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MLB partners with its PED testing lab for COVID-19 testing


Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated is reporting that Major League Baseball is partnering with the Utah lab that runs its performance-enhancing drug program for coronavirus testing.

The lab, The Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, recently participated in the COVID-19 antibody study in which Major League Baseball and its employees played a large role. The lab has also been tapped for COVID-19 testing by the California State Athletic Commission  and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which are the two bodies that regulate the most high-profile boxing and mixed martial arts events in the country.

Verducci characterizes their participation like this:

In partnership with MLB, the Utah lab, The Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, not only would provide coronavirus testing for the 3,000 or so baseball players and support staff but also for thousands more in the general public. Under that plan, MLB would provide a net gain to public testing rather than drawing from existing resources.

The question I have, though, is they’re regularly testing 3,000+ MLB people, and the boxing and mixed martial arts people, and any other sports which come to them for COVID testing, is that not taking potential tests away from the public?

Or is it the case that that this testing capacity at this lab did not exist or was not available to the public until MLB decided to come pay for some? In which case, is this not a situation in which, in order to serve their paying customer — MLB — they’re spinning off some tests to the public too?

Either way, I’m struggling to understand why Major League Baseball, a paying customer or not, has what appears to be priority access to fast-turnaround COVID-19 testing when there is still a shortage of COVID-19 testing in a country in the midst of a pandemic.


Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.