Astros Latest Team Frustrated At MLB Over Delayed Test Results
Astros CF George Springer's delayed COVID-19 test result "dominated the discussion" yesterday after being among three players absent from the team's workout at Minute Maid Park after "results of their COVID-19 tests were not received in time for participation," according to Chandler Rome of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. MLBPA player rep and Astros P Lance McCullers Jr. said, "We definitely are hoping and expecting testing to be better. We don't have any more time. We're on an escalated timetable already. We've had to miss multiple days now for COVID testing." Astros LF Michael Brantley wanted to "call for clarity" from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred concerning the league's testing policy and procedure. McCullers yesterday said, "Sixty games is not a lot of games. We don't have enough time for me to wake up one morning and get a text saying 'Hey, you can't start today because your COVID test isn't back.' We've agreed to a specific set of guidelines that range tenfold to a bunch of other stuff that we're doing and following. We need testing to be up to par with the effort we're putting in" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/15).
SAME STORY, DIFFERENT CITY: In Chicago, Orrin Schwarz notes Cubs manager David Ross yesterday "returned to Wrigley Field ... after being 'miserable' sitting out Monday's workout." Ross was one of six Cubs players, coaches or staff to "miss Monday's practice due to delays in their COVID-19 test results." Ross said that a new laboratory where MLB sends tests from players and coaches "could help avoid situations like Monday's in which the team was waiting for test results," and that will be "especially important when the team has day games, leaving less time for tests to be analyzed." Ross said, "It's a work in progress as everything kind of is this season" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 7/15).
POSITIVE MOMENTUM: ESPN's Buster Olney said in the last 72 hours, optimism around the season has "really turned." Olney: "People are starting to feel like we’re in the flow of this thing. We’re in the rhythm of this thing. We’ve been able to figure it out.” Managers, GMs and staffers are "saying the players have been really good to this point seemingly.” Olney: “Most of the teams I’m talking to feel like their teams are getting into a rhythm of this" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 7/15).