadiums "upon any return."
Levine talked about a potential plan for bringing fans back at some point:
“I believe that we're putting together all the protocols, but I think you ease in with fans. You start with less fans. You have temperature taking. You have health stations. You do a lot of testing. If people have a temperature or they aren't feeling well, you take them to a health station. You wear masks and gloves. You only serve food that won't impede that."
Levine added that the timeline for fans to be allowed into stadiums "depends on the state of the virus" and paying attention to trends on a daily and weekly basis.
MLB's regular season was originally scheduled to begin on March 26, but it has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.