XM MLB Chat

Thursday, April 08, 2021

After failing to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting laws, Rob Manfred is in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws. The situation calls to mind the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when many erred-like Mr. Manfred has here-Fay Vincent, Wall St. Journal, 4/6/21

What is the basis for acting so forcefully against Georgia?...Mr. Manfred failed to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting law. Now he’s put himself in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws....The situation calls to mind the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when many erred—like Mr. Manfred has here."

4/6/21, Rob Manfred’s All-Star Error," Wall St. Journal, Fay Vincent, opinion (Print ed. April 7)

“The commissioner politicized baseball over a law he likely hadn’t examined.”

“Major League Baseball decided last week to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta after the Georgia Legislature passed changes to the state’s voting laws that many, including President Biden, called racist. Activists urged Commissioner Robert Manfred to punish Georgia. By rushing to do so without first protesting the substance of the law, Mr. Manfred made a serious mistake.

The use of “muscle” or financial power to influence policy is an ancient tactic. The term “boycott” has its roots in 19th-century Ireland, where the nationalist politician Charles Stewart Parnell urged his followers not to deal with Charles Cunningham Boycott, a highly unpopular British land agent. A boycott is generally an act of desperation, and the original one was largely unsuccessful.

Organizations like Major League Baseball have sometimes participated in public debates over policy. Moving directly to an economic sanction suggests that Mr. Manfred believed the Georgia law required drastic intervention. But consider what he didn’t do: He didn’t limit the number of home games the Atlanta Braves will play. He’d need the approval of the players’ union to do that, and Braves owner John Malone would surely resist. To move the site of the All-Star Game is one thing; to ignore union and ownership powers is quite another.

The midsummer All-Star Game is an exhibition that benefits only the city where it’s played. It was reported Tuesday morning that Denver will be the new host. The players will get paid no matter where the game takes place. MLB will get the same television revenue. The only people hurt by Mr. Manfred’s decision will be Atlanta’s stadium workers and local vendors.

The talk shows and editorial pages are full of questions. What is the basis for acting so forcefully against Georgia? If Georgia is racist, how can baseball talk of doing business with China? Mr. Manfred failed to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting law. Now he’s put himself in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws.

During my time as commissioner, I learned that the American people view baseball as a public trust. They want the game to stand for the best and noblest of our national virtues. They see baseball as the repository of their dreams, even as they root for their favorite teams. They don’t want, and won’t accept, anything that separates them from the game’s history and leadership.

Major League Baseball can’t become a weapon in the culture wars, a hostage for one political party or ideology. It can’t be only for the rich or the poor, nor can it only be for one race, as it was until 1947. Baseball must always stand above politics and its dark elements of corruption, greed and sordid selfishness. It can’t go wrong by standing for national greatness.

The situation calls to mind the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when many erred—like Mr. Manfred has hereby leaping to a conclusion based on assumptions rather than carefully considered facts. I’ve done the same thing, to my regret. Much rides on Mr. Manfred’s shoulders so he must be prudent. Perhaps he now sees how complicated these issues can become. I wish him well.”

“Mr. Vincent was commissioner of baseball, 1989-92.” “Appeared in the April 7, 2021, print edition.”

 

 

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Tuesday, April 06, 2021

With roof open, temperatures in mid 70s, after a year when no fans were allowed, 38,000 enjoy baseball at Texas Rangers home opener in Arlington, Texas

The roof was open Monday with temperatures in the mid-70s."…Final score, 6-2, Blue Jays over Rangers

4/5/21, Largest crowd in more than a year fills Globe Life Field for Texas Rangers home opener," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Stefan Stevenson, Jeff Wilson, Arlington, Texas

“Largest crowd in more than a year fills Globe Life Field for Texas Rangers home opener.”

“The new normal took much of the day off Monday at Globe Life Field, where the largest crowd for a pandemic-era sporting event in the United States sat shoulder to shoulder for the first home game of the Texas Rangers’ 2021 season.

The game, with an announced attendance of 38,238, also marked the first Rangers home game fans were allowed to attend after no fans were allowed during the 2020 regular season as part of MLB’s health and safety protocols to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

Although the stadium officially holds a maximum of 40,518, Monday’s figure was considered a sellout. Many attendees were guests of the Rangers, including essential personnel and VIPs.

The Rangers, who lost the home opener 6-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays, were counting on fans to cooperate with CDC-recommended protocols, including wearing masks at all times inside the $1.2 billion ballpark except while eating or drinking in their seats.

So, things weren’t completely as they were at the last Rangers home game with fans, the season finale of the 2019 season, but the Rangers, taking advantage of Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to end the mask mandate and fully open Texas, moved a step closer to normalcy.

Some fans were more cautious than others.

Gerald Esparza, 63, of Fort Worth, and his 27-year-old son were admittedly a little “apprehensive” about joining a packed stadium of fans amid the pandemic. But they tested the waters during last week’s exhibition games at Globe Life Field and both are fully vaccinated.

“We thought they had enough [safety precautions] in place that we felt comfortable,” said the son, who chose to keep his name private. The family has been season-ticket holders for most of the past 12 seasons, Esparza said.

We still wear our masks just to be respectful,” he said. “As long as businesses can stay open, and the Rangers are open, I have no problem wearing the masks if that’s what keeps everything open.”…

The Rangers were proactive in doing their part to mitigate risk.

Public address announcer Chuck Morgan gave frequent reminders to fans before the game to observe the health protocols in place, and the policies were also played over the sound system outside the ballpark near the entrances.

“People are on both sides of that issue,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Nothing is black and white. You can have your concerns about it, but I’ve asked our fans if they show up today to be responsible. They’ve got to do their part.

“I think it’s a good thing. It really is. You can have your opinion on it, but at the same time our country is moving forward. It symbolizes a little bit of hope,” Woodward said. “We haven’t had a full crowd in a long time in any sport. To be the first one, as long as it’s done right and responsible, we should be fine.”

Chuck and Dorrie from Bedford are both vaccinated and thought most fans (at least before the game started) were respecting the face-covering requests. Without vaccinations, they were unlikely to attend the opener….

Although fans have had various, limited opportunities to see the retractable roof ballpark before Monday’s home opener, including the World Series and National Finals Rodeo events last year and a couple of exhibition games last week, most were seeing the park for the first time. Only a combined 23,000 fans attended the two [exhibition] games last week. And most of the limited tickets during last fall’s postseason games were used by fans of the teams competing.

The roof was open Monday with temperatures in the mid-70s.

“It’s nice to be out,” Dorrie said.

President George W. Bush and his wife Laura were spotted in a field-level suite along with Craig Biggio, the former Houston Astros second baseman who’s now in the Hall of Fame. Biggio’s son, Cavan, plays for Toronto. Also on hand was Fergie Jenkins, the Hall of Fame pitcher who was with the Rangers for six of his 19 seasons.

First 3 images above, AP, via Sports Center

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“According to a report, Major League Baseball (MLB) is expected to announce that they have decided to relocate the All-Star Game from Atlanta, Georgia, to Denver, Colorado.A person familiar with the situation revealed the decision to the Associated Press Monday night.”…

 

 

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Yankee Stadium fans will need proof of either vaccination or negative COVID test. Opening Day, Thursday, April 1, 2021, chance of rain 100%

3/30/21, “Yankees Senior VP of Stadium Ops Doug Behar: We encourage fans to get here early. Fans have to show up w/ a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination. There will be temperature checks. Tickets have been sold in “pods.” Which is similar to what Steinbrenner Field had during ST.”" Erik Boland Newsday twitter

Above, 3/30/21, Erik Boland Newsday twitter

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Added:

3/30/21, “Yankee Senior VP of Stadium Operations Doug Behar says the crowd total for Thursday will be 10,850,Erik Boland Newsday twitter

Above, 3/30/21, Erik Boland Newsday twitter

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Added:

3/31/21, “Some Aaron Judge BP,” Erik Boland twitter

Above, 3/31/21, Erik Boland Newsday twitter

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Added: Yankee Opening Day scheduled for Thurs., April 1, 2021

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Added: 100% chance of rain on 4/1/21, Opening Day in the Bronx:

 

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Missouri radio station owner remembers firing Rush Limbaugh in 1984, Rush then moving to KFBK in Sacramento where an ABC exec at the airport happened to hear Rush and offered him a job in NY City

10/16/2014, Rush Limbaugh congratulates Kansas City Royals for their great postseason as they begin World Series vs San Francisco Giants

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“Rush came into my office…sat down in a chair across from me, and announced, It is only a matter of time before you are going to fire me.”

2/20/21, What a Rush: Meet the man who canned Limbaugh, Coeur d’Alene Press, Idaho, Paul Leonard, Jr.

When I was a much younger man in Kansas City in 1984, Rush Limbaugh worked for me. I fired him.

As you might suspect, managing Rush was a formidable challenge, and the fact that he was largely unmanageable was probably a part of the secret sauce that fueled his rise to meteoric success. I am saddened by his passing. And like him or hate him, any fair-minded or knowledgeable analysis of Rush’s career would have to end by concluding that he was probably one of the most influential media forces in the past 100 years.

In 1984, I was a 24-year-old station manager of some radio stations in Kansas City that included KMBZ-AM. Rush was my afternoon news/sports guy and I paid him about $32K a year.

Rush’s job was fairly straightforward: Watch and follow the “clock” and give news summaries and sports commentary at the appointed times.

Rush came into my office on my first day, sat down in a chair across from me, and announced, “It is only a matter of time before you are going to fire me.”

I was taken aback, and confused. I told him, “Rush, these stations are a mess and I am not LOOKING to fire anyone, especially anyone who doesn’t deserve it. Just do your job and be a team player, and you’ll be fine.”

The next few months, Rush gave me heartburn on a number of topics — including adding some bold commentary where none was required, and dropping a few words that were less than desirable for a Midwest radio station news/talk station whose audience had an average age of probably 50 years old.

But the capstone event that made me fire Rush was tied to some comments he made about the KC Chiefs, a team I had spent over a year schmoozing and coercing and pursuing with a goal of adding their games to our station. At the same time I was pursuing the Chiefs, I was also courting the KC Royals, with the thought being I would be happy and the stations would thrive if we were able to land a contract with either team.

Well, Rush was a baseball guy. He had worked briefly with the Royals and had developed a friendship with some of their front office and players, including George Brett. One day, as I drove back to the station and was listening to Rush’s show, I listened in horror as Rush went off on a postal tirade against the Chiefs, and their recent losing season — and capped off his opinion, delivered with his famous opinionated flair, by saying, “… and the Chiefs’ General Manager, Jack Steadman, is probably the biggest horse’s ass in professional sports!”

Twenty-four is unusually young to have a heart attack, but as I pulled into the parking lot of our offices, I thought I might be having one. Jack Steadman of the Chiefs was holding on my office phone as I ran to my desk, and the conversation that followed was pretty one-sided, loud, and painful for yours truly.

Fast forward, and fate moved all planets forward as is always the case.

We signed a multi-year deal with the Royals, and they went on to win the World Series the following year. Rush went to work at a radio station in Sacramento, KFBK.

An ABC executive named Ed McLaughlin was fogged in at the Sacramento airport and happened to tune into Rush on his transistor. He offered Rush a job in New York, in the 12 a.m.-6 a.m. time slot.

In 1987 the winds of regulation were changing and radio personalities started doing more issues-based and politically focused commentary, and Rush was really the first one through the door. He was a ferocious worker, and working with Ed, Rush went on to build a network of stations that would carry his show, initially for free.

Rush was a relentless salesperson, and you might find him attending a small state convention of radio station owners, pressing the flesh and talking them into carrying his show. There was nobody doing what he was doing, and he was very, very good at it.

The rest, as they say, is history.

He went on to pen a best-selling book. He formed his own syndication company and network. He went from making $32K with me to making $32 million a year — probably $80 million a year recently. He became a household name, and as we all saw last year, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a State of the Union.

I remember fondly the first time I saw Rush after I fired him. It was in 1990 at a black tie dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. He was seated at the table next to mine with Sam Donaldson, with his back to me.

After the salads were served my table mates urged me to go say “hi” to him. So I did. He saw me coming around the table, and a large smile started forming on his lips.

I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Rush, I haven’t seen you in a few years, but I fired you a few years ago. Now, I hope you have been able to land on your feet, and find gainful employment.”

The people at his table froze and stared at us both, wondering if a moment of awkwardness had arrived. Instead he stuck out his hand and gave me a giant grip. I said to him, “All I know for sure, Rush, is that I am still driving the same car as I was five years ago, but I am willing to bet you $100 you aren’t.” He laughed uproariously, and the table did the same.

I sent him a letter two months ago, congratulating him on his medal, and the huge impact he has had on modern talk radio. I didn’t hear back, which I sadly and correctly assumed was probably due to his measuring the last days of his life.

Today there are people who will mourn his passing and will miss his firebrand presentation of conservative ethos. There will also be some who will momentarily forget their humanity and will be gleeful about his passing.

Regardless of one’s politics, there can be no argument that he was a broadcasting force of nature, and ideological trailblazer, a ferocious and tireless worker and champion of his beliefs. And it is simply a fact that he is one of the most important and influential media personalities to arise in the past 100 years.

Rest in peace, Rush.”…(image above, Paul Leonard)

“Paul Leonard is a resident of Hayden.”

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Added: Rush congratulates Kansas City Royals for a great job in the post season as they begin 2014 World Series vs San Francisco Giants

2014 World Series: In seven games, San Francisco Giants defeated Kansas City Royals, Oct. 29, 2014

10/16/2014, Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals,” Rush Limbaugh

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Please indulge me on this. This is somewhat personal to me. The Kansas City Royals, how about that, a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. Eight straight playoff wins, setting a Major League Baseball record. The extra-inning win over the Oakland A’s. Three games over the Anaheim Angels, and now over four over the Baltimore Orioles, and to the World Series. They host it, starting Tuesday night in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium, first time in 29 years.

I was not at the Royals in 1985. I had just left town for Sacramento to set out on this journey, if you will. I worked for the Royals from ’79 through ’83, so I was there for the 1980 World Series that they lost to the Phillies. It was exciting and, you know, I had an important job there. I was director of ceremonial first pitches, and I was director of escorting national anthem singers to second base before playoff games. They sometimes even let me pick the anthem singers. It was five years I spent there.  I wouldn’t trade those five years for anything.  It was my first five years outside of radio, which I started at age 16.

I met people I would otherwise have not met. I learned things, experience things I never would have. And I had doors open for me simply because I could say, “Hi, Rush Limbaugh, from the Kansas City Royals.” People that wouldn’t give me the time of day, I’m talking about businesspeople, would open their doors.  But it was also good for me because I found out that I’m not cut out for corporate conformity, but I wouldn’t trade those five years, and it’s so great….

I was looking at the game last night, watching, and that stadium, they’ve done such a great job renovating it and keeping it new.  The place was buzzing. It’s one of the best places in the country to watch a baseball game and be part of it. These are young players that don’t know they can’t do anything.  It was great to see, and I just want to take a little brief moment here to congratulate ’em.

RUSH:  One more observation about the Kansas City Royals and the American League Championship Series. I’ve done something the past couple of weeks I haven’t done in years, I have been watching baseball games on TV, and a realization hit me last night.  It’s the way it used to be.  I didn’t hear any talk of concussions.

I didn’t hear the play-by-play announcers or the color commentators lamenting sexual abuse. I didn’t hear about whether some player had come out and was gay. I didn’t hear about any cultural this or that. It was just baseball.  It was nothing more than the sport of baseball.  It was on television, it’s what was talked about, and all of that sideshow stuff the media has dragged into football (and to a certain extent basketball) wasn’t there

It was… Well, they’re gonna frown on me for this word, but it was “pure,” and by “pure” I mean in the purest sense. It was almost a throwback.  It was the way watching sports on TV used to be, long before the Sports Drive-Bys (media)  decided to go get political on everybody. It was really great.  Something else I was reminded of: The Kansas City crowd is one of the best-looking crowds in baseball. Seriously.

Look, I know I’m biased here. I lived there for 10 years and I worked at that team for five years, but they’re respectful of the other team, sportsmanship and all that, some clever signs.  It was all good.  It was great TV, it was great baseball, and it was exciting, and as I say: I haven’t watched baseball in years.  But I got the fever, and I think it’s great.  Again, I just wanted to take a brief moment to congratulate everybody….

RUSH: Here’s Sarah in Overland Park, Kansas City. Welcome.  It’s great to have you on the program, Sarah.  Hi….

CALLER:  I’ve been trying to get through for years.  I’ve been a fan forever, my family, all of us.  And of all the things for me to call about, I am so happy you mentioned the Kansas City Royals.  I’ve been waiting because I know about your connection, and I have to tell you, it’s just amazing in this city right now.  It’s electric.

RUSH: It’s like it was, I’ll bet, back in the late seventies, early eighties, mid-eighties, when the Royals owned the town and when the Royals defined even the self-esteem of the city.  I mean, they owned it.  Everybody, I mean, the city was totally united based on the Royals and their fortunes, and it was a great time. It was a great period in the city’s history. And you’re saying it’s back now, huh?

CALLER:  You know, I was two years out of high school in ’85, and I was a big fan, I’ve always been a baseball fan. Politics and baseball are my two favorite things, besides my daughter.  So I was away at college when they won it in ’85.  And, you know, baseball is just America.  My family and I were at the game on Tuesday, the third game, and I’ve never seen anything like it in person. People were singing, “God Bless America” with the singer in, what, seventh or eighth inning.  Nobody knows the words to that song.  It was just people were crying and taking off their caps and just so into it, and I think —

(Break Transcript, Commercial break)

CALLER:  Yeah.  I agree with you, and that’s just baseball to me, and, you know, I truly believe America is rooting for this team. They’ve struggled for so long, and I think Dayton Moore is a genius. I think Ned Yost has managed this team very well. And I think they’ve both been very patient, as has the owner of the Royals.

RUSH:  Well, okay, we’ll grant patience.  We’ll chalk it up to patience.

CALLER:  Well, they’re great players, and I think it’s different than other teams, too. The Royals and the general manager want to hire players who really want to win. They have good character. They work hard. It’s been a real struggle. They just have worked so hard.

RUSH:  Well, here’s what’s happened.  I’ll explain it to you in a nutshell.  The Royals simply can’t play players what the Yankees, the Angels, and other teams can.  Well, they’re a small market.  I don’t know the smallest, but they’re a small market. They don’t have local revenue like other teams do, and despite the revenue sharing tax, it doesn’t even begin to make up for it. They have, however, a great scouting department. They sign young players.

It is amazing the quality of the young players that have come up through the Kansas City system, and once they show their wares and they reach their free agency period, they’re gobbled up by other teams, and the names are legion.  Carlos Beltran is one.  Johnny Damon is another. These were all Royals.  And, in this case, what happened is this team gelled, while it’s very young, this team came together why it’s very young before anybody had a chance to test free agency and split. It really is amazing timing when you get down to it.

There was something else that happened this year.  Some fan, the Royals have a fan in South Korea that is absolutely a rabid fan and went through hell or high water to get there in Kansas City to watch a game. His story made the news and he ended up meeting some of the players, became a local celebrity while he was in town, and that almost coincides with the team’s reversal of fortunes, not entirely, but they had so many great human interest stories this year.

When I worked there, I’ll just share with you a little thing here and then, Sarah, I have to move on. But when I worked there, you know, every year you hope you make the playoffs ’cause there’s nothing better. The postseason is fun, the excitement, the place is packed, the town’s buzzing, it’s the best.  During a season, you see things — I did.  I saw plays, late-game heroics, home runs that made me think this is the season of destiny, turning an unlikely double play in the ninth inning in Texas, I’ll never forget one of those….

I saw so many of those things this season with the Royals, it made me say, even during the playoffs, that this team is destined.  And, so far, it’s proven out.  So the World Series opens Tuesday night in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.  The town is gonna be buzzing. There’s no question about it. It’s one of the best restaurant towns. It’s one of the best dry cleaner towns. I mean, it’s one of the best highway towns, best airport towns. It really is. So, Sarah, I’m glad you’re all jazzed about it. I’m sure the whole town is. That’s the great thing. I appreciate the call very much, and best of luck.”

Image above from RushLimbaugh.com

Rush Limbaugh “Related Links”

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Tuesday, January 05, 2021

How is it not a crime against humanity that restaurants are still closed or restricted in NY City after six flat Covid death months as of 1/5/21? Answer: Because that's how third world dictatorships operate

As of Jan. 5, 2021, six flat months in New York City, per NYC.gov website updated daily. Separate charts for each borough follow:

Above, 1/5/21, NY City Covid deaths

Above, 1/5/21, Bronx Covid deaths

Above, 1/5/21, Brooklyn Covid deaths

Above, 1/5/21, Queens Covid deaths

Above, 1/5/21, Manhattan Covid deaths

Above, 1/5/21, Staten Island Covid deaths

 

 

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Neither snow nor rain...New York City residents enjoy outdoor, sidewalk dining during Wednesday night’s snow storm-NY Times

12/17/20, “This Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words,” zero hedge, Durden

The New York Times’ Hiroko Masuike captured customers at The Smith restaurant in Manhattan Wednesday evening, bundled up in winter jackets, underneath propane heaters on a sidewalk patio, while the first major winter storm of the season blanketed the city nearly one foot of snow.

Thanks to Andrew Cuomo’s decision to once again shut down indoor dining in New York on Monday, these patrons had to eat outside in the middle of a freakin’ snowstorm. 

As the wind blew, the propane heaters appeared worthless as a few of the patrons were sipping on soup and have likely downed a liquor shot or two to stay warm.”…

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Saturday, December 05, 2020

It’s obviously criminal to keep “state of emergency” in place in NY City since its “curve” has been “flattened” for six months. But no laws exist in NYC or America, “land of the free and home of the brave” that allow us to free ourselves from self appointed "emergency" dictators

NY City,Covid 19, Total Data, Summary, as of December 5, at 1 p.m.”

“Covid 19 data: Long-Term Trends"

NY City has obediently kept its curve “flattened” for six months:

“This page includes data visualizations. To view data tables and data definitions, visit our Github repository. The data here show COVID-19 trends in New York City since the city’s first confirmed case was diagnosed on February 29.”

 

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Monday, September 21, 2020

In a baseball season with no fans, one sneaks into Fenway Park, causes 10 minute delay in Yankee-Red Sox game, was finally apprehended and taken to hospital for psychiatric evaluation-9/20/20

 “According to MassLive, [Red Sox left fielder] Michael Chavis said the fan yelled to him in left field.

“He was yelling that I’m no Michael Jordan because I wear 23 and my name’s Michael,” said Chavis, who added that he heard the man is safe.”

Sept. 20, 2020, Red Sox fan sneaks into Fenway Park during Yankees game in ‘scary’ scene,“ NY Post, Dan Martin, Boston

“In a season with no fans, the Yankees and Red Sox were delayed for about 10 minutes during Boston’s 10-2 win on Sunday when a fan entered Fenway Park and got near the camera platform in center field.

The fan, wearing a Red Sox jersey, shouted and threw a hat onto the field in the top of the eighth with DJ LeMahieu at the plate and Ryan Brasier on the mound.

He evaded security for several minutes, did push-ups and briefly dangled off the edge of the platform in a potentially dangerous scene before he was apprehended by security and led away.

“Personally, it was a little scary,’’ said Red Sox left fielder Michael Chavis.

“Probably the last thing you think you are going to have is a fan delay this season,” Erik Kratz said.

The Boston Globe reported the fan was not arrested and was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

“I don’t know what was said out there and you try not to make too much light of it because it could have been a scary situation,’’ Aaron Boone said. “It was definitely odd.””

“A Red Sox fan snuck into Fenway Park during the Yankees game today. Getty (2)”…Link for second photo

 

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Sunday, September 13, 2020

“Infected” US political class “infects” its sales staff, the media, which “infects” the population with hate by lying about a San Francisco Giants baseball player and his pregnant wife

Millions have been “infected” and “recovered” from virus without knowing it, never had symptoms.

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It caused a lot of problems, a lot of hate.”

9/13/20, [San Francisco] Giants’ Alex Dickerson details nightmare from false positive COVID-19 test,nbcsports.com, Alex Pavlovic

[Image: Alex Dickerson, nbcsports.com]

[San Francisco] Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson was on the field Friday evening, warming up for a game in his hometown,when general manager Scott Harris, manager Gabe Kapler and other members of the staff started telling players they would not be playing that night. Dickerson was identified as the one who had tested positive for COVID-19 and taken to an isolation room at Petco Park, where he was immediately given another test from a rapid results machine the Giants travel with.

As stressful as that sounds, it was only the beginning of what became a nightmare weekend for Dickerson.

Dickerson gave the Giants permission Sunday to announce that he had been the one to test positive — later ruled a false positive – and he nearly broke down when explaining to reporters what the last 48 hours have been like. 

Dickerson said his wife is 39 weeks pregnant and on the verge of giving birth to a son, the couple’s first child. He has been tested a half-dozen times since the initial test, which was taken Thursday and came back to the Giants on Friday, and his wife also has been tested. As they waited for clearance and had a couple of sleepless nights, Dickerson found his name had been leaked on social media by a reporter in Southern California, and that USA Today had reported false information about his activities upon arriving in San Diego on Wednesday night.

“I do want to bring to light the fact that false reporting did happen in my situation that had extremely negative effects on me and my family. A report from USA Today saying that ‘the player who remains unidentified told several members of the Giants traveling party that he believed he was possibly infected by a family member or friend in San Diego,’ that is completely false,” Dickerson said. “Those kinds of statements lead to a steamrolling effect that caused my wife, who is 39 weeks pregnant, to deal with a lot of stuff she did not deserve to deal with. It was not easy.

When you’re dealing with pregnancy and COVID-19, it is not a good thing to make the assumption that I came in and went and broke protocol and saw family and friends when I’m only permitted to see my wife and she is the only person I saw, and she has been quarantining and on bed rest. It caused a lot of problems, a lot of hate to come towards you and it was kind of unwarranted.”

Dickerson’s wife tested negative earlier this month and has been on bed rest ever since, seeing only her mother, who also has tested negative. She was waiting at the team hotel when her husband arrived late Wednesday night, and Dickerson played against the San Diego Padres on Thursday. A few hours later, his life was thrown upside down. 

The initial test came back to the Giants just minutes before Friday’s game and players were taken out of the clubhouse in waves to avoid gathering in large groups. The Giants did rapid tests on all members of their traveling party on Friday and all the results came back negative. The Padres facilitated some of the testing, providing their own machine to help speed the process up.

The Giants took saliva tests on Saturday morning but had to wait for the results to get back from MLB’s lab in Salt Lake City. Late Saturday, they finally got word that the entire group had been cleared. In the meantime, Dickerson and his wife went to a local hospital for tests. Every one came back negative. The Giants consulted with MLB’s doctors and their own and determined that they could return to the field Sunday, with Dickerson in the lineup after a false positive. 

“They expressed a lot of confidence that there was no health concern in carrying forward with the games today,” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said.

The Giants are not able to fully figure out what happened with the original result. Zaidi said it’s possible it was contaminated at some point during the collection or transit process or at the lab itself, and it’s also possible that Dickerson had something in his system at one point but now is completely clear. MLB told the Giants that they have done over 100,000 tests and have seen this pattern before.

Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler both said the overwhelming feeling in recent hours was relief, for the team but also for Dickerson and his family. The Dickersons ultimately got good news, although they had a harrowing weekend. The stress is not over.

Dickerson said he is not sure if he will be able to be there for the birth of his child, although he hopes to be. There are stricter rules at hospitals in general right now, and MLB has its own protocols in place. 

This is not as simple as Dickerson simply hopping on a flight to San Diego later this week for the birth and returning to the team when ready. He said he was still working through all of that, but at the very least he is past a scare that popped up out of nowhere as he was stretching Friday afternoon.

“It came as a complete shock,” Dickerson said. “At no point did I ever actually believe it was real. We did take it seriously and both teams did what needed to do and followed all the protocol, but at no point did I ever actually believe it.””

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Added: Millions “infected” with virus never knew they were “infected,” recovered having had no symptoms:

4/24/20, “Study shows 13.9% of people tested in New York state have coronavirus antibodies, Cuomo says,” cbsnews.com, Audrey McNamara

“New York’s first survey of Coronavirus antibodies shows that 13.9% of those tested in the state had coronavirus antibodies in their system, meaning they have contracted and recovered from the virus….That suggests that 2.7 million people have been infected statewide.”

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Added:

May 28, 20, Most people infected with coronavirus never show symptoms,” UK Telegraph, Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

“The vast majority of people who contract coronavirus never show any symptoms, the first analysis of antibody tests by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown, leading to fears the new test, track and trace programme will not work.

Under government plans, those showing symptoms are required to self-isolate and be tested while the NHS app will inform people who have been in close contact so they can also quarantine.

But new figures show 70 per cent of people testing positive for the virus do not have symptoms at the time of their test, or in the week before or after. Just 21 per cent reported symptoms on the actual day of testing.

Likewise for people who reported a symptom on the day of the swab test, only 2.6 per cent were actually found to have coronavirus.  

Latest government testing figures also show that just 1.5 per cent of people are currently testing positive for the virus even though most are reporting symptoms.

The findings suggest that the government’s test, track and trace policy will fail to pick up at least seven in 10 cases and most people who suffer symptoms will not actually have the virus.”…


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