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Friday, September 10, 2021

MLB denies telling Red Sox to stop COVID testing following Hunter Renfroe’s comments

As the Red Sox tried desperately to keep a COVID-19 outbreak contained as best they could over the last few weeks, the MLB handed down a mystifying recommendation, according to outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Renfroe, who appeared on WEEI’s Merloni and Fauria show Thursday following his heroic performance in Wednesday’s win over the Rays, said the league told the Red Sox to stop testing in the middle of their outbreak.

“The MLB basically told us to stop testing and just treat the symptoms,” Renfroe said. “And we’re like, ‘No, we’re going to figure out what’s going on and try to keep this thing under control.’”

The hosts called Renfroe’s attention back to his comments to confirm, which he did twice.

The MLB quickly denied Renfroe’s claims, telling The Boston Globe‘s Julian McWilliams on Thursday afternoon that the Red Sox outfielder “is completely wrong and inaccurate.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 10, 2021 at 11:05 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, hunter renfroe, red sox

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   1. The Duke Posted: September 10, 2021 at 11:26 PM (#6039159)
That would be the Washington DC definition of a Gaffe.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 11, 2021 at 12:30 AM (#6039163)
What are the other players saying? Further reporting needed here.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 11, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#6039169)

Something weird about this story. Why would MLB be communicating directly with Renfroe about COVID testing for the Red Sox team? If this is information he came by second hand, I'd be interested to know who he heard it from.

Also, "the MLB"? Westerholm is a basketball reporter so I can understand him making this mistake, but he changed it in Renfroe's quote (Renfroe just called it "MLB" on the radio show). JFC.
   4. villageidiom Posted: September 11, 2021 at 09:15 AM (#6039172)
What are the other players saying? Further reporting needed here.
I was listening to Rob Bradford on the pregame show last night, and he seemed to confirm what I had thought had happened. Basically:

(a) MLB communicated that their policy is for reduced testing for vaccinated players. Basically, don't test vaccinated players unless they have symptoms. Further, if someone has COVID symptoms, treat them; don't wait for the results of a subsequent COVID test to determine what to do. This was communicated early in the season, if not before.

(b) Boston has been following that approach all season. For example, earlier this year JD Martinez was put on the COVID IL and quarantined because he had symptoms. Subsequent tests showed he was negative for COVID, so after like a day he was back in the lineup.

(c) When Boston's recent outbreak took off, Cora, Kennedy, and the medical staff decided screw the MLB protocol, we're testing everyone, we don't care if they're vaccinated or not. MLB didn't tell them not to do it; they just decided on their own it was the thing to do.

(d) The team told the players they were doing (c) in spite of (a), and Renfroe's interpretation appears to be that (a) came after (c) - in other words, that the MLB communication was in response to the team deciding to test more. But (a) has been the policy all season long.

In short, if Renfroe is saying MLB's policy is to refrain from frequent testing of vaccinated players, and Boston is now testing them frequently, he's both absolutely correct on both points and saying nothing new about MLB's policy. If he's saying MLB told them to stop testing vaccinated players during this outbreak, then that goes against what MLB, team management, and team medical staff are saying about it. I would have to assume that the message Renfroe got would have had to be conveyed ultimately through at least two if not all three of those groups, so if they're all saying he's wrong and inaccurate, I'm gonna go with he's wrong and inaccurate. Maybe he heard it through Cora, who heard it from them; and maybe Cora misinterpreted it. But it still appears to have been misinterpreted.

What Bradford didn't confirm, or even discuss, is the talk-radio tendency to approach such things with a "This is so unbelievable at face value that I have no choice but to believe it" perspective. When I heard this whole thing started in an interview with Lou Merloni, I was not shocked. Bradford at least has standards.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 11, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6039176)

Thanks #4, that makes sense. And your criticism of the talk radio approach is spot-on.
   6. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 11, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6039185)
Yawn, It is tiresome to have any non-medical professionals talk about COVID at all. At least my medical professional wife keeps telling me that! Hey, how about those two throws the other night, though? And that bomb ovah the monstah!
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: September 11, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6039187)
Thank you, VI.
   8. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 11, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6039213)
If wins are worth 8 or 9M (in FA), what will arb eligible players get who made 3M and produced 2.5 WAR? I hope they keep him, and not punish him for being honest, if not accurate.
   9. 57i66135 right now is attacking rest Posted: September 11, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6039235)
Thank you, VI.
yeah, good stuff.

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