MLB

Nationals to belatedly open season against Braves on Tuesday

By Sports Desk April 05, 2021

The Washington Nationals will start their MLB campaign against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday after last week's scheduled opening series against the New York Mets was called off due to coronavirus issues. 

The Nationals were set to host the Mets at Nationals Park on Friday, but the game - and subsequent series - was postponed after four players tested positive for COVID-19. 

In addition to those four, there are seven further players and two staff members still undertaking quarantine as part of contact tracing. 

General manager Mike Rizzo said "the majority" of the players in quarantine were on the Nationals' 26-man roster, while "several" were not. 

They plan to fill those roster vacancies from an alternate training site where more than 30 players have been participating in daily training sessions.

The planned first game against the Braves, set for Monday, also will not go ahead, but the Nationals will return to action on Tuesday.

"We want to do everything we can to nip this thing in the bud right here, right now," Rizzo told reporters.

"So, I think that's being taken very much into consideration when we're talking [about] the next couple of days.

"They [the players] really want to get back into the routine of baseball, and they want to work out and get the blood flow [going] again. I think they're very excited about getting back on the field."

The Braves were swept 3-0 in their opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Related items

  • Argentina coach Scaloni to miss World Cup qualifier against Chile after positive COVID-19 test Argentina coach Scaloni to miss World Cup qualifier against Chile after positive COVID-19 test

    Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni will miss their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Chile due to a positive COVID-19 test.

    The Albiceleste have already qualified for Qatar 2022 with five matches to play in the CONMEBOL section.

    Scaloni explained at a news conference on Wednesday he had "completed the isolation" but had not received the negative test he required to enter Chile.

    With assistant Pablo Aimar also absent as a close contact, coaches Walter Samuel, Roberto Ayala and Diego Placente are set to lead Argentina on Thursday.

    "Both Aimar and I are not going to be able to be part of the delegation," Scaloni said. "Pablo has been in his house for several days due to [being a] close contact.

    "I completed the isolation several days ago, but I continue to test positive. To enter Chile you need a negative [test result].

    "Walter Samuel, Roberto Ayala and Diego Placente are going to be present as part of the coaching staff."

    Scaloni also confirmed players Alexis Mac Allister and Emiliano Buendia will miss the game, with the former testing positive for COVID-19 and the latter a close contact.

    After their trip to Chile, Argentina are due to play at home to Colombia on Tuesday.

  • Key France duo Dupont and Ntamack on course to return to France Six Nations squad Key France duo Dupont and Ntamack on course to return to France Six Nations squad

    Fabien Galthie provided an encouraging update on Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack after France's key duo tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Six Nations.

    Les Bleus' preparation for the tournament has been hard hit by a host of contracting coronavirus.  

    Bernard Le Roux had to make 11 changes to his 42-man squad, with World Rugby Player of the Year Dupont, fly-half Ntamack and Bernard Le Roux among those who were unable to report for international duty.

    Galthie on Wednesday revealed the absentees due to COVID-19 are recovering well ahead of his side's opening game of the tournament against Italy at Stade de France a week on Sunday.

    The France head coach said: "We keep in touch with all the players from afar, of course.

    "We have good news concerning the players and their state of health and spirit and all are doing well."

    Mercurial scrum-half Dupont has not played since December 11 due to a knee injury and coronavirus.

    Galthie says the playmaker could return for Toulouse in their Top 14 encounter with Racing 92 on Saturday.

    "I have spoken to him: he is doing well. He resumed training two weeks ago," said Galthie 

    "He wanted to play against Cardiff but the match did not go ahead. Then of course he tested positive for COVID. But he is fine, and is still training. Today he had a test at his club and depending on the results he will play or not for Toulouse this weekend.

    "That is up to his head coach Ugo Mola and I have confidence in him he will take the right decision both for his team and for Antoine."

    It is 12 years since France won the Six Nations, but they are favourites to end that title drought this time around and that is music to Galthie's ears. 

    "I am very happy with this compliment, we’re very happy and proud to be labelled as favourites," he said.

    "We are very happy to hear all those positive comments. It's very rewarding, it's rewarding for our two-year work, it's rewarding for all the commitment of the players, the virtues of the team and their dedication on the pitch."

  • David Ortiz gets Hall of Fame nod as Barry Bonds misses out for 10th time David Ortiz gets Hall of Fame nod as Barry Bonds misses out for 10th time

    Barry Bonds missed out again on baseball's Hall of Fame as David Ortiz was elected in his first year on the ballot.

    For a 10th year, the vote of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) did not give sufficient backing to San Francisco Giants great Bonds, the player with the most home runs in Major League history (762).

    Bonds will no longer feature on future BBWAA ballots, but he could still reach the Hall of Fame through a different route.

    Players required votes from 75 per cent of the baseball writers, and Ortiz got there after securing 77.9 per cent support. That amounted to a vote of approval on 307 of the 394 ballots, but Bonds could only draw 66 per cent (260 votes).

    Boston Red Sox great Ortiz, a Dominican-American who struck 541 home runs across his MLB career, began his career with the Minnesota Twins but came to the fore in Boston where he spent 14 seasons from 2003 to 2016.

    Now 46, Ortiz was a 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series winner during his Red Sox career. Players are eligible for Hall of Fame nomination after five years in retirement.

    Popularly known as 'Big Papi', Ortiz's election was praised by Bonds, who wrote on Instagram: "CONGRATULATIONS Big Papi on your induction into the Hall of Fame! Well deserved…I love you my brother."

    Joining Bonds in missing out during a 10th year of eligibility were Roger Clemens (65.2 per cent), Curt Schilling (58.6 per cent) and Sammy Sosa (18.5 per cent).

    They and Bonds could yet secure Hall of Fame status via the Today's Game Era Committee, which will meet in December to consider players who have made an impact on the sport since 1988.

    Ortiz will be joined in being officially inducted in Cooperstown this July by six selections from the Golden Days and Early Baseball Era committees. They are Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva, along with the late Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso and Buck O'Neil.

    Bonds was a seven-time National League MVP in a career that spanned 1986 to 2007, beginning at the Pittsburgh Pirates before he moved on to San Francisco from 1993. He experienced controversy surrounding performance-enhancing drugs allegations, but Bonds has always insisted he did not knowingly use any such substances.

    The San Francisco Giants expressed disappointment at Bonds missing out, posting on Twitter: "We remain hopeful that he will gain election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame through the next phase of the voting process."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.