No update on where things stand after the weekend, which makes you wonder if the situation is really dire: maybe the players are being told behind the scenes that if they reject the 60-game offer, Rob Manfred doesn’t actually have the necessary ownership votes to mandate a season. At which point, MLB would say they couldn’t agree on health and safety after the other outbreaks, and there’s just not enough time, and the season is toast. It would be framed as a pandemic decision, and not the financial decision it actually was. I’ve been taught over the past few months to be overly pessimistic.
• I was thinking last night about the 40-ish positive COVID tests that have been reported from MLB camps in the past week, which sent things into a bit of a tailspin. It’s an alarming raw number given that it started (presumably) with symptomatic folks seeking out a test. But then I started down the road of wondering if it was actually an alarmingly large number, or actually what you’d expect to see given the spread of this virus (i.e., not really related to “baseball”, and instead just related to “living in the United States right now”). No conclusions here, it was just something I wondered about, since I’m in the business of processing, unpacking, and sharing information with appropriate context.
• But that, in turn, got me thinking about an even bigger question: what’s going to happen when you have nearly 3000 people (40-man players, extra players, and personnel) getting to Spring Training Part Two and being prophylactically tested, regardless of symptoms. Even if the positive test rate is something small like 3%, you’re going to be talking about a raw positive test number that could easily get into the triple digits. I’m not sure the public has been prepared for that, and the way the media is going to cover it – like, it’s going to be a “holy shit!” moment for the headlines when 100+ MLB players and personnel “suddenly” have COVID-19 (regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not, and regardless of the fact that testing everyone prophylactically would yield huge numbers of positives anywhere, that’s how the stories will read). I’m really not sure MLB has prepared itself for what that public messaging is going to look like, or prepared themselves to explain what those numbers mean, relative to health and safety, relative to the rest of the country, relative to how any one of us might be carrying this thing around and not know it. No answers or conclusions here, it’s just something I’ve started to realize is going to be a serious issue – from a “real information” standpoint – when and if players show up.
• And, of course, none of that is speaking to the ACTUAL challenge of preventing spread once guys do get into camp. Like I’ve said before, it concerns me that these mini-outbreaks happened already at camps where they were, presumably, trying very hard for that not to happen. Is it going to be possible to stop outbreaks when we know what the lag time on this illness looks like?
• Yu Darvish shares a similar concern, presuming the translate feature is reasonably close:
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) June 22, 2020
• I know that this chapped a lot of Cubs fans including me at the time (Harper beat Schwarber thanks to some quick pitches), but looking back, this was just a fantastic event and outcome. There at his home park, with his dad … it was awesome:
“He’s my hero.”
— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) June 21, 2020
• Not sure if this is a one-day thing or a multi-day thing, but Amazon has a huge sale going on right now for clothes of all kinds (I will be hitting up the Adidas 30% off section). #ad