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Miami Marlins COVID Outbreak

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First. I'll say my COVID opinions since the beginning of this have aged like milk. Things I've said and even posted here at the onset generally don't match my current feelings.

I was initially excited to see that MLB would play a reduced schedule season this year and was very optimistic. Now just a few days into the season, we have the Marlins breaking out with COVID. Add to that the trickle down effect, what about the Phillies or the Braves they just played. 

With so much uncertainty, should the game be played at all? 

As we discuss please remember this is not a political site and we are on the same team...

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My concern (of course from an umpiring perspective) is contact tracing. From a MIA-ATL exhibition crew of Estabrook, Hudson, Iassogna, Nauert, Torres, those five umpires spread out to OAK (Hudson, with Hamari, Knight, and Muchlinski; Woodring filled in for Hudson for games 1-2 of the season due to MIA C Alfaro's postive test, with Hudson as plate umpire in Atlanta), CLE (Iassogna, with Fletcher, Gibson, May), NYM (Torres & Nauert, with Additon and Fairchild), and BOS on Monday (Estabrook, with Carlson, Hoye, and Whitson - and who knows if there was interaction in Replay HQ over the weekend before that crew debuted on the field). Not to mention Blakney, Ortiz, Reyburn & Timmons for the MIA-PHI series.

So depending on the math, that's potentially 25 umpires traced to Miami's infection. There's just so much we don't know that it could...absolutely be fine and no one will get sick, or it could end up incubating for a week or two and infect multiple umpires who could pass it to other teams, or anything in between.

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3 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

As we discuss please remember this is not a political site and we are on the same team...

Like you I am ever fluctuating on "what is the right thing to do", so I won't offer my $.02.  What I DO have a problem with the leadership on not only MLB but also our AHSAA here.

As for MLB...these guys hangout together on planes, on a bus, in the locker room, in hotels, playing cards, drinking etc (yes, they are). Does it really matter if they high-five or hug on the field? Do they think that spreading them out, even in the stands, makes it better.

As for our high school athletic association...they are sending these kids back to school (that's fine with me, I get it), back to class, on the football field practicing 3-4 hours a day, full contact, face to face breathing on each other. HOWEVER, their 'solution' to help stop the spread is they have extended the players box (the area in which a team may be on the sidelines during a game--standard is 25-yard-line to 25-yard-line) to the 10-yard line, thus giving them 30 extra yards to separate AFTER they have just been face to face on the field, riding buses to and from school/games, and in school face to face for five days.  

In what world does that make any sense? Again, this is not a comment on closing things down or the like, I need my business open and I have not missed a day, using precautions. This is just a comment on the stupidity of folks in charge.

Again, I'm NOT saying they shouldn't try to play. I'm saying don't pretend to be doing something to help.

3 hours ago, Gil said:

There's just so much we don't know that it could...absolutely be fine and no one will get sick, or it could end up incubating for a week or two and infect multiple umpires who could pass it to other teams, or anything in between.

That's the problem...there is no right answer. Regardless of what you do it will be wrong. But I do have a problem with folks not following the "best known practices".

How can there be a football season IF we do follow them. Say the Patriots (Ohio St or a local HS) gets a couple of players with C19.  By 'rule' everyone they have come into contact with, the whole team, should quarantine for 14 days, right?  They means no games for two weeks and what are the possibilities that at least one person on the team won't have it at any given time? How would a season ever be played?

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8 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

First. I'll say my COVID opinions since the beginning of this have aged like milk. Things I've said and even posted here at the onset generally don't match my current feelings.

I was initially excited to see that MLB would play a reduced schedule season this year and was very optimistic. Now just a few days into the season, we have the Marlins breaking out with COVID. Add to that the trickle down effect, what about the Phillies or the Braves they just played. 

With so much uncertainty, should the game be played at all? 

As we discuss please remember this is not a political site and we are on the same team...

Any questions as I just posted on ccs area? Let's see if it turns out fact or fiction. Call NCIS Miami and have them check instant replay of all the club's and bars in Atlanta. Or call the ex Cyndy Harvey for some help with the undercover work. Underground Atlanta anyone?

https://www.thebiglead.com/posts/bob-nightengale-marlins-atlanta-party-hotel-01eebr9ppsqb

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Sounds like the first round of tests for the Phillies came back negative. Hopefully the second test does as well.

And OF COURSE... if something was going to happen. It was going to be a team from Florida! 

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9 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

Sounds like the first round of tests for the Phillies came back negative.

Oh, you mean they didn’t contract the virus just by being on the same field as them??!! What gives?! I thought that this was supposed to be the most contagious virus in human history, and all these computer simulations predicted rapid viral spread just by being in close proximity!! In baseball’s case, somebody should be going back through the video and identify each time a Marlin player touched the ball, and then the ball was thrown to someone else, or tagged someone else. The bats! All the batboys gotta be tested, too, because they surely got the virus off the Marlins bats! Oh, and of course, don’t forget the umpires! Test that crew at once!

 

 

Oh yeah, the umpires are tested daily. And... oh yeah... lemme post my custom COVID Reality Check tagline:

#Presence ≠ Exposure ≠ Contraction ≠ Infection ≠ Hospitalization ≠ Death. 

There are no guarantees in life; this isn’t an exception.

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Most of what we are seeing in pro sports, particularly masking...is for public relations and modeling to the public. (Maybe if those choosing not to wear PPE masks see Didi Gregorius going yard against Max Scherzer while wearing a PPE mask, they might reconsider their choice?) As @aaluck said above, there's all of these contamination opportunities and then there's all of the social distancing measures.

I predict the NHL and NBA with their hub and bubble plans will finish their seasons. Players and coaches will get sick and...they will finish their seasons.

I predict the NFL and MLB who do not have hub or bubble plans, will NOT finish their seasons. Perhaps given the enlarged rosters, MLB finishes. But, at what point is Manfred going to say, "We have X number of minor leaguers up playing in MLB because of infections. We cannot continue the season."?

My association is umpiring with COVID mechanics, most of which have been outlined here on Umpire-Empire. PPE masks are optional for players, umpires and coaches. Since returning to games at the end of June, I choose to wear a PPE mask from the time I get out of my car at the ballpark until I get back in the car after the game. It's been as high as 102 degrees here. It's not comfortable. It's not easy. My glasses fog. It sucks. When I unhook my PPE mask to get a drink between innings, it's a refreshment unto itself.

But, I choose to wear that PPE mask and also use hand sanitizer on my hands after every half inning because I want to be able to look at my umpire brothers and their families, the players and their families and the coaches and their families if any of them get sick at a game I worked and say I was doing everything possible to minimize the risk for all of us on the field.

I hope none of that sounds political. That was not my intention.

~Dog

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On 7/29/2020 at 11:58 AM, SeeingEyeDog said:

Most of what we are seeing in pro sports, particularly masking...is for public relations and modeling to the public. (Maybe if those choosing not to wear PPE masks see Didi Gregorius going yard against Max Scherzer while wearing a PPE mask, they might reconsider their choice?) As @aaluck said above, there's all of these contamination opportunities and then there's all of the social distancing measures.

I predict the NHL and NBA with their hub and bubble plans will finish their seasons. Players and coaches will get sick and...they will finish their seasons.

I predict the NFL and MLB who do not have hub or bubble plans, will NOT finish their seasons. Perhaps given the enlarged rosters, MLB finishes. But, at what point is Manfred going to say, "We have X number of minor leaguers up playing in MLB because of infections. We cannot continue the season."?

My association is umpiring with COVID mechanics, most of which have been outlined here on Umpire-Empire. PPE masks are optional for players, umpires and coaches. Since returning to games at the end of June, I choose to wear a PPE mask from the time I get out of my car at the ballpark until I get back in the car after the game. It's been as high as 102 degrees here. It's not comfortable. It's not easy. My glasses fog. It sucks. When I unhook my PPE mask to get a drink between innings, it's a refreshment unto itself.

But, I choose to wear that PPE mask and also use hand sanitizer on my hands after every half inning because I want to be able to look at my umpire brothers and their families, the players and their families and the coaches and their families if any of them get sick at a game I worked and say I was doing everything possible to minimize the risk for all of us on the field.

I hope none of that sounds political. That was not my intention.

~Dog

I appreciate what efforts you are undertaking. It is admirable and I respect you for it.

With that said, I was a PCT (STNA) in Ohio in the local hospital for a while and understand how quickly and easily it is to cross-contaminate even while using PPE.  Most trained people still end up doing it by accident, so hoping the general public can do it is hoping for a long shot, but at least it is something that can be done. 

I wear masks when going into stores, church, etc. but not at the ballpark.  I do try to social distance as much as possible and focus hard on keeping my hands away from my face until I can clean them.  I'm even trying to stop touching my face altogether, if that is even possible.

I know the virus is real, it's just a shame we don't have more accurate and trusted reporting around it. 

 

 

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Thanks, @wolfe_man...and admittedly I am in the minority at the ballpark on the field. Many people scoff at my choice and I choose not to scoff at theirs. It is what is. If wearing a hazmat suit was practical on the field and didn't take a suit away from someone who really needed it...I would consider that, too.

Thankfully, baseball is inherently somewhat socially distant. If I was a hockey referee, football official or basketball referee...I would choose not to work those sports. And in my association, there are umpires who have chosen not to work during COVID for a variety of reasons. Be well, keep safe brothers. We will get through this.

~Dog

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3 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Thankfully, baseball is inherently somewhat socially distant. If I was a hockey referee, football official or basketball referee...I would choose not to work those sports. And in my association, there are umpires who have chosen not to work during COVID for a variety of reasons. Be well, keep safe brothers. We will get through this.

~Dog

Yes, thankfully baseball is more distant than some other sports. I honestly don't see how football or basketball can be allowed at lower levels (read HS and below).  There's too much contact and I don't see a mask staying in place, especially for football.

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1 hour ago, wolfe_man said:

I know the virus is real, it's just a shame we don't have more accurate and trusted reporting around it. 

That's the problem! That's what has me so frustrated and p'd off!

However, I am not so quick to place blame, or point fingers, as what we THOUGHT was right two months ago, or even two weeks ago may not be today or next month.

I can honestly say that in my 52 years I have never felt so frustrated and helpless--and I don't like it. I'm to the point I'm more concerned about my mental health than my physical health and this is why I will probably do football this year--as I have for the past 12 years. It may not be smart, as @SeeingEyeDog has said, but I NEED to get on a field and at least feel "normal" for a couple of hours a week. 

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5 minutes ago, aaluck said:

That's the problem! That's what has me so frustrated and p'd off!

However, I am not so quick to place blame, or point fingers, as what we THOUGHT was right two months ago, or even two weeks ago may not be today or next month.

I can honestly say that in my 52 years I have never felt so frustrated and helpless--and I don't like it. I'm to the point I'm more concerned about my mental health than my physical health and this is why I will probably do football this year--as I have for the past 12 years. It may not be smart, as @SeeingEyeDog has said, but I NEED to get on a field and at least feel "normal" for a couple of hours a week. 

You're not alone brother.  So many of us are just longing for a return to the "normal"... the problem is, I'm not sure that's going to happen even once we clear this stuff.  Things have changed now and I'm afraid we'll not get some things back.

If anyone ever needs to just talk, please reach out.  Mental health is just as important, if not more so, than physical health.  I'd add spiritual health there too.

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@MadMaxI was merely pointing out relief that it seems to be contained to one ball club (who allegedly went out to a club after their final scrimmage). I do also like that Baltimore and the Yankees decided to have a series with each other so they dont loose out on those games.

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22 hours ago, aaluck said:

It may not be smart, as @SeeingEyeDog has said, but I NEED to get on a field and at least feel "normal" for a couple of hours a week. 

@aaluck, I just wanted to add the context that my wife is high risk. She has left the house once since March 12th. My "Home Re-Entry" procedure takes 20 minutes.

We all have difficult choices to make during this difficult time. The media might judge us and our choices because they need eyeballs on their content to sell advertising, not because they are serving the greater good of humanity. We must not allow ourselves to become willing participants in that nonsense. Some of humanity's greatest achievements have come during crises...now is that time.

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58 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

We all have difficult choices to make during this difficult time.

I agree with everything you are doing to be safe on the field and at home. I also fully agree that umping football is (probably) not smart--not intended as a jab. But as stated above I really feel like I need to be out there, risky or not.

The couple of baseball games I was able to do this year felt great, despite being 90+ and 80% humidity. Heck, I was smiling as I walked to the field. In fact, I even went and watched about 8-10 games of coach pitch, minors (9-10) and ozone (11-12) youth ball just because I saw them out there as I drove home, or a buddy would tell me he was doing a couple of games that night...who does that on a Tuesday or Thursday night, with no kid playing? :o

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2 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

My "Home Re-Entry" procedure takes 20 minutes.

 

Ewww -- TMI.

 

Oh, wait, maybe that's not what you meant.

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On 7/30/2020 at 12:53 AM, BT_Blue said:

that it seems to be contained to one ball club (who allegedly went out to a club after their final scrimmage).

And I am pointing out, Arik, that this needs to be emphasized as the means of transmission. Not a/the ballgame, not the umpires, not the handling of a/the bat(s), and not the g%&@mned baseball(s)!!! 

You (general “you”, not you Arik) want a safe place? It’s inside the confines of the baseball field. It’s all the stuff on the outside that imperils you.

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10 hours ago, MadMax said:

And I am pointing out, Arik, that this needs to be emphasized as the means of transmission. Not a/the ballgame, not the umpires, not the handling of a/the bat(s), and not the g%&@mned baseball(s)!!! 

Hopefully, we can learn something from this if everyone else remains negative. Someone on the covid19 forum actually posted a video of a doctor that basically said it would be a very slim chance of getting it from a baseball.

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On 8/1/2020 at 4:21 AM, BT_Blue said:

And now... St. Louis says "dont forget about us".

And here is another that doesn't care from the Indians. I guess there is an i in team, oops tiam. Dog gone, been spelling it wrong for a long time now.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/indians/2020/08/10/pitcher-mike-clevinger-quarantine-cleveland-chicago-trip/3340886001/

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Am I the only one who thinks that if you violate the league's established COVID protocols, you should not be suspended without pay for the remainder of the season? I mean...either MLB cares about safety, or they don't. These players were all presented the protocols and given the option to sit out.

Obviously, if a player communicates leaving the team bubble (or whatever MLB calls it...) for a family emergency, birth of a child, or other valid, established by rule, departure that would be excepted while still requiring quarantine, of course. (See Washington Capitals...Eller comma Lars).

But for a guy to just randomly leave the bubble to "hang out" or "see friends" or "get some BBQ" needs to be cracked down on more than, "Oh..ok...well...go quarantine then." It's going to be interesting to see when playoffs begin across all sports, how COVID violations are going to be handled. If a star player violates COVID, the night before the big game or during a series will the team or the league have the courage to penalize that player...or will they let it go? The answer will continue to inform us if this is business or legit human competition.

~Dog

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