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Few things have gone according to plan for the Washington Nationals this past week. Not only was the team forced to postpone its highly anticipated opening day game against the New York Mets on April 1 just hours before it was set to begin, but the Nationals have yet to play any games due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the organization. Major League Baseball announced Sunday night that the Nationals will begin their season Tuesday when they host the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park.
As of Sunday afternoon, four players on the Nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation. Seven additional players are in quarantine after contact tracing deemed them to have been in close contact with the infected players, meaning that a total of 11 players have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak that started last week and will miss several games. Two staff members are also in quarantine, and the team is continuing to conduct regular COVID-19 tests.
The Nationals, which had zero positive COVID-19 tests through spring training, are dealing with a full-blown outbreak. The news is both sobering and a reminder that, as eager as people are for a return to normalcy, the pandemic never left. None of the position players had practiced or worked out as a team in a week until today, and pitchers only started individual exercises or bullpen sessions on Sunday.
“You have to be very creative at times. Baseball is a difficult sport to recreate in a basement or a hotel room or an apartment, if you will,” Nationals general manager and president Mike Rizzo said. “So they’re trying creative ways to stay as loose as they can, but nothing can simulate being on the field and with live action.”
Shortly before the season began, the D.C. government allowed the Nationals to host 5,000 fans per game at Nationals Park, and the postponed Opening Day game will be the first time the players get a chance to compete in front of their fans since Game 5 of the 2019 World Series. Because of COVID-19, several of them won’t be in the ballpark when that happens tomorrow.
— Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
Feeling Desperate and Impatient, D.C. Residents Are Traveling to Get Vaccinated Elsewhere
Natalie drove more than 100 miles on March 25 to get a COVID-19 vaccine at […]
- To see today’s coronavirus cases and more information, visit our coronavirus dashboard. [EOM]
- Giant, which receives vaccines from the city and feds, temporarily requested that the CDC not send them anymore doses due to personnel constraints. [Post]
- Washington Teachers’ Union president Elizabeth Davis passes away in car crash. [Twitter, Post]
By Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Local elected officials ignore health experts in reopening. [Post]
- Mayor Muriel Bowser gave an award to the director of the Department of Forensic Sciences days before the department’s accreditation was temporarily suspended. [Twitter, WTOP]
- Gov. Larry Hogan broke procurement rules in $9 million purchase of faulty coronavirus tests. [Sun, DCist]
By Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
- Critic Tim Carman recommends seven Vietnamese dishes at Eden Center. [Post]
- Despite a March hiring spree, there are still 2 million fewer people working in bars and restaurants than before the pandemic. [Eater]
- These are 12 of the best canned cocktails on the market. [Food & Wine]
By Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
City Lights: Planet Word Offers Us Poems for the Pandemic
After the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Planet Word’s Curator of Programming Rebecca Roberts thought no […]
- The Tidal Basin’s trees are drowning. What should we do about it? [Washingtonian]
- The Old Georgetown Board nixed the giant Transformers statues on Prospect Street NW. Sounds like something a Decepticon would do… [DCist]
- Some local theaters’ internet-based shows are pushing the art form’s boundaries, even if there are glitches along the way. [Post]
By Emma Sarappo (tips? email@example.com)
- Maryland sophomore Ashley Owusu picked up the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, given annually to the country’s best shooting guard in women’s college basketball. [Testudo Times]
- The Caps made history with their 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils yesterday. The victory marked the first time the franchise beat the same team eight times during a single season. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
- Wizards players get ready for a six-game road trip after losing three straight. [NBA.com]
By Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)