Cubs

Cubs push back Tuesday workouts over delays in COVID-19 test results

Cubs push back Tuesday workouts over delays in COVID-19 test results

It’s no big deal, Cubs manager David Ross said.

But pushing back the team’s workout schedule Tuesday because of another delay in MLB’s coronavirus testing processes didn’t do anything to ease concerns or calm nerves anywhere in baseball after several days of lags, lapses and breakdowns in early testing.

The Cubs eventually got the results of Sunday’s round of COVID-19 tests Tuesday afternoon, and all came back negative, the club said — the Cubs still the only team in the league without a positive test among players.

Even before that, Ross said the scheduled adjustment was made out of a sense of caution and to help put players and staff at ease during a high-anxiety time for all of them.

“I just wanted the players to feel good about coming in,” Ross said, “and once we get this on track and adjust [after] what happened last week, it’ll just put us in a better place rather than bringing guys in and being unsure. It was just better to wait on our end.”

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The turnaround of results of intake testing has been a problem around the league, causing the Astros and Nationals to cancel workouts Monday and teams such as the A’s to put off conducting full-squad practices at all.

MLB in a statement Monday blamed the July 4 holiday for some of the delays and promised to fix the glitches quickly as players across baseball — including Cubs star Kris Bryant — blasted the league for failing to deliver on its baseline safety promise of frequent testing and quick results.

“I wanted to play this year because I felt that it would be safe and I would feel comfortable,” said Bryant, who considered opting out of playing this season with a newborn at home. “But, honestly, I don’t feel that way.”

MORE: Cubs' Kris Bryant chimes in on testing concerns: 'We've got a big hill to climb'

The Cubs were scheduled for another round of tests Tuesday. And their second workout site, in South Bend, has experienced more significant delays in getting started because of testing issues.

“This isn’t a huge deal,” Ross said of what the larger group at Wrigley Field dealt with Tuesday. “It seems a little bit bigger with what’s been going on with some teams the last day or so.

“We have to have a little bit of patience,” he added. “We can’t just crush MLB because this is new to them, too, and the testing facility.  … I just urge patience with everybody. They’ve assured me that things are getting on the right track and this is just a couple-hour pushback. It’s not a huge deal.”

Actually, MLB deserves any crushing it gets from anybody on this. The league had months to arrange for high-capacity testing and weeks to know how much testing would be needed and how fast it would have to be turned around.

And just how important that minimal safety precaution was to make this ramp-up and season possible was on full display daily during the last several weeks with constant reports of the alarming surges of COVID-19 cases across the country.

Bryant said Monday he believes MLB “absolutely” rushed the health-protocol part of the final agreement with the union to play, compared to the economic side of negotiations.

The Cubs are the only team in at least the National League without a known positive test so far, and Tuesday’s delay was the first since the team opened camp Friday.

“Guys look good. They’re in a good place physically,” Ross said. “We’re trying to keep them in a good place mentally. That’s the challenge in all this. You hear guys’ comments. You hear them speaking out. But they’re still showing up and getting really good work in.”

But nobody knows how deep the anxieties run each player, in this camp or any other in baseball. And through all his conversations with players, Ross admits he can’t know if anyone will yet decide to opt out and go home.

“This is a daily process we’re going through,” he said. “You’re waiting on the test results, and even myself, you have a little bit of anxiety the night before when you’re waiting on these test results to come in. That’s the world we’re living in right now.

“It’s extremely daunting mentally on the players, and they have to perform and get work in on top of the [concerns].”

He said for now he’s not concerned about any Cubs opting out.

“But that could change within a day,” he quickly added. “That’s where we’re at in the world and in the world of baseball.”

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs dominance, baseball's future with Connor McKnight

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs dominance, baseball's future with Connor McKnight

The Cubs continue to win and win in dominating fashion but can they keep it up?

David Kaplan, Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer and Cubs beat writer Maddie Lee discuss the Cubs winning ways, and discuss a scenario where Cleveland star Francisco Lindor becomes a Cub. Later, Kap is joined by Connor McKnight, host of the "Baseball from Home Podcast" on the House of L Network as they discuss the future of baseball after the 60 game season.

(1:20) - Cubs dominate Cleveland

(12:40) - Can Francisco Lindor be a Cub in the future?

(21:30) - Connor McKnight joins the podcast

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(25:40) - The future of baseball and entertainment

(31:00) - Who will be the future stars of baseball

Listen here or below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

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Cubs' Twitter trolls Brewers, Christian Yelich after Yu Darvish's stellar start

Cubs' Twitter trolls Brewers, Christian Yelich after Yu Darvish's stellar start

The Cubs' Twitter account has been saving this one for nine months.

First, let us present you with this doozy of a tweet from the Cubs after Thursday's 4-2 win over Milwaukee.

If you recall, Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich went at Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish on Twitter last November. A since-deleted tweet from Yelich's account to Darvish read "nobody needs help facing you."

A video circulated in November that showed Darvish step off the rubber while Yelich was in the batter's box during a 2019 Cubs-Brewers game. Some suggested Darvish stepped off because Yelich's eyes moved, also suggesting Yelich was looking for signs stolen via technology.

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In response to the video, Darvish explained his actions from that game, clarifying he wasn't accusing Milwaukee of stealing signs.

Here we are nearly a year later, the Cubs' Twitter playing off Yelich's tweet after Darvish dominated Milwaukee. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, allowing a hit (a solo homer) and two walks while striking out 11.

If you're wondering, Yelich went 0-for-2 with a hit by pitch against Darvish on Thursday.

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