There was something different about the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters during pregame warmups Friday at Sapporo Dome. The players were wearing their special Hokkaido appreciation tops — which are predominantly blue this year — with white pants for their matchup with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. They went through all the normal pregame machinations — stretching, batting and fielding.

The difference was they did it wearing masks.

It might have looked a little strange, but the club was taking no chances after being forced off the field for nearly a week by COVID-19.