Norichika Aoki to sit out the World Baseball Classic

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Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki has told Japan manager Koji Yamamoto that he will not be playing in the World Baseball Classic because he wants to prepare for the 2013 season.

Not playing in the WBC is the new black. Aoki joins Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma as no-shows for Japan and Shin-Soo Choo as a no-show for South Korea.

We still have Johnny Damon playing for Thailand, of course. Because that’s critical.

 

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: