We should be talking about the pitchers’ duel between Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom we were all treated to last night. We should be discussing if Victor Robles made solid contact in the leadoff spot, or if Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez decided to hit Robles ninth instead or up top. How far Juan Soto’s first home run of the season went. Did Brad Hand close out a win?
Instead, it’s PCR tests, and contact tracing, and speculation as to who tested positive on the team, which, don’t, and why doesn’t Washington just get the whole club vaccinated already, amirite?
“We would like to,” GM Mike Rizzo told reporters on Friday, in announcing that the Nationals are up to three positive COVID tests with a fourth likely to be added to the list though there needed to be additional testing.
“We’re pursuing all the avenues to get players vaccinated if they choose to do so, although you also have to be cognizant of not taking vaccines from a person who may need it more than the players do,” Rizzo added.
“So it’s a fine line, but we are looking for a way to vaccinate our ballclub.
“We want to do it in the right way at the right time as to not take it away from anyone that needs it more than the players.”
That seems eminently reasonable. And those who want to get vaccinated will eventually.
For now, however, they wait, and unfortunately the New York Mets have to as well, because the season-opening series between the NL East rivals has been postponed, as the club just announced in a press release:
“Major League Baseball announced today that the remainder of this weekend’s series between the host Washington Nationals and the New York Mets at Nationals Park, which includes games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, has been postponed due to continued follow-up testing and contact tracing involving members of the Nationals’ organization.”
They’ll play the games eventually (probably), and yes it’s disappointing, but the health of the players, coaches, staff, and fans is the most important thing to consider at this point, while the Nationals and Major League Baseball try to get this under control.
“We’re doing extensive contact testing today after the new positives,” Rizzo said last night, “so when we find out just the amount of people and where they’re at in their timeline we’ll have a lot better picture of this.
“We’re in close contact with MLB protocols and the D.C. protocols, so we’re communicating very, very well, and obviously our intent is to play ... but we need to do that in a safe manner that protects the players, and their families, our fans, and our staff members.”
“My biggest concern is that they’re all healthy,” manager Davey Martinez said.
“So I’ll ask them how they’re feeling and make sure they’re doing okay and then ask them if they need anything on my end, and just like I said, stay positive, take care of your families, we’re going to get through this.
“We’re going to get through this and we’re going to get through it together.”
“Our biggest concerns right now is to minimize the spread,” Martinez added, “... and I have all the confidence in the world that with our medical staff and the way our players go about this, we’ll get this nipped in the bud.
“The conversations have been good. They’re anxious to play, they want to play, but right now it’s more about their safety.”