A member of the Oakland Athletics tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.
Sometimes with the good, comes the bad. That saying certainly sums up the events which transpired over the weekend for the Oakland Athletics.
First, the good.
The team acquired second baseman Tommy La Stella from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night 1 a widely praised move for a team that had previously been weak up the middle this season. La Stella’s left-handed bat also complements the potent A’s lineup nicely as a contact hitter who rarely whiffs.
Now for the bad.
Oakland has seen games postponed in three out of the last four nights. Of course, two of those games were intentional postponements, as teams across sports collectively took a stand against racial injustice in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake incident by boycotting their respective contests.
As for the two games the A’s did get to play this weekend, both were losses suffered at the hands of the Houston Astros. And if losing to the 2017 cheaters wasn’t futile enough, the games were played in a doubleheader on Saturday, amounting to two defeats in one day.
Not a great showing for the only day the A’s have played baseball since Wednesday.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better from there. According to a report from the team on Sunday morning, a member of their travel group in Houston tested positive for the coronavirus.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman indicated that it was a player that tested positive marking the first American League player to test positive for COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the positive test canceled Sunday’s series finale between Oakland and Houston and effectively, the Athletics’ chance at revenge for Saturday’s doubleheader sweep (for now).
What’s next for the Oakland Athletics?
Speaking with NBC Sports on Sunday, A’s general manager David Forst said the team expects to stay in Houston temporarily, including a team-wide quarantine in their hotel until the situation clears up and until health protocols are met.
"“We are remaining in Houston overnight, hopeful to get the test results back by tomorrow morning. At that point, we’ll huddle with MLB and their medical folks to figure out the next step.”"
Oakland has a scheduled off-day on Monday before traveling to Seattle for a three-game series beginning Tuesday night. Forst and the rest of the team are hoping that they can resume their season as scheduled, but acknowledge that the conditions are murky.
"“It’s too soon to know that [if the series will start on time]. Anything beyond today, we’re not going to speculate on. Ultimately, we need to see if this is an isolated infection or a larger issue. The only way to do that is to be patient, make sure everyone isolates at the hotel, which they’re doing today, and we’ll wait until tomorrow to figure out tomorrow.”"
As of now, there is no makeup date for the A’s and Astros to conclude their series. Assuming no other tests come back positive, Monday is a mutual off-day for both squads, which would seem like a logical day to facilitate a make-up game.
However, the full extent to which COVID-19 has infiltrated the A’s organization is relatively unknown at this point.
Additionally, the Astros shut down their alternate site in Corpus Christi because of a positive coronavirus test over the weekend. It is unknown if the virus has since spread to the team’s main facility in Houston.
With all of this uncertainty, it’s not clear when exactly the A’s will be able to resume their season.
Not to mention, these postponements will likely lead to a brutal stretch of games for the A’s in the near future as the regular season’s final month quickly approaches.
Despite these far from ideal circumstances, the team remains atop the AL West at 22-12, 2.5 games ahead of the second-place Astros.
At least Oakland’s first-place standing is set in stone even after this weekend’s events. That’s a silver lining which most teams can’t say they have the luxury of having during these unsettled times.