Cal Ripken Jr., the former shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, believes that sports — and baseball, in particular — can help America heal in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Ripken, who holds the record for most consecutive games played, spoke to CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast.
The suspension of professional sports during the pandemic brings back memories for Ripken of baseball after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
"When we came back to play, it was interesting the role that baseball played in giving comfort," Ripken recalled. "I'm really happy that they're looking for all ways in which to bring it back."
USA Today reported that Major League Baseball officials are cautiously optimistic that the season could start in late June or early July.
"I think the big thing is, they just want to get back and provide people with the chance to escape, or look at something in an entertaining sort of way. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel comfortable," Ripken told Garrett.
Ripken also said that he believed team owners and players were working together to ensure the safety of players when the season does begin.
"They're both on the same side in saying, we want to have baseball, we want to do it in the safest possible way," Ripken said. "In the end, they're not going to do anything that's going to compromise the safety."
Ripken also weighed in on the sign-stealing scandal that roiled baseball this offseason. He said the Houston Astros (2017) and Boston Red Sox (2018) World Series championships are "tainted" by the scandal. But Ripken said he is unsure of what repercussions the franchises should face for their behavior.
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