CLEVELAND, Ohio – If Zach Plesac doesn’t think Indians are serious about not only getting through coronavirus season, but also trying to do something positive if so, he knows now.
MLB security personnel surprised Plesac returning to the Indians team hotel in Chicago early Sunday morning after hanging out with friends after his victory over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon. Plesac needed permission to leave the hotel, something he didn̵
The MLB informed the Indians, who spoke with Plesac on Sunday morning. The team hired a car service for him and told him to return to Cleveland. They did not allow him to return to the team after Sunday night’s game against the White Sox for fear that it might infect the Indian party.
Plesac told people close to him that he knows he made a mistake and takes responsibility for it. It can be said with certainty that the Indians are not satisfied with Plesac at the moment.
Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, was a key member of the MLB committee that established protocols for trying to bring teams to safety during the 60-game season. They locked Franmil Reyes out of Spring Training II for three days for not wearing a mask at a 4th of July party. They have some options with Plesac.
They could pick him up at their alternative training site at Eastlake’s Classic Park or put him in the bullpen until they need him back in the rotation. They could fine him. Or they could do all three.
They will have time to sort things out because they won’t need a fifth appetizer until August 22. Plesac will need to be quarantined for at least 72 hours and tested negative for the virus twice in any 48 hour period. Plesac and its driver underwent point of care tests before leaving for Cleveland.
The Indian players wrote their own code of conduct before the start of the season. Each team had to do it.
Mike Clevinger, one of Plesac’s closest friends, described it this way: “I think the thing we decided that was interesting is that this isn’t going to be a ‘run from dad’ type of thing. We will handle it internally. a matter of player discipline We will keep the coaches and the front office out.
“It just puts a little more responsibility (on the players) because having that trust in your teammates is an important thing. It is an important thing to be on the pitch. If you know your team doesn’t trust you off the pitch, how are they going to feel they can trust you when you’re between the lines? “
Well, let’s just say Dad was warned about this. Antonetti told reporters after the Indians 5-4 win over Chicago on Sunday night that the team held a meeting on Plesac before the game. They decided they had to focus on one thing at a time, being the game, so whatever happens to Plesac will be addressed in the next few days.
But it is clear that this has gone beyond the question of just the players. One more thing, how does Plesac look Carlos Carrasco in the eye?
Plesac is one fifth of the best early rotation in the American League. He pitched six goalless innings on Saturday against the White Sox in a 7-1 win. You just have to ask yourself, what was he thinking?
He grew up in Crown Point, Indiana, about an hour’s drive from Guaranteed Rate Field. His family and friends were unable to attend the game because fans are not allowed on the baseball field due to the coronavirus. But apparently they made the trip anyway and wanted to celebrate the victory.
In this season, a season of adjustments as manager Terry Francona defined it, sometimes the game isn’t the hardest thing. The hardest thing is saying no to friends, putting the team and their goals for the season first.
Francona talked endlessly about it with the players. He said that whenever you might want to roll your eyes to a certain rule or protocol, use it to your advantage. It could give you and your team an edge over your opponents.
MLB has seen major outbreaks of the virus with the Cardinals and Marlins, outbreaks that disrupted their seasons and endangered the health of their players and staff. Commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLBPA have implemented stricter rules regarding the conduct of teams’ behavior off the pitch. Each team had to appoint a compliance officer.
In response to that news last week, when the Indians were in Minneapolis, Antonetti said, “We are all responsible for compliance.”
With one exception.