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Wire Taps: Two Washington Nationals test positive for COVID-19; Sean Doolittle has thoughts on testing procedure + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for some good news from somewhere around the baseball world...

Sean Doolittle talked for thirty minutes-ish in a Zoom call with reporters on Sunday about the protocols set up in Nationals Park to try to protect players from contracting COVID-19, expressing some concerns about the turnaround time on tests, and the lack of PPE, N-95 masks, gowns, and gloves, and discussed Ian Desmond’s Instagram post, protests around the country, and his own decision to stick with baseball for now as MLB ramps up towards the 60-game 2020 campaign.

He also asked whether bringing spots back right now is good idea? Will it distract from the important conversations currently taking place around the baseball world and the country as a whole.

“I think this is where we’re still trying to come to grips with where baseball fits in American society in 2020,” Doolittle said. “Is it just a distraction? Is this like some ancient Rome bread and circuses stuff, where we’re just like appeasing the masses and giving them a distraction from everything else that’s going on in the world? All the bad things that are going on in the world, or can we be a productive part of the discussion about ending racism and promoting equality and justice for everybody?”

Those are all good questions. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Two Test Positive For COVID-19:

Nationals have two players test positive for COVID-19 - (Washington Times)
"Martinez said the two players received their results before reporting to Nationals Park, so they have not yet been in contact with the rest of the team."

Two Nats players test positive for coronavirus - (MLB.com)
"As of Sunday afternoon, the team still was awaiting the results for a group of players who had to travel back to Washington from Latin America and were the last to undergo the initial testing."

Two Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19 - (MASN)
"Two Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19 during the team’s initial intake testing program, manager Davey Martinez revealed today."

2 Nationals players test positive for coronavirus ahead of shortened MLB season - (WTOP)
"Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez revealed that two of the team’s 60 players tested positive for the coronavirus during intake testing on Sunday."

Doolittle Has Some Opinions:

Nats' Sean Doolittle on recent protests: 'This is our generation’s civil rights movement' - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Weeks elapsed without baseball, so Sean Doolittle needed to find ways to occupy himself."

Sean Doolittle: Sports are a reward America must earn - (WaPost)
Sean Doolittle had waited all weekend. Come early Sunday afternoon, he still was waiting.”

Sean Doolittle wants fans to wear masks so MLB season can happen - (Washington Times)
"Though he’s still not 100% sure about playing in 2020, Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle wants there to be baseball this year. And he says the public needs to pitch in."

Doolittle candid on challenges facing MLB, US - (MLB.com)
“'I've never wanted my entire identity to be wrapped up in baseball.' That single sentence from Sean Doolittle encapsulated the tone of his 30-minute conversation with the media on Sunday afternoon."

Doolittle playing for now, but has several concerns - (MASN)
"But after making arrangements for his wife to stay with relatives in the nearby area while he stays alone here in town, Doolittle reported for camp with the intention of participating through the season’s completion."

Sean Doolittle is in Washington, but still not positive he won’t opt-out - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Sunday, with his gray cloth mask over his face and hair suggesting it was just freed from a hat, Doolittle went through his plan to play."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

COVID-19 Won’t Change Us Forever - (The Atlantic)
"Don’t get me wrong: I’m a Washington Nationals fan, and while I’d love to watch Max Scherzer and drink an overpriced beer at Nats Park, there’s no way I’d attend a game this year, even if the stadium reopened."

MLB: Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle says tests aren't back on time - (Yahoo!Sports)
"He reached into his pocket, withdrew his phone, held it in front of his face and pecked at the screen."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Zack Wheeler is all in to play in 2020 ... for now - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"The Phillies' big off-season acquisition on Sunday said he was committed to pitching this season, but he left the door open wide enough to back out."

Jed Lowrie keeps injury a mystery after 'full-go' Mets workout - (NY Post)
"The Mets probably hope there is another level he can get to after Lowrie, sporting what he called his 'functional' brace, gingerly ran the bases and seemed to be favoring his injured left side that still remains a mystery."

Few question marks left for Marlins' roster - (MLB.com)
"With less than three weeks to games starting, the Marlins have a pretty good idea of how their Opening Day roster will look."

Mike Soroka gives Freddie Freeman COVID-19 update - (MLB.com)
"Freddie Freeman was feeling much better on Sunday. But the fact that he tested positive and spent the past couple days feeling the ill effects of COVID-19 has served as a wakeup call to Mike Soroka and many other Braves players."