Blue Jays: MLB and the Jays already being tested by Covid-19
The Blue Jays had some unfortunate news with their Covid-19 results over the weekend, and it’s an example of this tough test for the team and the league.
I sincerely don’t envy the MLB office, or the officials running any big league team right now. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought some unchartered waters for baseball this year, just as it has for pretty much the entire world.
As the league looked to start “summer training” a few days ago, there were mixed feelings around the league. Obviously there was plenty of excitement about the return of baseball, but several players weren’t shy about sharing their reluctance about trying to get back to work, and doing it safely. For example, arguably the league’s brightest star in Mike Trout admitted that he’s not totally comfortable with being back on the diamond, which makes even more sense as he and his wife are expecting their first child in the near future.
Regardless of how hard the league and its teams try to keep their players safe, there is going to be an element of risk, especially as the Covid-19 numbers surge across the United States again. And if we needed an example, unfortunately the Blue Jays might end up being the poster child for how quickly things can get out of control.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
Now before I go overstating anything, all we know for now is that one of the Blue Jays tested positive for the virus on the weekend when the players did their intake testing in Dunedin, as reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Unfortunately though, that one player led to a total of 12 being held back from joining the rest of the team in Toronto, as they had been in regular contact and close proximity with the individual who tested positive.
Under the terms of the Blue Jays’ agreement with the Canadian Federal government, each player had to pass at least two tests before being allowed to travel to Toronto and work out of the Rogers Centre for team training sessions. According to a post from Bob Nightengale on Twitter from Monday, some players apparently were only tested once, which is obviously a problem.
We won’t know the full extent of the issue for the Blue Jays until the test results come back for the other 11 players, but there’s potential for disaster here. Even if every player ends up being asymptomatic, we’re still talking about 12 players from a possible pool of 60, and these guys haven’t even been able to officially get back to team workouts. The situation reinforces why the league gave teams a 60-player pool to work with, but it’s really not that simple.
What the league really can’t have happen is to have the virus determine how this season goes, at least not anymore than it already has. For example, it’s a pretty big issue if the Angels were to lose a MVP calibre player like Trout because he chooses to sit out. It’s likely a whole other situation if a team ends up having their chances wiped out because of the virus getting into their clubhouse.
Think I’m being a little bit dramatic? I really don’t think that I am, and we’re already seeing the proof across the league at the very beginning of efforts to get things re-started. Atlanta has already lost Freddie Freeman for a while, the Twins will be without Miguel Sano until he’s cleared to play, and others like Salvador Perez have already been sidelined by a positive Covid-19 test. The more widespread this becomes, the more I think the league and the players are going to have to continually monitor the situation. It can’t turn into a “last team standing” scenario, not when contracting the virus is largely out of the control of the players who make up the rosters.
Hopefully the situation for the Blue Jays isn’t as bad as it could be, and it’s definitely a situation worth monitoring over the next few days. We don’t know for certain who the 12 players are, but it really doesn’t matter much either. If the virus is able to spread that quickly among teammates, that will be a major problem that the league, and the team will have to address.