As the MLB builds toward the anticipated Opening Day at the end of July, here is what happened in the league over the weekend.
On Saturday, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher David Price announced on social media that he will be sitting out the 2020 shortened baseball season due to family health concerns. The Dodgers were participating in their second day of training camp being held at Dodger Stadium.
Price had spoken with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman for a while now on whether to play. Heading into the Dodgers’ first day of training camp on Wednesday, it was noted that Price was leaning toward playing.
Since Price was not deemed high-risk by MLB medical personnel, he will be forfeiting his entire 2020 salary. The star pitcher is the first Dodger to announce publicly his decision not to play this season.
31 Players Test Positive for COVID-19
Over the weekend, a host of teams confirmed that players had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees both confirmed that they had a handful of players test positive.
The Major League Baseball Players Association announced on Friday that a total of 31 players and seven staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, or a rate of 1.2 percent.
Some of the notable players testing positive include DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and Pete Kozma all of the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, Kansas City Royals star catcher Salvador Perez, and San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham.
With more and more players testing positive for the coronavirus, don’t be surprised to see more players opt out of the 60-game season. This will be an important development to watch over the next few weeks prior to the start of the season.
Cleveland Indians to Re-name Team?
There has been a lot of talks lately about the Washington Redskins and the push for the NFL and Redskins owners to change its name. Now, the Cleveland Indians are also feeling the pressure from both within the organization and outside of it to do the same. There are many names that fans are speculating could be chosen, with the Naps being one of the favorites.
The pressure has prompted the franchise to discuss the changing of the team name. Cleveland has held the Indians as their team name since 1915, but like the Redskins and other sports franchises, they have come under criticism for the use of names referencing Native Americans.
Terry Francona, the team manager, said on Sunday that he believes it is time for the Cleveland organization to rethink the current name of the franchise. After the 2018 season, Cleveland removed its “Chief Wahoo” logo because of the racist caricature of Native Americans.
The Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League are the two other professional organizations that carry a name referencing Native Americans. Those organizations are also facing criticism and pressure to look for a new name and logo for the franchises.