In the 1980 World Series between the Royals and Phillies, Phillies first baseman Pete Rose and Bob Boone famously teamed up to catch a foul ball in the top of the ninth inning. Closer Tug McGraw found himself in a jam, having loaded the bases with one out on a walk followed by two singles. Frank White hit a pop-up near the first base dugout. The ball popped in and out of catcher Boone’s glove, but first baseman Rose alertly grabbed the ball with his glove before it hit the ground for the second out of the inning. From there, McGraw would memorably strike out Willie Wilson to clinch the World Series for the Phillies.
Coincidentally, a similar play happened in Game 5 of the World Series between the Indians and Cubs on Sunday night. Carlos Santana was batting with the bases empty and one out in the top of the second inning against Cubs starter Jon Lester. He fouled off a 93 MPH fastball to the right side, sending catcher David Ross and first baseman Anthony Rizzo towards each other near the first base dugout. The wind took the ball back towards the field. Ross leaned and attempted to make the catch, but like Boone, the ball popped out of his mitt. Thankfully, Rizzo was there to make the save to secure the out.
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.