Things got a little tense in Monday’s Opening Day matchup between the White Sox and Royals. After Jeff Samardzija gave up a solo homer to Mike Moustakas in the bottom of the fifth inning, he hit Lorenzo Cain with the very next pitch. You can watch the play here.
Some words were exchanged between Cain and Samardzija, but order was quickly restored. According to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, Cain told reporters after the game that he thought it was intentional:
“I gave him a look,” Cain told Kansas City reporters. “I wasn’t sure if he hit me on purpose or not. But once he told me to get down, I was sure he hit me on purpose. It’s straight to the point. He hit me on purpose. But beating him the way we did today, it definitely makes up for that.”
Samardzija denied that it was intentional, but it’s not like he would come clean if it was. As Cain said, it didn’t matter much anyway, as the Royals did their talking with the bat and won 10-1.
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.