If you were given a survey asking which of the three major professional sports — NFL, NBA, or MLB — would be in the news for 5-6 teams failing on coronavirus testing logistics during July 4th weekend, MLB would win in a landslide, right?
Well, that’s what’s happening:
- The Nationals canceled today’s workouts because their tests from Friday haven’t shown up yet.
- Ditto for the Astros.
- The A’s are delayed because their tests reportedly haven’t been sent to a lab yet
- Testers for the Angels did not show up on Sunday
- Cardinals workouts are delayed for unspecified reasons (I have a guess…)
- The Blue Jays haven’t gotten their test results from Friday yet.
I get that it was a holiday weekend and the world slows down a little bit, but this is completely unacceptable that as much as 20 percent of the teams in MLB are having issues with the testing logistics.
Mike Trout had a quote a few days ago about what happens when one person messes up:
“I think everyone has to be accountable,” Trout said. “A lot of guys have families, some are single and younger, need to get out of the house. It’s going to take a group effort, and one guy can mess this up. One guy can go out and not wear a mask and contract this virus and bring it into the clubhouse. Everyone has to take responsibility, everyone has to think about each other, think twice about doing this, doing that, be safe as possible. It takes one guy to bring that into the clubhouse, and you know how contagious this virus is. It’s going to be tough to contain.”
Now think about the ramifications if entire teams fall behind with testing, and thus their preparation for the season. It’s not as though there’s any more time to spare.
As aggravating as the money squabbles were between the MLB and MLBPA, this season could be truly outstanding. A 60-game sprint introduces scarcity that everyone has wondered if the sport is missing compared to other leagues, and expanded playoffs add a level of variance such that a high proportion of teams will be in plausible contention for a lot of it.
The only thing MLB can’t mess up is the tests, and right now they’re doing that. They need to figure it out fast.