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Athletics Unable To Begin Summer Workouts Due To Testing Delay

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Oakland joins several other teams that are still awaiting results from COVID-19 testing

While franchises like the New York Yankees get ready to play their first intrasquad game tonight, other teams have to wait until they can start full-squad workouts.

Per Alex Coffey of The Athletic, Oakland’s tests were sitting in San Francisco on Sunday night awaiting transfer to Major League Baseball’s lab in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Several teams have been holding full-squad workouts since last week, while Oakland, the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Lous Cardinals, Houston Astros and the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals all have not received their testing results.

The lack of timelines from the MLB’s testing process has irked many players and executives, including Athletics reliever Jake Diekman:

Athletics general manager David Forst voiced his displeasure in Coffey’s article, claiming that Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman is beyond frustrated with the testing delay.

Forst sent the following message to team employees over the weekend. The Athletic shared the following message:

I can tell you all what I expressed to Matt (Chapman) earlier today: this has nothing to do with us or our staff. The athletic training and stadium operations staffs here have worked tirelessly to get this incredibly challenging operation up and running. At this point, the blame lies with CDT and MLB and I won’t cover for them like I did earlier today. Despite having our schedule a week ahead of time, they didn’t alert us to the possibility of any complications around July 4th, and once there were issues, they did nothing to communicate that to us or remedy the situation until Nick (Paparesta, the A’s head athletic trainer) and I forced the issue at various times today. If possible, I’m as frustrated and pissed as you are (well, probably not as pissed as Matt is), and I assure you the rest of the staff is as well.” 

A’s GM David Forst via Alex Coffey of The Athletic

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo shared a similar sentiment, claiming that the MLB “needs to quickly resolve with their process and their lab”.

The league is expected to release the 2020 schedule on Monday afternoon.

On July 23rd, only 17 days from now, the season is expected to begin. Major League Baseball needs to button up their protocols and testing process before the July 23rd date becomes unrealistic.

Nothing is more important than the safety of the players and staff of all 30 teams. More players continue to drop out each day, with superstars like Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants contemplating their own statuses for the 2020 season.

The delaying of testing will undoubtably put the season in jeopardy if these errors continue. The league will need to take heed of Rizzo’s comments and work quickly to resolve the testing process if games are to be played as early as July 23rd.