Remember when we thought MLB would start its season off during Fourth of July weekend, thus catapulting itself back into the national consciousness right when the sport needed a boost? Ah, better times they were.
However, rather than celebrating our nation by watching our nation's past time last weekend, we instead discovered how seemingly broken MLB's testing for COVID is.
It started with a report from The Athletic that COVID tests for the Oakland A's were waiting to be sent to a lab in Utah just hours before Oakland was scheduled to hold a full-team workout today. Players must test negative to take part in the workouts and because the A's didn't have their results, they weren't allowed to gather as a group. The delay was reportedly because of the holiday weekend, but MLB has known their anticipated schedule for weeks and reportedly didn't mention any possible delays.
The A's were not alone in this issue. The Angels dealt with an even bigger pain in the you-know-what. I'll let Ken Rosenthal provide the details.
Players administering their own tests? Tests sitting around waiting to be shipped to a lab in Utah days after the test were administered? Workouts being pushed back? We're not even a week into "summer training "and the testing process is already falling apart.
After the Nationals also had to cancel a workout today because of test results still not being available (the tests were taken on Friday), their GM Mike Rizzo openly called out MLB.
Clearly whatever system MLB put in place to ensure expedient results be available to teams and players isn't working. No wonder players like Mike Trout are already discussing the possibility of sitting out the season. It's one thing to expose yourself to this deadly disease with the knowledge you will quickly know if you have it and thus be able to take care of yourself and not put others at risk. It's another to put yourself in a group setting with test results taking over three days to come back.
If MLB can't get test results quickly, this season isn't going to work. The whole point of getting rapid results is the ability to figure out who has COVID and isolate them quickly from the rest of the team. Without it, you're putting everyone in danger.
Sure, it was a holiday weekend and things can get delayed over such time. However, MLB knew this weekend was coming, knew teams were planning workouts for Monday, and still didn't get test results back in time for it to happen. Quite frankly, it doesn't look like they really had a plan to get tests administered to every team and then have those tests sent to a lab. That's a bad look for MLB, especially on a weekend we once thought would be the glorious return for America's game.