Baseball’s two World Series teams canceled workouts Monday because of coronavirus testing delays that one executive worried could endanger the season.
The defending champion Washington Nationals and reigning American League champion Houston Astros called off training camp practices after not receiving test results from Friday. The St. Louis Cardinals also scrubbed their scheduled workout for similar reasons.
The cancellations come amid delays around Major League Baseball, with some players opting out, and in the aftermath of Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle criticizing slow test results and a lack of some personal protective equipment.
MLB said in a statement that 95% of its intake testing had been completed and the Utah laboratory it’s using had reported 98% of results, a majority of those a day after samples were collected. MLB said it addressed delays caused by the holiday weekend, doesn’t expect them to continue and commended teams for canceling workouts.
But frustration is building around the majors over testing delays.
The Los Angeles Angels were forced to collect their own saliva samples Sunday when testers didn’t show up at their training complexes in Anaheim or Long Beach. They also delayed their workouts Monday to accommodate the testers, eventually turning their usual morning drills into an optional afternoon session.
Angels manager Joe Maddon believes “this will be a short-lived situation” and pinned the problem on the holiday weekend.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who voiced concern that some teammates haven’t been tested in a week, said quote - “I think if we really want this to succeed, we’re going to have to figure that out. If you can’t really nail the easy part, which is right now ... we’ve got a big hill to climb.”