Abraham: Mike Rizzo "Irate" About COVID Testing Delay

Navigating COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges for MLB managers and executives, including Nationals GM Mike Rizzo

The DA Show
July 08, 2020 - 11:51 am
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Major League Baseball is slated to return July 23. Time will tell if that comes to fruition – or if baseball actually completes its 2020 season.

“I’m pessimistic just based on the number of positive tests we’ve seen so far,” Boston Globe MLB writer Pete Abraham said on The DA Show. “They had some time to figure this out, and the Fourth of July holiday hit and they couldn’t get the tests processed. The fact that there was a national holiday seemed to sneak up on them. I thought that was a bad sign. A lot of the players were annoyed by that, that the testing was delayed. I think there were at least four teams that didn’t have workouts yesterday because they didn’t feel safe. All of the test results hadn’t come back yet.”

Yes, MLB managers and executives used to be in the business of baseball; now they are in the business of trying to keep players self.

“Just in talking to Ron Roenicke, the Red Sox manager, it feels like the managers and the GMs have gone from, ‘This is a competitive situation, we’re trying to prepare our teams for the season, we want to win the pennant,’ to their priority is safety, and their priority is keeping people from catching coronavirus,” Abraham said. “[Nationals GM] Mike Rizzo was really irate the other day that the Nationals hadn’t had their tests back. I think if you’re the manager of a team right now, I think a huge part of your responsibility is just trying to keep anybody from getting sick – and those guys aren’t prepared for that. Red Sox executives are not infectious disease experts; they’re baseball experts. So a lot of these people are just trying to figure out what is it that we need to do to try to keep all of our guys safe?”

It’s difficult to determine whether these hiccups are simply early bumps in the road or a bad omen for what is to come big picture.

“I think they’re trying to adapt to what they are seeing as it’s happening,” Abraham said. “Maybe at some point that will work. But if it starts not to work and more players start opting out because they don’t feel safe, that, I think, will be the breaking point where they’ll have to figure out, ‘Well, is this something we want to keep trying to do?’”