With MLB coronavirus testing floundering, the Washington Nationals have opted to cancel practice on Monday.
Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo announced the decision through release to the media.
“Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for Covid-19 on Friday, July 3rd. Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests,” Rizzo said in a release. “We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have cancelled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff, and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.”
The Nationals announced two players had received positive coronavirus tests on Sunday after taking tests away from Nationals Park. The team has not received results from their intake testing on Friday, the first day of summer camp.
“This has to get fixed,” Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle said per The Athletic. “There is a lot of players right now that are trying to make decisions that might be participating in camp that aren’t 100 percent comfortable with where things are at right now. That’s where I am.”
Other MLB teams are experiencing problems as well. The Oakland Athletics’ tests are sitting in San Francisco and have not been received by a lab in Utah yet.
The A's COVID-19 tests are still in SF, waiting to be sent to a lab in Utah. They're due to arrive at 1:30 am MT Mon. The Athletic obtained a message sent from GM David Forst to players/staff tonight.
"If possible, I'm as frustrated & pissed as you are": https://t.co/39eyyRpYCf
— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) July 6, 2020
Three other MLB clubs, one of which is the Angels, had their testers no-show.
The Athletic also learned from sources that testers did not show for Angels and two other, unidentified clubs Sunday. Angels players did saliva tests on their own; team shipped tests to lab in Utah. Monday workout pushed back from 9 am PT noon to make sure testers are present. https://t.co/BGD0FQGmGr
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 6, 2020
Buster Olney reported that some players are worried that their teams are not adhering to the protocol closely enough.
Additionally: Some players are reporting privately their teams are not adhering closely to elements of the health and safety protocol, re: participation. https://t.co/YlgfbsSF2X Some players feel their teams are being diligent, but this perspective is not uniform across MLB.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 6, 2020
“No one has ever done this before,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said of the unprecedented situation the MLB is facing. “I know they are working out all the bugs. Hopefully, this upcoming week we get tested like we said and clean this up.”
10:45 AM update: The Astros have announced they’ve canceled practice as well.
Sources: The Astros canceled their workout today. They are still awaiting their results from Friday’s COVID-19 tests.
— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) July 6, 2020
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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