Overnight we learned about testing delays and, by extension, team workout delays due to what has been, quite frankly, Major League Baseball’s incompetence with respect to getting its COVID-19 testing program up to speed as camps open. That specifically impacted the Oakland Athletics, the Los Angeles Angels and, per Ken Rosenthal, two other teams. Now we know one of the other teams: the World Series champion Washington Nationals.
The Nationals have canceled today’s workouts because they have still not received the results from tests administered on Friday. General Manager Mike Rizzo released a sternly-worded statement explaining his decision to cancel today’s work:
Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for COVID-19 on Friday, July 3. Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests. We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have canceled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff, and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise Summer Camp and the 2020 season are at risk.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association’s agreement to play the 2020 season was premised on all personnel from every team to undergo saliva or nasal swab test every two days from the time camps opened until the season is over. That multiple teams have already experienced lags and delays in excess of that, mere days into the beginning of the testing process, speaks very poorly for how that plan is being put into action.
UPDATE: The Houston Astros too:
#Astros players and staff were just informed they will not work out today as they also await the results of their COVID-19 tests taken on Friday.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 6, 2020