It’s already been a challenging season for the Boston Red Sox, whose three straight losses to the New York Yankees over the weekend dropped their record to 3-7 as Major League Baseball continues its 60-game sprint.
Things only get trickier this week.
The Red Sox on Monday have their first off-day since beginning their schedule July 24. Which is nice, but also somewhat worrisome since they’re spending the day in Florida — home of the second-most coronavirus cases in the United States — ahead of a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
“It is concerning going there and getting into the hotel, and concerning with an off-day. Because an off-day, you want guys to go out and relax and do some things they enjoy. And we know that’s probably not a good idea,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke told reporters before Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees in New York. “So we’ve talked to all of them. Actually, some of them have come in and talked to us and asked us our opinion on doing some things. And we give them what we think. But you hate to restrict them and say, ‘Hey, you have to spend the whole day in your room for the 24 hours.’ ”
MLB already is facing a difficult situation, particularly in wake of the Miami Marlins’ outbreak, in which at least 22 players/personnel tested positive for COVID-19, and the St. Louis Cardinals’ recent infections. Games have been postponed, schedules have been pieced together and travel plans have been altered.
It’ll only get worse if the league doesn’t start cracking down even harder in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And the Red Sox, organizationally, seem to be well aware that those efforts start with clubs policing themselves in a more aggressive manner, especially on road trips to COVID-19 hot spots.
In other words, don’t expect the Red Sox to spend their off-day in Florida hanging by the pool, as tempting as it might be to kick back and enjoy some fun in the sun after playing 10 games in 10 days.
“The pool is probably not a good idea,” Roenicke said. “And so it’s tough because you know if they do stay in and do nothing, you know it’s better for them. But you also want them to relax. And it is a day off to enjoy yourself and have fun. Those two don’t always mix. But hopefully we’ll continue to do the things that keep us safer anyway. We know it still can happen. And then we’ll see how it goes in the two games. And we’ll see how the other teams are doing in the next few days.”
The Red Sox also are off Thursday before returning to Fenway Park on Friday for the start of a seven-game homestand against the Toronto Blue Jays and Rays.
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