A positive COVID-19 test for Juan Soto, then some confusion about the results. A banner-raising ceremony, touching show of unity, and then a rain-shortened season opening loss.
It was an emotional day for everyone involved, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who threw a 50-Cent-ish ceremonial first pitch.
In the end though, baseball was back. For five-plus innings, two strong teams, and two big-name starters battled it out. In the end though?
“It turned out long,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said. “Let’s just say that. From this morning till now and getting the game cut off at five innings, you know, we’ve just got to put this one behind us, we’ve got a day off tomorrow, we come back Saturday and do it again.”
Go 1-0 tomorrow. Go read your links...
Juan Soto News:
Nats announce Soto positive for COVID-19 - (MLB.com)
"There is no minimum number of days on the COVID-19 IL, but to return to play, Soto will need two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, per Major League Baseball protocol."
Nationals’ Juan Soto tests positive for COVID-19, will miss season opener - (WTOP)
"Rizzo said that because of extensive contact tracing efforts carried out by the team, no other Nats players or staff will need to be quarantined ahead of Thursday’s opener."
Here's what Sean Doolittle said about Juan Soto testing positive for coronavirus, and how that kind of rattled the #Nats' clubhouse after the work they've all done to stay safe as possible: pic.twitter.com/qvsnzfjknZ— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 24, 2020
Juan Soto’s positive test raises more questions than answers, about everything – (The Athletic)
"One positive test in an age of false positives with a virus we still know little about, meant Soto was quickly whisked off for more."
Soto tests positive but shows no symptoms, placed on IL (updated) - (MASN)
Juan Soto was not included on the Nats’ initial 30-man roster and will not be active for tonight’s opener against the Yankees after testing positive for COVID-19
Roster News & Other Nats Stories:
Scherzer blames fastball location problems early in 4-1 loss - (MASN)
"Martinez understood how badly Scherzer wanted to get to this game and when the day finally arrived, the first inning did not start out the way he had hoped."
Nats announce 2020 opening day 30-man roster - (MASN)
"Rizzo was excited to see Wander Suero return to camp this week, but admitted that the Suero and Roenis Elías are not quite ready to be activated."
Nationals-Yankees presents chance MLB has been fighting for - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Game 1 has oscillated from unlikely to here, a four-month journey which included arguments, doubts and exasperation."
This ball, thrown tonight by @Max_Scherzer for the first pitch of the 2020 @MLB season, is ticketed for Cooperstown and the @baseballhall. Thank you @Nationals and @KyleBrostowitz! pic.twitter.com/5awZnXNqLx— Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_HOF) July 24, 2020
Austin Voth wins spot in Nationals’ rotation, Erick Fedde moves to bullpen - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals have named 28-year-old right-hander Austin Voth their fifth starter for the 2020 MLB season, manager Davey Martinez announced Thursday."
Yanks, Nats kneel in Black Lives Matter salute; Fauci’s toss - (Washington Times)
“The Nationals and Yankees knelt in unison before the first game of the baseball season as part of an opening day ceremony Thursday night that featured references to the Black Lives Matter movement, the coronavirus pandemic — including an off-the-mark first pitch by Dr. Anthony Fauci — and the home team’s 2019 championship.”
Baseball’s Opening Day Rocked by Covid-19 Tests for Nationals Star Juan Soto - (WSJ)
"The Washington Nationals announced that star outfielder Juan Soto had tested positive for Covid-19, hours before the team’s season-opening game."
Washington Nationals Start Defense Of World Title Without Juan Soto - (Forbes)
"Though Soto is asymptomatic for the highly-contagious virus, he still had to return to the club’s COVID-19 list – and will need to test negative twice before he can be reactivated."
Anthony Fauci, First Pitch (with tail). pic.twitter.com/PEKiLzCnN2— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 23, 2020
MLB: Nationals OF Juan Soto tests positive for COVID-19 - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Rizzo told reporters Thursday that Soto tested on Tuesday and the results came in Thursday morning."
Finally: Every Baseball Team’s Sports Network Is Available On At Least One Streaming Service - (Forbes)
"The networks for the Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals are only coming to AT&T TV Now in its $80 Max bundle."
MLB: Yankees-Nationals game shows risk of playing 2020 season - (Sports Illustrated)
"The most famous man at Nationals Park on Opening Day stopped to take a photo with a fan on his way in. Then, like everyone else entering the stadium, he got his temperature taken."
NL EAST UPDATES:
2020 MLB playoffs: Phillies' entire outlook changes with expanded postseason field - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"It should go without saying that this will have a significant impact on the entire outlook of the season, most notably for teams in the Phillies' position."
Brodie Van Wagenen tones down talk as Mets brace for NL East gauntlet - (NY Post)
"Season 2 of Brodie Van Wagenen’s regime as Mets general manager is set to begin with far less bluster than his debut."
Opening Day FAQ: Marlins vs. Phillies - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins enter 2020 in the third year of their rebuild with the intention of surprising people. They are treating the 60-game season like a 'sprint to the playoffs.'"
Opening Day FAQ: Braves vs. Mets - (MLB.com)
"After spending weeks recovering from COVID-19, Freddie Freeman crammed more than two dozen at-bats into the final stretch of camp upon his return..."