In addition to clubhouses, the coronavirus is now reaching MLB broadcast booths.
Texas Rangers radio broadcaster Matt Hicks is one of two individuals in the booth to test positive for COVID-19, the team announced on Friday via The Athletic’s Levi Weaver.
Hicks will remain home until he tests negative for the virus. Broadcast partner Eric Nadel, a 69-year-old winner of the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award, will also opt out of working this weekend’s series against the San Francisco Giants.
Here’s the bulk of the team statement from the Rangers about the positive COVID-19 tests in the broadcast booth. pic.twitter.com/APx4rBRhef— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) July 31, 2020
Working in Nadel and Hicks’ place will be pre- and post-game host Jared Sandler alongside David Murphy on Friday and Mark McLemore on Saturday and Sunday.
The Rangers noted that the two people to test positive had no access to Tier 1 or Tier 2 restricted areas at Globe Life Field, essentially the areas where only players, coaches and other key team personnel can go. Of course, that still doesn’t do much to ease concerns as MLB clumsily navigates a global pandemic.
MLB’s coronavirus struggles continue
It would be an understatement to say this has been a bad week for MLB.
Just a week after opening day, three teams — the Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals — have seen the virus reach their clubhouse and have had games canceled. Another team, the Toronto Blue Jays, will play their home games at a Triple-A stadium after Canada and some states deemed playing too risky. Many more teams have had their schedules thrown in disarray due to postponed games.
We’re at the point where MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is already warning the season could be shut down if the league sees another uptick in cases.
Holding a season during a pandemic was always going to be risky, especially when players aren’t kept isolated like the NBA and NHL are doing. So far, the league hasn’t done much to assuage concerns.
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