As reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago, the Cubs are one of three MLB teams not participating in a coronavirus antibody study being conducted to study the virus’s spread through metropolitan populations. The tests are not the same as those meant to detect the presence of the virus and are aimed at determining who has already been exposed and has recovered. MLB was chosen due to its nationwide presence and ability to quickly mobilize efforts, but not every team opted to participate.
The Cubs were one of those, though Wittenmyer reported that it was not a matter of team ownership or leadership opposing it in any way. Rather, they did not resolve the details of the testing with their medical staff in time to provide proper consent. That might seem a little odd on the surface, but it dovetails perfectly with their track record of putting players on the 10-day IL.
In all seriousness, it’s entirely possible that the medical personnel in question are involved in other more pressing matters and weren’t able to convene or review the information.
The expectation is that the Cubs will have the opportunity to take part in the next phase of testing, whatever and whenever that may be. The Blue Jays will not be participating either, but that’s a matter of them hailing from Canada and not being eligible. As of post time, it is not known which other team is not taking part. Maybe the Marlins or Pirates because the people conducting the study didn’t know they were still MLB teams.
I want to make it very clear that this testing is not in any way limiting the availability of healthcare workers or others in need. This is not about hastening MLB’s return to action and it’s not taking resources away from more acute issues.
Ed. note: The NBC Sports link was live at the time this draft was started, but was dead by the time the post was published. It’s live again as of Friday morning, so Wittenmyer probably just tripped over the cord on the way out and had to wait until some came along and plugged the site back in.