The Cubs had to shuttle a few prospects over from the South Bend location in order to hold Wednesday’s scrimmage because six Wrigley-based players had not yet received results from their latest round of tests. David Ross and five other Tier 1 personnel were forced to miss a previous workout for the same reason, a mix of MLB’s testing flaws and holding early workouts.
Much of that will be alleviated soon because MLB is opening a second testing facility on the East Coast to supplement the converted PED lab in Utah. Regular season games being held primarily at night means even some minor delays won’t result in these snafus. It would be even better if they had a Midwest facility as well, thereby giving each of the three pods their own site.
Anthony Rizzo believes the issues will all be resolved by Opening Day, which might be more a statement of hope than faith. Even with a perfect process, increases in positive results in MLB or the greater public might have more players second-guessing their choice to play.
“We have an opportunity to bring joy to a lot of people that are home through these tough times,” Rizzo told the media Wednesday.. But we are all human. If guys start testing positive left and right and this thing gets out of control, I’m sure you see some guys opt out.
“We’re in a pandemic.”
He was speaking in general and not about his Cubs teammates, who seem to be at ease with the team’s handling of the safety protocols. Yu Darvish admitted that he was ready to head home if he didn’t feel others were taking things seriously and Willson Contreras said he feels safer at the ballpark than out on the street. Still, it might not take much to erode that confidence.
To that end, MLB needs to get its you-know-what together very soon. Also, wear your damn mask.