Red Sox Announce Unidentified Player Tested Positive for COVID-19

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2020

The Boston Red Sox logo is seen on first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr's jersey during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Saturday, April 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Wednesday that one of the team's players has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.

That player was asymptomatic and has gotten better.

That announcement came on the same day that team president Sam Kennedy said the Red Sox might have fans in attendance later in the season and that other teams might as well:

Jason Mastrodonato @JMastrodonato

Kennedy: "There are clubs around MLB that are anticipating have fans in their ballparks. It's an incredibly important part of our business and baseball operation. We'd like to get to that point. I can't tell you when that would happen."

That's a fascinating revelation, especially within the context of the owners asking the players to take additional pay cuts beyond the original prorated pay scale the players agreed to in March. The owners reportedly cited the potential for huge financial losses because of the absence of fans in the league's restart amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As for the coronavirus concerns, Kennedy said Major League Baseball has "the most robust health and safety protocol in all of North American sports."

The restrictions put in place for the league's return to play in July are extensive, from no showering at the ballpark after games to no spitting, no tobacco and pitchers being prohibited from licking their fingers.

Those restrictions appear to be necessary given the growing number of MLB players and staff who have tested positive for the coronavirus. On Wednesday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported that multiple Toronto Blue Jays players and staff tested positive, while Kyle Newman of the Denver Post reported that three Colorado Rockies players—Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani—tested positive as well.

And USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Sunday that 40 people around Major League Baseball, including some players, have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the United States set a new record Wednesday with 36,358 new reported cases of the coronavirus. Even if baseball returns as planned, it appears the coronavirus is going to play a major role in how this year's season plays out.