You’ll have forgive any obvious lapses in grammar, logic, or coherence in the Bullets below. It was one of those nights where I just could not sleep. Brain wouldn’t shut down until about 1 am, and then I kept barely falling asleep and jolting back awake. Between 1 and 7 am, I must’ve woken up 50 times. Not sure why, but I think it’s just gonna happen sometimes.
- Even in a pandemic, there is always an opportunity to monitor the progress of Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow. I will resist any facile and tasteless Coronavirus jokes, and note that Morrow is reasonably healthy again and throwing (also kudos to Gordon Wittenmyer who is still in Arizona seeking out stories at a safe distance:
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 20, 2020
- As you know, Morrow, 35, has been trying to come back from a 2018 season that saw him suffer multiple arm issues at midseason, and fail to return to the mound ever since. He’s had a number of diagnoses and procedures in that time, and he returned to the team on a minor league deal this offseason. Then, as he worked his way back into throwing mode, he strained his chest. And then he strained his calf. It would all be a sick joke if this wasn’t a guy who has battled through every injury imaginable over the course of his decade-plus career.
- Of course, Morrow keeps getting the chances because a healthy Morrow has always been a highly-effective Morrow. For his part, he tells Wittenmyer he feels good now and is optimistic that baseball will be played eventually. He and Wittenmyer both note that a shortened season would allow a guy like Morrow – who, even in the absolute best-case scenario, was going to be able to pitch only limited innings this year – a better chance to contribute. The time line, the shortened season, and the possibility of expanded rosters for the duration of the year will all help him. Wouldn’t that be a nice story in all this?
- Truly, it is inevitable that a Major League Baseball player will be diagnosed with the Coronavirus in time – and likely many:
"Any moment now, it stands to reason our phones will buzz with a bulletin that seems inevitable – news that a major leaguer has tested positive for COVID-19."
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 20, 2020
- When that happens, the league and the Players Association are ready with procedures to follow as it relates to that player’s health, and also the testing/guidance for any and all players and personnel who came in contact with that player over a certain period of time. It is likely to look like it has in the NBA, with a spiderweb of evaluations taking place based on games and contacts, and growing outward as patients are identified – because remember, for many people, the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection are very mild or not present at all. But that doesn’t mean the virus wasn’t eagerly spreading at that time. The virus stays with a patient for two weeks or more, and we have to see the results of the spread that was still occurring, for example, early last week when virtually no truly national social distancing was taking place.
- To be sure, any positive test is a matter of a player’s private health info if he chooses to keep it that way. But, because of the national emergency, it will also mark an opportunity to be another relatable, familiar face to communicate about the seriousness of this situation. That’s the primary reason you’ll see us covering it when it happens – it still feels useful to try to get the importance of taking social distancing seriously in front of as many people, in as many different ways, as possible.
- A fun and random list:
#MLB Here's a weird list, idea came to me when I hit the shower this morning.
— Scott Lindholm 📊 (@ScottLindholm) March 20, 2020