UPDATE: The Dbacks are still asking fans behind the plate to not wear opposing team gear

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UPDATE: I received a statement from a Diamondbacks spokesman:

“At the time of purchase, we ask that those fans sitting in the home plate box, which is visible on TV, wear either neutral colors or D-backs attire which the team will provide.”

So that’s what that was. Jackets are required, as it were. And gambling is illegal at Bushwood. I never slice.

7:57 AMTwo years ago there was a little to-do at Chase Field in Phoenix in which a group of fans were forced/asked/coerced/who knows to change into Diamondbacks gear because they were in front of the cameras in Dodgers gear and Dbacks’ ownership didn’t much care for that. The move was reportedly ordered directly from team owner Ken Kendrick who subsequently had an animated discussion with the fans about it.

The Dbacks were criticized as small-time for that kind of move, as they should’ve been. You take thousands of dollars from some people for primo, behind the plate seats, you shouldn’t care what they’re wearing as long as it doesn’t violate decency standards.

It seems, however, that criticism didn’t bug the Dbacks all that much. At least based on this video. Watch the guy in the background with the Dodgers hat and shirt:

This exchange seemed friendlier than the 2013 exchange. And it’s possible that it involved his friends or something giving him that Dbacks jersey. Maybe it was all an in-joke with coworkers or something. I have sent an email to the Diamondbacks asking for comment regarding the exchange and whether or not it was something directed by the club. Pending that comment, I’ll observe that it certainly fits the pattern we’ve seen with the Dbacks and other sports teams who have, in the past, made a point to get opposing team fans into home team gear when they can be seen on TV. I’d be curious to know if the Diamondbacks are up to their old tricks again here.

If they did give this guy a jersey to wear, I suppose they’ll talk about how it was free or else how he was given some merch or something given to him for his trouble rather than it being some sharply coercive situation. The P.R. in Arizona is better than it used to be, after all. Still, if you own a baseball team and you’re at all concerned that the fans who can be seen on TV are wearing opposing team gear you are, by definition, petty and small time. No matter how friendly the process of getting the fan to change actually is.

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.