UNITED STATES—Major League Baseball (MLB) is facing challenges regarding its attempts to safely carry out a 60-game season during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these challenges is the recent delay in players’ COVID-19 test results.
According to MLB’s 2020 health and safety protocols, players and staff will be tested for coronavirus every other day and get results back as fast as possible. The plan has not worked as spring training 2.0 has started. Teams like the Washington Nationals and Oakland A’s cancelled workouts due to the delay in results from Friday’s tests. While other teams have already had a few days of full-squad practices, the A’s have yet to have their first full-squad workout, limiting their practice time during the shortened preseason.
“We appreciate the great cooperation from the players as well as the hard work of the Clubs and many internal and external staff members under these challenging circumstances. The process has not been without some unforeseen difficulties, which are being addressed with the service providers that are essential to the execution of the protocols. It is important to be mindful that nearly all the individuals have been tested as planned,” said MLB in a statement.
A growing group of veteran players such as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price has chosen to sit out the 2020 season to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19 by playing during the pandemic. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey showed up to Oracle Park for preseason, but has left the door open to not playing if the COVID-19 situation gets worse.
On Monday, July 6, MLB released the 2020 schedules for all teams. The SF Giants season starts on July 23 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The A’s start the next day at home against the Los Angeles Angels.