WASHINGTON — Major League Baseball sailed by way of roughly six weeks of spring coaching with none main coronavirus disruptions, however simply hours earlier than first pitches have been set to be thrown throughout the nation, the issue lurched up once more.
The Mets’ season-opening game in opposition to the Washington Nationals was postponed on Thursday because of a minimum of one positive coronavirus take a look at among the many Nationals gamers and since a number of different gamers have been decided to have been shut contacts with the person who examined positive, which requires them to be remoted as properly.
M.L.B. issued a assertion Thursday saying that the game was postponed “because of ongoing contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization. Out of an abundance of caution, the game will not be made up on Friday.”
The delay means the Mets and their followers must wait a minimum of a few extra days to see Francisco Lindor, their new celebrity shortstop who simply agreed to a 10-year, $341 million contract extension, make his Mets debut.
Mets Manager Luis Rojas mentioned he was “pretty optimistic” the game can be performed Saturday.
“This is not a surprise,” Rojas mentioned. “We have been in situations like this last year. Health is still the No. 1 thing in the world. We are taking care of ourselves and everyone is still wearing their masks everywhere and we are doing what we need to do to make sure that we are protecting each other.”
Jacob deGrom of the Mets had been slated to begin Thursday’s game in opposition to Max Scherzer of the Nationals in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners. They will doubtless maintain these assignments for each time the game finally ends up being performed.
On Wednesday, Mike Rizzo, Washington’s basic supervisor, mentioned that 5 gamers and one workers member have been already dominated out of Thursday’s game. They embrace the unidentified participant who examined positive and a minimum of 4 different gamers and the staffer, who have been in shut contact with him. More might ultimately be recognized.
Rizzo had been assured on the time that the game can be performed on Thursday. He famous that the Nationals have been examined once more on Wednesday, however the outcomes of these checks weren’t out there on the time he spoke.
The unique positive take a look at got here from a spherical of testing achieved on Monday, the final day of spring coaching for the Nationals. Following that game, the staff flew again to Washington. Rizzo mentioned he was alerted to the positive take a look at after 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
Last yr, dozens of video games have been postponed after outbreaks on numerous groups, leading to sophisticated rescheduling plans, with many groups enjoying a number of doubleheaders throughout the game. This yr, M.L.B. had needed to postpone the season a month to permit extra time for gamers and workers members to get vaccinated and for virus an infection charges to drop across the nation, however have been unable to achieve approval of the plan from the gamers’ union.
M.L.B. has supplied to chill out coronavirus restrictions on groups as soon as 85 % of gamers and workers members are absolutely vaccinated.
— David Waldstein