The Associated Press reports that several Major League Baseball players and staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem acknowledged this in the letter he sent on behalf of the league to MLB Players Association chief negotiator Bruce Meyer recently.
Halem wrote, “The proliferation of COVID-19 outbreaks around the country over the last week, and the fact that we already know of several 40-man roster players and staff who have tested positive, has increased the risks associated with commencing spring training in the next few weeks.”
The identifies of the players who tested positive are not known. Amid increasing labor tension between MLB ownership and the union, this serves as a stark reminder of what else is at stake: the lives and good health of the players, as well as their families and friends. Over 115,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, according to the CDC. Cases are rising in some states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.
Some players don’t think the timing of this information being made public is simply a coincidence. Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle:
Wait…they leaked information about player health to the AP? First, I hope everyone is feeling ok and recovering well. But the timing of this leak is suspicious and it feels really gross. https://t.co/Vq3FlMT8rJ
— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) June 16, 2020
Good timing https://t.co/pbzIN3VWmJ
— Anthony Rizzo (@ARizzo44) June 16, 2020