The Washington Nationals were looking forward to Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season after struggling big time during last year’s truncated slate.
That all came to an end earlier on Thursday when Washington’s home game against the New York Mets was postponed after one unnamed player tested positive for COVID-19.
We now have more information on this. To say it’s not great would be an understatement.
“The Nats do have multiple positives, thus delaying their season. And the Mets season.” Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Thursday.
This comes after just one reported positive. Unfortunately, some of those who came into close contact with the unknown individual have contracted the virus.
Washington Nationals situation a black eye for MLB Opening Day
It really isn’t great news after last season was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s been a trend in the right direction as it relates to MLB and the pandemic. The hope was that Opening Day of the 2021 season would go off without a hitch. That obviously has not happened.
As it relates to the Nationals and Mets, the two have an off day on Friday. However, Washington announced Thursday that said game won’t be played.
There’s also a longer-term issue here. There’s a chance that the Nationals will have to quarantine as a team. If that’s the case, their opener won’t come until some point next week.
While the Mets were not in close contact with Nationals players, their season-opening series could be postponed. Instead, New York is likely to open its campaign Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Of course, that’s dependent on how contact tracing goes with the Washington Nationals moving forward.
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“We will certainly have some roster decisions to make, depending on how this all shakes out,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said.
As of this writing, four players and one Washington Nationals staffer were following quarantine protocols after coming into contact with the infected individual.
Obviously, this is not what MLB wanted to see as it prepares for a full 162-game schedule with fans actually in attendance as the number of vaccinated Americans increase.