Willie Bloomquist just announced his retirement via Twitter, calling it a career after 14 seasons in the majors for the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Reds.
Bloomquist was Seattle’s third-round draft pick in 1999 and reached the big leagues in 2002 as a 24-year-old. He never received 500 plate appearances in a season and topped 350 plate appearances just twice, but stuck around because of his defensive versatility, speed, and likability in the clubhouse. And once in a while he even hit a little bit, batting .269 with a .658 OPS in 1,055 games overall.
Bloomquist started at least 15 games and logged at least 200 innings at every position except catcher, but was primarily a shortstop. He earned more than $17 million and the Washington native played the bulk of his career for Seattle.
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.