While the Major League Baseball owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association are negotiating over the mount of games to play and how much money to divide up and who gets what, sports teams around the country and running into a real problem: COVID-19 doesn’t seem to care about their plans.
Facilities have been opened up for less than two weeks at the spring training sites in both Arizona and Florida and the Phillies are the first team we know of that have been hit by an “outbreak”, so to speak, as they’ve had multiple players and staff test positive for COVID-19. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia had the news first. Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer is also reporting that the spread extends beyond just those employees, but to a adult and child family members of those employees (numbers unspecified).
The Toronto Blue Jays have shut down their spring training facility in Dunedin after a player began to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the player for Toronto is a pitcher on the 40-man roster who was recently around players in the Phillies farm system.
The Blue Jays player exhibiting the symptoms is a pitcher on the 40-man roster who recently had spent time with players in the Phillies’ minor leagues system, according to sources. He has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 19, 2020
This news was shortly followed up with news that the Tampa Bay Lightning have shut down their operations facility after multiple positive tests of their own, too. This was first reported by Diana C. Nearhos of The Tampa Bay Times.
The University of Texas has had 13 players test positive for COVID-19 according to Dave Wilson of ESPN. Kansas State had eight athletes of 130 that were tested come back as positive for COVID-19.
All of this simply begs the question: Should we even be playing sports right now? There’s evidence of lung damage, even in those who are young and healthy in some cases. There’s evidence linking COVID-19 to bloodclots, which have led to death. Among children there’s been evidence linking COVID-19 to Kawasaki Disease. The coaching staffs of teams around Major League Baseball aren’t exactly in the “low risk” crowd, either.
Is it worth it?