White Sox get the message on Robin Ventura’s “big-boy pants” comment

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BALTIMORE — Robin Ventura doesn’t speak out a lot so Adam Eaton knows when he does he should listen.

So when the White Sox manager said his team, losers of five straight, need to put on their “big-boy pants” after Monday’s loss, Eaton understands. The White Sox aren’t playing a particularly bad brand of baseball — far from 2013 levels, in fact. But they need more after losing every game on this road trip by a combined total of seven runs, Eaton said.

“He says stuff for a purpose,” Eaton said. “He doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t say anything and then when he does say something people listen. I think it’s definitely for a purpose and to get us fired up and I think we’re going to take that, play with a purpose (Tuesday) and hopefully continue to do so.”

Following Monday’s 6-4 loss on a walk-off, three-run homer, Ventura was displeased with his club. He doesn’t like how they have found several ways to lose some very winnable games on their road trip.

“Baseball’s tough,” Ventura said. “You’ve got to put your big-boy pants on and go out there and win a game. That’s a fact.”

[MORE: Sox make a switch in rotation, stand by Belisario]

Second baseman Gordon Beckham knows where Ventura’s coming from. If it were a blowout, the White Sox would be more prone to letting go of their losses easier knowing they had been beat, Beckham said.

But that’s not the case at all and that’s why Beckham figures Ventura sent the missive in Monday’s postgame comments.

“I feel like we really haven’t gotten beat,” Beckham said. “Obviously we’re losing games but we’re kind of beating ourselves in terms of not finding a way to win.

“We just need to find a way to get a win here and break up this skid we’re on. We’ve played hard, we just haven’t found a way to win. I think his point is we just need to get over the hump here. We’re in these games and if we’re in these games we need to find a way to win one or two of them. It’s never fun to go through it, but this season is too long, this game is too tough to ride the low or ride the high too much. You’ve just got to go out there and play and grind it out.”

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.