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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ opening series postponed over COVID concerns; GM Mike Rizzo talks + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait to see if the club’s season will start on Monday...

Nationals Park Media Tour Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Nine players are in quarantine. One member of the staff as well. Four players have tested positive for COVID-19, and the Nationals’ season-opening series has been postponed. So, how is Washington’s GM, Mike Rizzo, handling what he described as a crisis for the team?

Like, how is he doing personally? How’s he holding up with all the events of the past 48 hours?

“I’m fine,” Rizzo told reporters on Friday afternoon. “We’re in crisis management mode and that’s often the way that this job is.

“I’m trying to be supportive of [manager] Davey [Martinez] and the players, and a conduit from ownership, their messages down the players. We’ve got a great support system here, and the last person you have to worry about here is me, so I’m doing great.”

Go read your links. They’ll sort this out...

NATS BEAT:

Mets-Nationals Opening Series postponed - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals and Mets will not play baseball this weekend."

Nationals fans with Opening Day tickets handle disappointment of covid postponement - (WaPost)
“Klitzman, Campbell and Stewart all purchased their Opening Day tickets through the team, which offered priority access to season plan holders based on package size and tenure.”

An attempt to answer some questions about the Nats' situation - (MASN)
"These are, unfortunately, uncertain times for the Nationals. They were all set to open the 2021 season Thursday night against the Mets..."

MLB postpones remainder of Nationals-Mets series due to coronavirus ‘follow-up testing’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Rizzo has said that he expects to make several roster moves once they’ve been cleared to play, though Opening Day starter Max Scherzer is still expected to pitch in their first game back."

Nationals plan to play Monday, but fourth confirmed coronavirus case leaves uncertainty - (Washington Times)
"MLB scrapped the remainder of Washington’s season-opening series against the New York Mets on Friday, postponing Saturday and Sunday matchups."

Nationals-Mets opening series is postponed because of coronavirus concerns - (WaPost)
“Four Nationals players tested positive for the coronavirus this week, and six others — five players and a staff member — are in mandatory quarantine because they were deemed to be close contacts of infected individuals.”

Full series postponed, nine players now in quarantine (updated) - (MASN)
"The postponement of all three scheduled games at Nationals Park wasn’t a terribly surprising announcement, given the news of the last 24 hours..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

NL East 2021 early schedule breakdown - (MLB.com)
"After their Opening Series vs. the Mets was postponed because of COVID-19 contact tracing, when the Nationals return to the field, they will host the Braves, face the Dodgers on the road and play the Cardinals six times in 10 days..."

MLB: Opening day brings fans back, with a COVID-19 reality check - (Yahoo!Sports)
"On Thursday morning, there were two more confirmed positive tests and the scheduled primetime opener was postponed. A fourth player was suspected positive as well."

2021 MLB Opening Day Snap Judgments for All 30 Teams - (The Ringer)
"That’s because multiple Nationals tested positive for COVID-19—a crucial reminder that amid the Opening Day excitement, we’re still stuck in a pandemic that can affect the season in myriad ways."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies' minor leaguers will face unique challenges after not playing in 2020 - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The pandemic changed so much about player development, the lifeblood of every major-league organization."

Miami Marlins’ Garrett Cooper: MLB ‘messed up’ DH decision - (Miami Herald)
"Miami Marlins’ Garrett Cooper has a simple message for MLB: Bring the designated hitter to the National League full time. Plus a Sixto Sanchez update."

Resisting drastic steps, scraping Mets-Nationals series was right call - (NY Post)
"And if you want to understand why Major League Baseball didn’t force the Nationals to play short-handed, or why the Mets didn’t pick up a trio of forfeit victories, I’ll turn the column over to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Luis Rojas..."

State of the farm: Braves maintain strong system despite challenges - (AJC.com)
"When the Braves lined up for their 2021 opener Thursday, the vast majority of the group were homegrown talents."