The Cubs' Carlos Silva is good? The White Sox's Jake Peavy is bad? This has got to be an April Fools' prank

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silva-carlos-100401.jpgThere is something odd going on with the Chicago sports scene.

No, Jay Cutler has not acquired the, umm, intestinal fortitude necessary to play quarterback. That would be too unbelievable to entertain even on April Fools’ Day. But what is happening is so puzzling it makes you rethink everything you know about baseball. Yes, as shocking as it seems, Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva appears to actually be good.

Before you rush to your calendar to see if it’s already 2012, consider that it is quite likely that Silva will not continue to be good for long. As he heads north to Wrigley Field and the games begin to count in the standings, there is a fair chance the Earth will return to its normal axis and Silva will go back to allowing nearly two base-runners per inning. Many of these base-runners will dance around the bases to score runs. This will also cause Cubs fans to logically heap blame on a goat, and possibly, Milton Bradley.

But for now, Milton Bradley and goats everywhere can rest easy, for after compiling a 1.40 ERA in his last five spring training starts, Carlos Silva is good. In fact, he tells the Chicago Tribune that he always believed he was good.

“I’m not going to say I’m surprised, because that’s what I’m working for,” Silva said. “I’ve been taking this spring very, very seriously.”

It’s nice that Silva is taking his job so seriously this spring. And I’m sure the Seattle Mariners are thrilled to hear it, because the non-serious, always-clowning-around Silva went 5-18 for them – in a pitcher’s park.

In related Chicago bizarreness, White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy continues to struggle, striking out seven but allowing three runs in four innings against a minor league team. He entered the day 2-1 with a 6.55 ERA in Cactus League play.

The reaction to Peavy’s spring results has manager Ozzie Guillen predictably testy:

“A lot of people are talking (bleep) on TV and radio (about Peavy),” Guillen said. “All of a sudden, when you have a microphone in your hands you think you know (a lot) about baseball.”

I hear you, Ozzie. And if Carlos Silva is going to be good, and Jake Peavy bad, I don’t know what to think of baseball anymore.

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Report: Some MLB teams using outside labs for COVID-19 testing

MLB COVID-19 testing
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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Zach Buchanan report that the Diamondbacks are one of several teams that have used labs other than the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Utah to process COVID-19 testing. MLB has encountered delays with its testing, despite promising 24-hour turnaround time, so teams have tried other avenues — with the league’s endorsement — in order to get faster results.

The SMRTL had processed performance-enhancing drug screenings for MLB. The league converted it to process COVID-19 tests amid concerns that having a season and all of the testing that would be required throughout would take away testing resources from the general public. That some teams are utilizing labs other than the SMRTL suggests the league, indeed, is usurping those resources.

In prospect Seth Beer’s case, he tested positive for COVID-19. He needed to test negative twice consecutively to be cleared to return to play. Beer went to a third-party site in the Phoenix area. He received his second negative test and was cleared to return on July 9.

The Diamondbacks said that the labs they have used have assured them that they are not taking away tests from the public. That seems like a claim MLB and the D-Backs should demonstrably prove. Per Rosenthal and Buchahan, the D-Backs have gone to an outside lab about 20 times, which accounts for less than one percent of COVID-19 tests taken by players and staff. Still, those are 20 tests that could have been used by the general public. And if the D-Backs and a handful of other teams already are using outside labs, then the rest of the league likely already is or soon will be doing the same. In the end, there will be a lot more than 20 tests taken at outside labs by MLB players and staff. Considering that “Tier 1” players will be tested every other day throughout the season, the total of third-party tests taken — if things continue the way they are now — could easily reach into the thousands by the end of October.

We all want baseball back, but the players, coaches, and all other staff are no more important than cashiers, teachers, and delivery drivers, so they shouldn’t have more access to COVID-19 testing simply by virtue of being associated with Major League Baseball and all of its influence and financial muscle. It would be unethical for MLB to be cutting in line ahead of other people who need testing just as much as if not more than the players.