Oakland A’s COVID-19 test delays show why season is a bad idea

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 05: Sean Manaea #55 of the Oakland Athletics works out with other pitchers during summer workouts at RingCentral Coliseum on July 05, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 05: Sean Manaea #55 of the Oakland Athletics works out with other pitchers during summer workouts at RingCentral Coliseum on July 05, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s have yet to announce any positive COVID-19 tests, which is good news. Except, there is one major problem with that.

In theory, a lack of positive COVID-19 tests for the Oakland A’s is a good thing. This gives the team an advantage over several others that have not had the same fortune. Even more importantly, this should mean that everyone on the A’s has a clean bill of health, having taken the precautions necessary during the pandemic.

Instead, the A’s do not have any positive tests because the samples have not been processed. In fact, they are still in San Francisco, waiting to be sent to a laboratory in Utah.

Because of this delay, the A’s are at a disadvantage. They have been unable to participate in full-squad workouts since camp reopened, leaving the team several days behind other teams. With such a short time to get ready, every day matters.

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This delay is also a problem around the league. Former A’s reliever Sean Doolittle made waves on Sunday when he announced that he had yet to receive his test results from Friday. The Angels, and two other unidentified teams, had their own issues with testing as the testers simply did not show up.

And yet, despite this absolute disaster with testing and getting timely results, MLB is intent on pushing the season forward. Obviously, some things are beyond their control – who saw the 4th of July coming after all – but it speaks to bigger issues. The league is showing that they cannot keep their players safe.

That is the key. Beyond any desire to manage revenue and squeeze every last cent possible back into their coffers, the league owes it to the players to ensure their safety. They simply have been unable to do that. The inability to have testers even appear at the ballpark, let alone get the results back in a reasonable timeframe, is just one of a multitude of problems facing the league and players this year.

Nonetheless, the season gets ever closer. And with that come the concerns. We have already seen players such as David Price opt-out of the year. Freddie Freeman is battling symptoms of COVID-19. The likes of Mike Trout and Buster Posey are considering opting out of the year as well. As for the A’s? They don’t even know who is healthy.

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The Oakland A’s COVID-19 tests are still sitting in San Francisco, even though they were taken on Friday. But the 2020 season presses onward.

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