On Friday Mets reliever Frank Francisco called the Yankees “chickens” for some reason. Then, as a joke, reliever Tim Byrdak sent a clubhouse attendant to Chinatown to buy a live chicken and gave it to Francisco. It ran around the Mets clubhouse over the weekend, but now it is going to a better place. No, not a deep fryer, sadly:
The chicken will be heading to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., according to a spokesperson for the sanctuary. Lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, who came up with the idea to purchase the chicken and didn’t want to see it killed, presented the chicken to Farm Sanctuary media relations specialist Meredith Turner on Sunday. The team also presented Farm Sanctuary with a $500 check to cover living costs for the chicken.
The $500 will also include costs for survivor’s guilt counseling for the bird.
By the way, the chicken was named “Little Jerry Seinfeld” after the cockfighting rooster Kramer buys in a late-series Seinfeld episode. That episode aired over 15 years ago, by the way, which should make you feel pretty old.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.