The restart of the MLB season is becoming more and more real after Monday’s announcement of the 2020 schedules, but with the coronavirus pandemic still going on, the outlook of MLB's future is still murky at best.
This is especially important for A’s reliever Jake Diekman, who is diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, making him more at risk if he were to contract the virus.
Diekman, who just re-signed with the A’s in the offseason, told the San Francisco Chronicle he and his wife Amanda had discussions about opting out of the season after the latest delay in testing results from MLB. He also said it could go further than just opting out.
“We’ve had conversations about what it would look like if we opted out,” Diekman said. “We knew there would be hiccups but we didn’t know there would be hiccups with the actual test results because that’s basically the No. 1 priority. Everything else is secondary. I feel like deep down, every player has it in the back of their mind that this is all going to fall apart.”
Diekman joins other players, and A’s general manager David Forst, who have expressed frustrations with the league’s delay from the lab in Utah.
Forst reportedly had informed the team of the situation, saying in addition to the July 4 holiday halt, MLB or the company that collects the samples had not communicated to the organization. The A’s were forced to cancel Monday's workouts since they never received the results, joining other teams across the league who had to follow suit.
A’s position players have yet to take the field at The Coliseum.
Diekman added he was “irked” with the situation, noting that time is being wasted with just a few weeks until the July 24th scheduled Opening Day.
“Some teams have already had televised simulated games and we haven’t had a workout yet. We have hitters who haven’t seen any live pitching in months and we’re supposed to play in just over two weeks?,” Diekman said.
[RELATED: A's announce 60-game MLB schedule]
There is a silver lining, however. He complimented the team saying they’ve gone above and beyond to ensure the team’s safety, and has been especially supportive of himself and his condition.
Amanda even tweeted out how manager Bob Melvin has been so supportive of Jake and everything he is going through.