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A Major League Baseball umpire tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a late shift in crew assignments in Florida this week, several people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The affected umpire, who wasn’t identified, was not on the field when the result was learned.

MLB medical experts didn’t believe the positive test represented a threat of infection or presented a risk to other personnel, according to those familiar with the matter. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.

The afflicted umpire and four umps who were considered close contacts with him have all tested negative multiple times since the positive test, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The Washington-Tampa Bay game at Tropicana Field began Tuesday night with only three umpires. Fill-in Clint Vondrak came on the field in the fourth inning.

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Meanwhile, veteran ump Andy Fletcher, who had been scheduled to work at Tampa Bay, instead traveled to Miami and joined three young umpires as the crew chief for the Boston-Marlins game.

There have been 45 big league games postponed this season because of coronavirus concerns. The sport doesn’t believe there has been any cross-transmission of the virus on the field.

A dozen umpires, including eight crew chiefs, opted out of working the shortened season because of virus considerations. MLB has successfully switched and shifted crews, using Triple-A callups to fill gaps while working around umps doing replay stints, on vacation and out with injuries.

The 60-game season started July 23 and is set to end Sept. 27, and the expanded playoff field will include 16 teams. The Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series will be held under protective bubbles set up to minimize exposure to the virus.

“The elimination of travel is obviously a positive because it cuts exposure,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday in an interview with the AP after the postseason plans were announced. “Less interaction outside with the group that you’re looking to protect is a huge positive. It’s all about what the risk of interacting with the community is.”

Filed under mlb ,  9/17/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: mlb mlb

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Doug Pedersons gutless game defines who the Eagles are

Doug Pederson may have a Super Bowl win to his name, but his decision to punt the football late in overtime on Sunday was inexcusable.

The Eagles entered Week 3 in desperate need of a victory. Instead of going for the crucial win they needed, Doug Pederson elected to play for a tie in overtime. His gutless decision is a perfect illustration of just how weak the Eagles have been during the 2020 season.

The Eagles’ conservative play calling on the last drive of their overtime contest of the Bengals had them set up to attempt a 59-yard field goal just before time expired. Just before the ball was snapped Matt Pryor was flagged for a false start. That left Pederson with a decision to make as to whether or not he should attempt a 64-yard field goal in the game’s closing moments.

What Pederson should have done was put Carson Wentz and his offense back out on the field. There were 19 seconds left in the game when the penalty was called. The Eagles were out of timeouts but they still could have tried to convert on 4th and 12. Philadelphia would have been forced to hurry to stop the clock and set up a field goal, but they would have enjoyed a chance at victory.

Not the result we wanted.@UnibetUS | #FlyEaglesFly

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 27, 2020

Instead, Pederson took the most conservative option possible. Pederson sent out his punt team to pin the Bengals offense deep in their own territory. He even elected to take a delay of game penalty to give his punter more room to work with.

That decision doomed the Eagles to a tie that probably won’t do them any good when all is said and done this season. The team needed a win to improve their playoff odds and, more importantly, the team’s fractured mental state.

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Pederson’s gutless decision to play for the tie will only tell his roster that he doesn’t trust their ability to win this season. The Eagles might be beset by injuries currently, but they still have stars capable of winning games. The fact that Pederson didn’t trust his squad to beat the lowly Bengals sends a clear message that he’s given up on the season. It’s only a matter of time before his players do the same.

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