SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS – OCTOBER 29
By Leo Haggerty
SAY IT AIN’T SO ROB
First the good news and it will be short. Kudos to Major League Baseball for managing a 60-game season and playoffs.
When MLB decided to start the 2020 season it mid-summer it didn’t look like it was going to survive for a month. In the first weeks of the campaign, numerous teams were forced to postpone multiple games due to positive Covid-19 test results.
Finally, it looked like the Big League had got the pandemic under control. That occurred when it moved to the bubble concept for the playoffs that was successfully used by the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association.
It all came to what should have been a tremendous crescendo with the Los Angeles Dodgers besting the Tampa Bay Rays 4 games to 2 in the World Series. Sadly, it didn’t and here’s why.
In the pivotal Game 6, the Dodgers had to removed 3B Justin Turner from the fray. The reason that the viewing public was told is that Turner tested positive for the coronavirus.
Now, here’s where I am really disappointed in the media that were covering the Fall Classic. They either didn’t, or were told not to, ask any of the following questions.
1-When was Turner tested?
2-What’s the time frame to get a test result back?
3-When did the test result come back positive?
4-If the positive result came back before the start of Game 6, why was the game still played when Turner’s teammates had all been exposed to him?
5-If the result was positive before Game 6, why did MLB completely ignore their established protocol and play a game putting the health of not only the Dodgers but the Rays as well as the umpiring crew in jeopardy?
So, why did MLB do this? Let me give you my thoughts on why this happened and, as Hall Holbrook said as Deep Throat in All The Presidents Men, “follow the money.”
Who would suffer the most financial loss if the game were postponed? Two parties and they are Major League Baseball and Fox TV.
MLB, if it followed its own protocols, would have had to move the game back at least three days and possibly longer. That would have added possibly millions of dollars in unanticipated expenses of housing and feeding not only both teams but the umpires as well as all the MLB employees in attendance as well as the rental of Globe Life Field plus their employees. A lot of money to shell out, right?
Fox would have lost programming for that evening as well as Game 7 if necessary. Even a bigger financial hit would have been the lost advertising revenue from having to reschedule at least one and possibly two events.
So now what should happen? In my opinion, three groups have, as Ricky Riccardo said during many I Love Lucy episodes, “you got some ‘splainin’ to do.”
First, MLB Commission Rob Manfred. He needs to be totally transparent as to what the actual timeline was for Turner’s positive test. Don’t even try to perpetrate the hoax that you didn’t find out until the 8th inning of Game 6. The viewing public is smarter than that, Rob.
Second, Fox TV. We need to know if the network put pressure on MLB to play Game 6 after Turner tested positive for Covid-19. That would be unconscionable but not surprising. The show must go on no matter what.
Finally, my brothers and sisters in the media. What has kept you from asking those five pertinent questions I have listed above? Did you just forget or were you silenced?
Maybe we will get straight and truthful answers. I would not be surprised if this just gets swept under the rug. Sadly, it’s not about player safety but about the Benjamins. That leaves a huge black cloud over what had been a fantastic World Series.
Are you surprised? I’m not.