Washington – In the last Major League Baseball game of 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers were forced Remove third baseman justin turner From the final moments of the World Series after learning that he had tested positive for coronovirus.
It was one of many positive tests that MLB had to contend with over the course of a short season, and it is expected that 2021, the full schedule of 162 games and some fans will be allowed to participate in it, at least feeling a little more normal. do.
But as the league prepared for its opening day on Thursday, it was reminded that the problem had not gone away. The citizens of Washington announced on Wednesday that one of their players had tested positive for coronovirus and because of the contact-tracing protocol, four more players and one staff member who had close contact with the player were also They will be excluded from the game. The Mets arrive on Thursday.
The Nationals did not name a player who tests positive or others who are in protocol, but the team’s general manager Mike Rizzo said he learned to test positive at around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday. The team went back to Washington on Monday after their last spring-training game.
The positive test also occurred on Monday, Rizzo said. He said that the team had no positive test results during six weeks of spring training.
Team personnel were given more testing on Wednesday, but Rizzo said he did not have the results when talking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon. It is possible that the number of players in the protocol may have changed before Thursday’s game, but Rizzo said the game was unlikely to be postponed.
“We’ve got a long season ahead,” Rizzo said. This year the difference is 162 and we are ready for the long haul. This is just a small blip on our radar screen. We are going to handle it and take it in progress. “
Max Mazer, the starting pitcher scheduled for the nationals on Thursday, said he had returned from the team with his family and was still expecting the pitch.
“We did very well in spring training, everyone in the game,” Scherzer said. “We saw some positive cases throughout spring training as a whole. It just shows how quickly that can turn.”
Last year, Juan Soto, a Nationals star outfielder, missed the first eight games of the season, as he tested positive for the coronavirus against the Yankees prior to the team’s season opener. Soto later said that he felt it was a false positive.
Also in 2020, MLB suspended activities during spring training in March due to an epidemic. When the league returned in July to begin its 60-game regular season, several teams had postponed the game due to positive tests.
Turner’s positive test put him out of Game 6 of the World Series before the start of the eighth inning. He was criticized for being back on the field Join the dodgers championship eventEspecially because he appeared in a team photograph without a face mask.
Baseball officials, players, staff members and fans are all hopeful for a more normal season this year, but the revelation of a positive test on Wednesday served as a reminder to maintain expectations in the investigation.
“It would be a little more normal than last year,” Rizzo said of opening day, “but certainly a long way from being normal.”