Rob Manfred 60 game season
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Rob Manfred outlines testing plan when MLB returns


MLB commissioner Rob Manfred appeared on CNN Thursday evening with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, providing some details about how the league plans to operate if and when the 2020 season begins. The highlights:

  • Manfred is “hopeful” that we will see MLB games this summer — in empty stadiums
  • Protocol regarding health and safety is 80 pages long
  • Manfred hopes to convince the “vast, vast majority” of players to play, but won’t force those who want to sit out
  • Manfred agrees with those who have suggested baseball has played a role in the country’s healing from trauma
  • MLB contracts with a lab in Utah that normally does its minor league drug testing. It has been converted to do COVID-19 testing for MLB
  • Players will be tested multiple times per week. In addition to testing, players would also have their temperatures checked and symptoms logged. Tests have a 24-hour turnaround time. Those who show symptoms will be tested immediately
  • If a player tests positive, he will be taken to a quarantine facility for 14 days. There will be contract tracing. The player would be eligible to return once he tests negative twice in a 24-hour period of time
  • There are “contingency plans” if there are problems “in a particular market” where a team could play its home games somewhere else
  • Manfred said that if there is no season, the owners’ aggregate losses could approach $4 billion

The whole clip:

Obviously, Cooper and Gupta couldn’t have gone over every detail with Manfred in their limited interview time, but it’s a start at least. The interview didn’t include details about what would happen to the league, for instance, if a player tested positive. Would that player’s entire team have to stop playing and go into quarantine? What about their recent opponents and the umpires that were working recent games, and all of the auxiliary personnel they may have come into contact with? Would the league go on pause? Or would they go on as if everything were normal with just the player heading into quarantine? What extra precautions are being taken for players who may be more susceptible to the virus, or who may have family members who are more susceptible? Presumably, those answers and more can be found in MLB’s 80-page protocol. We’ll have to see what the MLBPA thinks.

Mets’ McNeil carted off vs. Nats after crash into wall

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil was carted off the field Thursday after crashing into the left field wall in the first inning to rob the Washington Nationals’ Asdrubal Cabrera of a two-run extra-base hit.

McNeil, a natural infielder who has been manning both outfielder corners for the Mets since last year, raced at full speed to the warning track and made an impressive lunging catch for the final out of the inning. He crashed into the wall with both arms extended and raised his glove hand as he fell to indicate he had the ball.

But McNeil was in obvious pain as he covered his eyes with both hands and yelled before flinging his glove off. He briefly tried getting up but only made it a few steps with a trainer and manager Luis Rojas before sitting back down.

McNeil was able to walk to a cart on the warning track before being driven off the field.

The Mets said in the fourth inning McNeil was still being evaluated and an update would be provided after the game.

McNeil, who has started at third base and left field this season, is batting .293 with seven RBIs in 16 games. He made the All-Star team last season and is a career .319 hitter in 212 games.

Billy Hamilton pinch-hit for McNeil in the bottom half of the inning.