In one way, the Cleveland Guardians didn’t lose.
In another sense, they lost big time.
Although the loss didn’t come on the scoreboard, it came within the locker room.
The MLB postponed Wednesday’s game in Chicago after multiple Guardians tested positive for COVID-19, including Manager Terry Francona.
— WKYC 3News (@wkyc) May 11, 2022
It’s unclear where the outbreak originated, other than inside Cleveland’s locker room.
But given baseball’s (and humanity’s) struggles with the virus over the past two years, it’s no surprise the game was shut down.
The Guardians were set to finish up a tie-breaking game against the White Sox.
And many fans hoped to see more fireworks from human torch Josh Naylor.
Fans provided a myriad of responses to the news, ranging from antagonistic to pure dismay:
Cleveland changed their name to Guardians but can't guard against COVID spread in their locker room 😭😭😭
— Cheap Seats Pod (@cheapbbpodcast) May 11, 2022
Where in Chicago did The Guardians get COVID-19 from?
I’ll start: pic.twitter.com/JK69anIgxc
— Tripples of the Nova (@danielrtripp) May 11, 2022
Because of COVID, I can't watch the Sox today while I quarantine from COVID. https://t.co/4XUlXUdYSH
— Mostly Baseball guy, but also Library guy. (@Whitesoxbrarian) May 11, 2022
Congratulations to my Cleveland Guardians on being the first MLB team this year to postpone a game due to Covid. At least we're the best/first at something 💙 pic.twitter.com/MwjwNigck2
— Courtney Boyle (@court_boyle) May 11, 2022
It ain’t over folks.
The first MLB game of the season was postponed today because of multiple positive Covid tests within the Cleveland Guardians organization, who were to play against the White Sox. https://t.co/vYBIZC96eV
— songgirl (@songgirl731) May 11, 2022
The commissioner’s office hasn’t weighed in on a possible makeup or reschedule.
In the offseason, the MLB and MLBPA agreed to updated COVID protocols.
Those updates included this portion relevant to understanding the scope of the current outbreak:
“MLB intends to postpone games only if necessary to protect the health and safety of club personnel, players and umpires. Games will not be postponed for competitive reasons provided the club has a sufficient number of players available to substitute those players on the active roster who are unavailable to play as a result of COVID-19.”
Also, testing occurs only in the event players start showing symptoms, according to those updated protocols.
That means not only were many different players (and possibly coaches) positive tests, but at least some were symptomatic.
Get Well Soon
Hopefully, the Guardians recover quickly, and not just because the fans miss them.
Despite being some of the healthiest and finely tuned human specimens in the world, professional athletes struggled with the effects of the COVID-19 virus.
Reports of “long COVID” in athletes aren’t unheard of.
Basketball star Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics said the virus had a noticeable impact on his conditioning.
For some time, he used an inhaler before every game after his bout with COVID.
Last year, White Sox third baseman Yoán Moncada documented his own struggles with COVID.
Moncada could hardly run or field without getting winded after his diagnosis.
Big Series on the Horizon
The Guardians were gearing up to face the Minnesota Twins this weekend.
Cleveland needs games against the Twins, who currently lead the AL Central.
The Guardians currently sit 3.5 games out of first and a single game behind the second-place White Sox.
Now, that’s likely out of the question.
Per the MLB’s updated protocols, players who test positive must be quarantined for ten days minimum and until a team doctor clears them.
Given that, it might be a minute before we get Guardians games again.