COVID-19 Roundup: The Abnormal Is Settling in as the New Normal

This is the latest installment of a daily series in which the FanGraphs staff rounds up the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 virus’ effect on baseball.

As more and more Americans find themselves under COVID-19-related stay at home orders, we’ve now settled into an odd pattern of bracing for daily bad news while we wait for the curve to flatten, hopefully sometime in the next two to three weeks. When my colleague Jake Mailhot gave this update on Friday, there were around 82,000 confirmed cases in the United States. As of late Sunday, that number was closing in on 150,000, and may have surpassed that bleak number by the time you read this.

With the MLBPA and MLB having come to an agreement late last week on the basic framework needed to resume baseball (or deal with the fallout of a lost season), the intersection of baseball news and the novel coronavirus will likely shift to stories of individual people in baseball, at least for a while. Until we have a better idea of when the pandemic’s numbers will peak and decline, and when baseball will resume, all we can do is wait.

FanGraphs Needs Your Help!

The sports ecosystem supports a lot of small businesses and one of those small businesses is this very site. Our founder David Appelman’s crazy notion to start a baseball stat site has done much to advance baseball knowledge over the last 15 years, but FanGraphs is not immune to the economic consequences of baseball’s shutdown. We’ve had to make the tough decision to suspend The Hardball Times for the time being and let many of our terrific contributors go; those of us who remain are tightening our belts. If you’ve enjoyed our work over the years and are able to support us in these lean times, we would greatly appreciate it if you would consider a Membership. We’re nowhere without your support, and we want to make sure the site is firing on all cylinders and providing you with great stuff when baseball returns.

Jim Edmonds Tested for COVID-19

Former Angels and Cardinals center fielder (and hopefully eventual Hall of Famer) Jim Edmonds was hospitalized over the weekend and tested for coronavirus. He was eventually released to recuperate at home, and tested positive for pneumonia; he’s awaiting his COVID-19 results. Edmonds is one of the, if not the, most notable names in baseball to be connected to COVID-19 so far, and sadly, it’s unlikely he’ll be the last.

Players Are Coping in Different Ways

Without organized team activities and facing an uncertain baseball season, players are finding themselves with a lot of free time to fill during the hiatus. For example, Pete Alonso has been kayaking and cooking, Joey Gallo’s just asking to break one of his living room windows, and Evan Gattis has found time to continue Houston’s least successful apology tour ever.

Players are also spending their “off” time doing charitable work. Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler is assisting the Three Square food bank in Las Vegas. Ryan Braun, Mike Moustakas, and Christian Yelich, some of the founders of CA Strong, are hoping to donate 100,000 meals to those affected by COVID-19. Mike Clevinger and Trevor Bauer are among the participants in Post Malone’s celebrity beer pong tournament for COVID-19 charities. This is not an exhaustive list by any means.

A Jackie Robinson Script

If you’re looking for something to read during the COVID-19 quarantine, director Spike Lee released the full script of his never-filmed biopic about Jackie Robinson. The original project, from some 25 years ago, was meant to star Denzel Washington as the barrier-breaking Robinson, but Washington didn’t sign on and the project died in the planning stages. The script is available in PDF format.

Shortstop, Third baseman, Broadcaster, Centaur, Epidemiologist?

One of the odder COVID-19 baseball stories, which I can’t not mention, is the report that President Trump called Alex Rodriguez to discuss the novel coronavirus outbreak. The President has denied the story. I think?

Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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2 years ago

“Shortstop, Third baseman, Broadcaster, Centaur, Secret Captain of the New York Yankees, Epidemiologist?”

Fixed it!