The reigning World Series Nationals champion is among the teams whose COVID-19 tests did not go well in the Summer Camp. The club had to cancel training on Monday due to a delay in receiving coronavirus results and general manager Mike Rizzo expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation.
“Without accurate and timely testing, it is simply not safe for us to continue with the Summer Camp”, Rizzo said, in part. “Major League Baseball must work quickly to resolve problems related to their process and laboratory. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 season are at risk. “
Rizzo’s reaction didn’t go well with Washington Post commissioner Rob Manfred, Barry Svrluga. A source said to Svrluga, “The commissioner jumped on him for that.”
While Manfred may be shocked that Rizzo has made his displeasure public, GM’s concerns are understandable, in part because the virus has had such a significant impact on his club. Two of the national team players, whose identities are not publicly known, tested positive over the weekend, announced manager Dave Martinez (via MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato). Even before then, citizens saw an infielder Ryan Zimmerman, left handed Joe Ross and catcher Welington Castillo give up playing this year for health reasons. In addition, closer Sean Doolittle – whose wife has a lung condition that puts her at greater risk of contracting the virus and which is not a safe bet to play this season – expressed concern about the delay in the results that Nat have experienced.
In the meantime, this could go down as the last p.r. success for Manfred, who – after months of fighting for the season with the union – implemented a 60-game schedule in June. Manfred went on to suggest last week that the league would never have thought he could play more than 60 games in 2020, although he later gave up on these comments.