July 9, 2020

MLB Flew 160+ Players & Staff From DR Last Week Without Testing Them; Joe West Spouts Some Trumpian Bullshit

Manfred's gonna Manfred.

Check out this headline from the Washington Post:

MLB Flew Dominican Players To The U.S. For Restart But Didn't Test Them For Coronavirus First

From Jesse Dougherty's report:
Multiple players who took one of two Major League Baseball-chartered flights from the Dominican Republic to Miami on July 1 have since tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to several people with knowledge of the situation. Players and staff members were not tested before boarding the planes, according to six people with knowledge of the travel logistics, lending more skepticism to baseball's restart plan. ...

[A]n MLB spokesman noted that ... tests are harder to come by in the Dominican Republic than in the United States, and he said "shipping saliva samples from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. was not possible due to governmental restrictions."

Six Washington Nationals players — Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Wander Suero, Fernando Abad, Luis Garcia and Joan Adon — were on the flights and are isolating in Washington. One tested positive for the coronavirus ... while the rest remain in quarantine out of caution. ...

MLB confirmed that there were asymptomatic players on both flights who later tested positive for the coronavirus during intake screening. ...

In a statement, an MLB spokesman said: "Testing 160 asymptomatic players in the Dominican Republic would have diverted substantial resources away from the Dominican health care system, where the availability of laboratory equipment is scarce, and would have required an exception to the country's criteria for testing, which was not something we were prepared to do."

Because team staff members were permitted on the flights, according to two people with knowledge of them, the total number of people who traveled exceeds 160. On Opening Day in 2019, 102 of MLB's 882 players were from the Dominican Republic. ...

"These guys are really frustrated by the whole thing," said one person close to a few Nationals who took the charter flight and are isolating. "And it also shows how risky the travel is all around. There's so much you can't control."
Like a commissioner who won't take basic health precautions during a pandemic.

Manfred also took offense at Nationals GM Mike Rizzo's comments after the team canceled its workout last Monday, because MLB, which had promised a 24-hour turnaround time for tests, failed to do so.

We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff, and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.
Manfred reportedly "jumped on [Rizzo] for that". ... Manfred doesn't like the truth.

NBC Sports' Bill Baer:
Many foreign players traveled back home once the league shut down in March, which complicated things once they returned to the U.S. to play baseball. While it was very predictable, there wasn't an easy fix. It was either keep the players in or out. However, adding this to MLB's slipshod job handling testing in the early stages of training camp, there is merited skepticism about the league's ability to pull off a 60-game season over the next three months.
In other obvious news, umpire Joe West is an idiot.

On Tuesday, West talked about the 135,000+ US deaths from SARS-CoV-2:
Most of these people that they're reporting are dying are not healthy to begin with. ... I don't believe in my heart that all these deaths have been from the coronavirus. I believe it may have contributed to some of the deaths.
Two days later, West (who has no experience in studying infectious diseases or in medical matters) sounded Trumpian, telling Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:
Those statistics aren't accurate, I don't care who's counting them. ... Our system is so messed up they have emptied hospitals because there's no elective surgery. The government has been giving these hospitals extra money if someone dies of the coronavirus. So everybody that dies is because of coronavirus. I don't care if you get hit by a car, it's coronavirus.
Craig Calcaterra wrote:
Joe West's coronavirus "opinion" is not just ignorance. It's conspiracy theorist-level misinformation. It's also, it should be added, misinformation that Nightengale would've done well to counter after quoting West ...

For example, Nightengale could've noted that, rather than aggressively code patient deaths as coronavirus, if anything, West's home state of Florida has been underreporting coronavirus deaths. And, to say the least, there is no evidence of the insanity that West claims regarding "giving hospitals extra money."

As for elective surgeries, hospital systems in Florida have been given broad discretion with what to do about them but, in recent days, have halted them because they need the bed space for coronavirus patients. Far from being "emptied out," hospitals in Florida are filling up with people who are sick from the very disease West is dismissing as a danger.

West is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good or respected umpire. But it remains the case that his profession is one where showing good judgment is essential. Based on Joe West's coronavirus views, however, his judgment is even more blinkered than we previously realized.

UPDATE: A thing I did not realize earlier: West's citation to country singer Joe Diffie is itself a conspiracy theory that has been debunked. So West is peddling conspiracy theories on top of conspiracy theories.
The Major League Baseball Umpires Association (MLBUA) released a statement, though it did not specifically name West:
Recent public comments about the current Coronavirus pandemic do not in any way reflect the position of the Major League Baseball Umpires Association. ... The MLBUA fully supports the health and safety protocols agreed to by MLB and the MLBPA, and we have agreed to make dramatic changes to our usual working conditions in an effort to navigate this unprecedented season.
Baer, again:
If you're a player, how comfortable will you be playing in a game in which West is working? Do you trust him to call out a player who licked his fingers or coughed into his hand before touching the baseball? Do you trust him not to get in your face when he feels you disrespected him by questioning a call?

In order for this whole thing to work, the players, coaches, umpires, and all other personnel need to have a certain level of trust in each other. Players who are high-risk, or who have high-risk family members, are relying on everyone else to make smart decisions. They're trusting their teammates, et. al. to wear masks and socially distance, to not to go out to bars and restaurants, to faithfully wash their hands. All it takes is one slip-up for things to go sideways for a player and, thus, the game. This is not a simple difference of opinion; lives and livelihoods are on the line. West, with his dismissive comments, is not engendering any trust.

1 comment:

Paul Hickman said...

I wouldn't trust Joe West to make a Caesar Salad ..... or to fiddle with his own nuts !