The path back to playing organized baseball is off to a rough start around the league as numerous teams have had players test positive for COVID-19 in recent days. A rocky road, one might say.
The testing process in camps has been sluggish, with multiple teams shutting down their facilities due to delays in test results.
While there is a bit of uncertainty around the game, all is good at 20th and Blake as the Colorado Rockies prepare for the start of the season.
Skipper Bud Black met with the media via Zoom, Monday morning and explained that the entire organization is adjusting and adapting to the new protocols without issue.
#Rockies skipper Bud Black says everything is going smooth at Coors Field in regards to testing and sanitation. No issues to report like other teams.
He says everyone is adjusting and adapting to the new normal.
— Aniello Piro (@MediaByAP) July 6, 2020
The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros both canceled their workouts Monday due to a delay in test results, and the Oakland Athletics have yet to receive the data from their initial intake test.
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
ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes there are roughly 14,000 tests administered around the league per week, and the high volume has caused issues generating results in a timely manner.
Time is certainly of the essence right now as Opening Day is roughly two weeks away. Multiple star players have contracted the virus, such as Charlie Blackmon and Atlanta Braves slugger Freddie Freeman. Additionally, numerous coaches have opted to forgo the season due to health concerns.
Even some of the league’s brightest stars, like Mike Trout and Buster Posey, have expressed doubts about the season and could still choose to opt-out if further issues arise.
Many notable players have already opted out, including Rockies’ outfielder Ian Desmond, David Price, Mike Leake, Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Markakis.
Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado has a different stance, vowing to play so long as he remains healthy.
“As far as playing, yes I want to play,” Arenado said. “I’m 29 once in my life. I’m never going to get this time back ever again. So I’m going to go as hard as I can. God has blessed me to play and that’s what I’m going to do. My family supports me and that’s all that matters.”
Baseball is not the only sport that has been faced with issues in recent days. Numerous NBA teams have shutdown facilities due to positive COVID-19 tests just days before departing for the bubble season at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The MLB season is set to begin on July 23.