BUFFALO — Bo Bichette admitted that when he first came here to the city and specifically to Sahlen Field, his expectations were low for a warm and fuzzy home feeling. Read MoreBlue Jays walk it off in extras to avoid botching Buffalo debut — Toronto Sun
Can he start as a righty on Monday and a lefty on Tuesday? That would sure help the shorthanded Marlins.Marlins sign Pat Venditte — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
Forsythe has played every defensive position except catcher. The Marlins, needless to say, need that sort of flexibility at the moment.Marlins sign Logan Forsythe — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
Rojas was reported to be the one who made the final call to have the team play against the Phillies on SundayMiguel Rojas tests positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas has tested positive for COVID-19.
Rojas, you’ll recall, was the one credited/blamed — depending on your point of view — for making the call, as the team’s defacto leader, for the Marlins to play on Sunday despite the team suffering multiple COVID-19 infections. Which was, actually, a pretty lousy position for Rojas to even be in if we’re being honest. If Major League Baseball was leading on all of this instead of merely reacting and improvising, the individual players would never be in the position to be making such decisions. In light of that, the fact that Rojas, and to a lesser extent manager Don Mattingly, have been scapegoated for Sunday’s game being played is unfair to them.
Whatever the case, losing Rojas would normally hurt the Marlins given that (a) he is, in fact, the team’s leader; and (b) he has started the season 7-for-10 with a homer and five driven in in only three games. The Marlins, however, may not be playing games for some time, however, and it’s quite possible that he’ll go through multiple rounds of COVID testing and come out clean on the other side before his club even takes the field.
The Washington Nationals just created a MASSIVE headache for Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball“Vast majority” of Nationals players vote against making road trip to Miami — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
The Washington Nationals are scheduled to play a three-game series against the Marlins in Miami this weekend. The same Marlins who, as you know, are having a thing at the moment. The Nationals, however, don’t wanna go: Ken Rosenthal just reported that “In team vote, vast majority of Nationals players voted against going to Miami for three-game series this weekend.
This is a massive problem for Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball.
To be clear: pursuant to the March Agreement and the later MLB-MLBPA agreed-upon health and safety protocols, teams do not have the power to simply not play games if they think it’s unsafe. That power rests with Rob Manfred and the clubs. If the Nationals decide to simply not get on the bus to the airport after their game against the Blue Jays on Thursday evening, they will technically be engaging in a wildcat strike.
To which I say: good for them.
As we’ve noted in the past twenty four hours, Major League Baseball seems to have abdicated its role in making these sorts of decisions. The Marlins, as has been reported, decided to play on Sunday over a group text. Since then baseball has reacted, postponing some games, but it’s not at all clear what philosophy is guiding them. If the Nationals players do not feel safe playing that series, they should not play that series. If it takes them making that decision for themselves rather than waiting for Major League Baseball to do so, so be it.
In the meantime, this creates a massive problem for Rob Manfred. If he orders the Nationals to play in Miami regardless of their feelings on the matter, he’ll look like a dictator who cares little for player health and will lose whatever confidence the players have in him. If he allows the Nationals to sit out the trip, on the other hand, he has formally ceded his power over the schedule to the rosters of the thirty teams.
Where I think this goes in the next couple of days is a great many conference calls after which some sort of compromise is announced that allows this all to look like the league is handling this pursuant to a plan. But make no mistake, the fact that a team is voting on whether to play games or not — and the fact that they’re leaking that fact to the press — is strong evidence that there is no plan here at all. Or, at the very least, that the players do not have confidence in whatever plan exists.