Angels News: Two players diagnosed with Coronavirus
By Kyle Franzoni
On the heels of several similar announcements, Los Angeles Angels general manager becomes the latest to confirm players contracting COVID-19.
The week started off with great news of a potential resolution toward a 2020 season being played by the Los Angeles Angels and the rest of Major League Baseball. However, while the focus has been on resolving financial differences between the players and the owners, the real threat to the 2020 season reminded us all that the biggest questions hadn’t yet been answered.
As states release restrictions, the second wave of Coronavirus cases is sweeping the nation and the question of player safety and how to protect them, with our without fans, is largely unsolved. That became abundantly clear on Friday as teams started announcing players testing positive throughout the league. Unfortunately, the Angels were not spared from those announcements.
Speaking with Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed that two Halos’ players had contracted the disease. While the players had not been at any team facilities, either in Anaheim or at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Eppler was not forthcoming with any further information on the players.
The announcement by the Angels continued a string of similar releases around the game. It started with the Philadelphia Phillies confirming that five players and two staff members had tested positive at the team’s spring training facility in Clearwater, Florida. The Toronto Blue Jays followed up by announcing one of their players has also tested positive, a player that had contact with one of the Phillies’ cases. The Houston Astros also confirmed a positive case, also out of their Florida spring training facility.
The rash of outbreaks among MLB players forced the commissioner’s office to make the decision to close down all spring training facilities on Friday, a move that some teams were already doing on their own as a precaution. The league is also reportedly considering a return to the bubble city arrangement for playing.
Of course, there will be some that point to the timing of these information releases. As the league and the players continue to haggle over the difference between a 60-game and a 70-game schedule, the players have accused the commissioner of intentionally stalling negotiations in order to facilitate the length of the season that owners want to pay for. Adding the release of these diagnoses to the negotiations will undoubtedly delay the start of the season further, if not put it in doubt altogether.
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However, player and staff safety should and will be the utmost concern of the league, its players, and should be for the fans as well. We’re hoping for full recoveries for those players diagnosed with this scary disease, regardless of if they Angels players or otherwise.