Joe West Coronavirus
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Joe West is not opting out of the 2020 season

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic spoke to everyone’s favorite umpire, Joe West. He reports that even though West is considered high-risk for COVID-19, and even though he has the right to opt-out with full pay because of it, West is not opting out of the 2020 season.

West, who is 67 years-old, has a history of high blood pressure, and who is overweight, tells Rosenthal that Major League Baseball expected him to opt-out and was “taken aback” and “shocked” when he told them that he would not do so.

Partially it’s because he wants to set the all-time record for games worked. He’s 65 games of Bill Klem’s record and, if he works 2020, he can set the record early next year. Partially it’s because he’s not concerned about his health, telling Rosenthal, “If this game hasn’t gotten me by now, no virus is going to get me.” He says that he’s lost some weight and that his doctor says his heart is “as healthy as a horse’s.”

It’s also, it seems, because West is something of a COVID-19 skeptic:

“I said, ‘Look, most of these people that they’re reporting are dying are not healthy to begin with. I’ve lost 25 pounds over the winter. I’m playing golf every day in the heat. I’m fine. I’m not going to back down now.’

“I don’t believe in my heart that all these deaths have been from the coronavirus. I believe it may have contributed to some of the deaths. I said, ‘I’m not going to opt out. I’m going to work. And I’m going to work until you take me off the field or I get hurt, whatever. I’m working.’”

Alrighty then.

West — whose reputation as a game arbiter is not the greatest — goes on to add that baseball needs his seniority, referring to young umps without senior umps’ guidance as being “in a boat without an oar.”

Joe West is not opting out of the 2020 season. That’s his right and his reasons are his reasons, I suppose.

Good luck, everyone.

 

Doubleheader between Cardinals and Tigers postponed

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.

MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.

The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.

St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.

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