Here’s hoping that you enjoyed that 35 minutes of feeling good about baseball on Tuesday night.
That’s how long it was between the MLBPA’s announcement that safety protocols for the abbreviated 2020 season had been agreed upon, and the news break from Kyle Newman of The Denver Post that Charlie Blackmon and two other Rockies players had tested positive for coronavirus after ballpark workouts in Colorado.
After so much stupidity in the labor fight that resulted in Rob Manfred implementing a 60-game season under the terms of the March agreement between Major League Baseball and the union, we can now return to the overwhelming stupidity of trying to have a season at all when the United States clearly does not have a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic. Players will be tested every other day, but this is nothing like the “bubble league” format the NBA is trying out in Florida.
Hey, though, they’re still getting ready for the season, so let’s take a look around the majors.
Arizona: What do you even do with this headline? “Arizona megachurch hosting Trump event falsely claims its air purifier kills 99% of COVID-19.” That’s not even a good claim. It would still let through 1% of COVID-19! And Arizona is one of the top coronavirus hotspots in America right now.
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Atlanta: The seven-day rolling average of new diagnoses in Georgia reached a record high of 1,228 on Tuesday.
Baltimore: Testing numbers are getting better, but there are complaints that promised universal testing in nursing homes is not happening as planned.
Boston: Massachusetts is one of the places where things are on the right track, leaving health experts to question the return of baseball, like Dr. Helen Boucher of Tufts, who said, “There will be risks. Risks of them congregating with each other. Risks of traveling. They’ll have to be extra vigilant.”
Chicago (AL): New cases of coronavirus reached a three-month low, but that’s still hundreds a day in Illinois.
Chicago (NL): The owners of Longman & Eagle, a restaurant a little ways west of Wrigley Field which had been open for 10 days before a worker tested positive for COVID-19, announced they will “remain closed until we can provide a healthy, safe working environment for our staff and then our guests.”
Cincinnati: New cases in Hamilton County rose through the weekend, blunting the early momentum Ohio had against the disease.
Cleveland: The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the opioid epidemic.
Colorado: A nightclub half a block from the Coors Field has been shut down for failing to maintain social distancing protocols, which… why was a nightclub open in the middle of a pandemic in the first place? And, of course, Charlie Blackmon.
Detroit: The state of Michigan had planned to move to the next stage of reopening, but cases of coronavirus have spiked, holding up those plans.
Houston: The children’s hospital is now admitting adults.
Kansas City: The governor of Missouri is passing the buck as coronavirus surges, and Harry Truman is rolling over in his grave.
Los Angeles (AL): Coronavirus cases have spiked in Orange County, and particularly in Anaheim.
Los Angeles (NL): “Are we reopening too quickly?” It’s the rare case of the headline that doesn’t follow Betteridge’s Law, which posits that the answer to any headline with a question is “No.” Hospitalizations are surging.
Miami: An ICU in Homestead, a city in Dade County just south of Miami, has reached capacity as more young people contract coronavirus in a state where the statistics have been questionbable.
Milwaukee: The nearby city of Racine, 35 miles south, has decided to reintroduce restrictions on businesses after starting to reopen, and those rules may be in place until August.
Minnesota: The Twin Cities Marathon has been canceled.
New York (AL): The headline “Yankees going back to New York after employees test positive for coronavirus in Florida” does not exactly inspire confidence.
New York (NL): During Tuesday’s primary elections, promised safety protocols such as Plexiglass dividers were not in place throughout Queens.
Oakland: A judge has blocked a McDonald’s from reopening until it can show that it will sufficiently protect workers.
Philadelphia: Health commissioner Thomas Farley is cautiously optimistic about reaching “green” status on July 3, but warned that “Green in Philadelphia will be more restrictive than green across the rest of Pennsylvania.”
Pittsburgh: New cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County reached two-month highs after the easing of restrictions, with concerns about lax mask-wearing and social distancing.
San Diego: The Board of Supervisors threw up its hands and voted to send a letter to the governor to ask for help after it had to halt reopening.
San Francisco: The Bay Area hadn’t been as hard-hit as Southern California thanks to aggressive handling of the virus after being one of the first hotspots, but as cases surge throughout California, it’s also getting worse again up north.
Seattle: The state of Washington now has a mandatory mask policy, following King County’s rule put in place last month, as coronavirus is on the rise in the Pacific Northwest.
St. Louis: “Health Experts Worry St. Louis Lifted Coronavirus Orders Too Soon” kind of says it all.
Tampa Bay: Several bars and restaurants that had reopened are now closing after workers came down with the virus.
Texas: Hospitalizations in North Texas have gone up by 24 percent in one week.
Toronto: While on the path to reopening, the province of Ontario had its first reported teenage death due to coronavirus on Tuesday.
Washington: The District of Columbia has entered Phase 2 of reopening, and there’s at least some concern about fudging numbers to hasten that process.