New York Post - 13.03.2020

(Ben Green) #1

New York Post, Friday, March 13, 2020

Donovan Mitchell tested positive
for coronavirus, prompting the
Mets to recommend his father,
Donovan Mitchell Sr. (right), the
team’s director of player relations
and community engagement, get
tested. Getty Images

Play it safe,

shut it down


ORT ST. LUCIE — Poet Rob-
ert Frost was a great baseball
fan. It turns out he might have
been a pretty good advance scout,
Frost wrote: “The afternoon
knows what the morning never
Right now, in this crazy sports
age of the coronavirus pandemic,
the morning doesn’t know much.
With that in mind, let’s wait for the
afternoon to get some answers.
Yes, it’s good that baseball has
canceled the rest of its spring
training games and is delaying the
start of the reg-
ular season by
at least two
weeks in reac-
tion to the
spreading vi-
rus. But base-
ball and teams
should go a
step further.
Until we know what we are deal-
ing with, camps should be shut-
tered, too. The Mets still had not
made a decision as of Thursday
evening what to do.
Let me help. Shut it completely
Do we really need to have play-
ers running around taking BP and
throwing bullpen sessions? Can’t
everything be put on a hold for a
week or two and have the club-
houses cleared out, and not just
clear out the media?
Let the players stay away from
each other for a bit.
As I was walking through the
Mets campus at Clover Park on
Wednesday, in a hallway I passed
Donovan Mitchell Sr., one of the
nicest guys and hardest workers
you will ever meet. He is the
team’s director of player relations
and community engagement. He
was conducting a community
event with what looked to be
about 50 people in the multipur-
pose room, the same room the
Mets use for some meetings.
His son, Donovan Jr., plays for
the Jazz. On Thursday, the star
guard confirmed on Instagram
that he has tested positive for cor-
onavirus. When Donovan Mitchell
Jr. played against the Knicks on
March 4, his father was at the
game and he came back down to
Mets camp afterward.
It is not known if the father had
any interaction with his son or
other Jazz players like Rudy Gob-
ert, who has tested positive, but
Donovan Sr. was in the Mets’ club-
house Wednesday interacting with
players and team personnel. On

Thursday, he was told to stay away
and arrangements were being
made to have him tested.
Let’s hope and pray that he does
not contract the virus, but the
point is you really don’t know who
might have contracted the virus.
Until we have a better handle on
all things virus-related, is it wise to
have these camps open?
If I were in on the decision-mak-
ing team with one league after an-
other shutting it down, and with
March Madness turning into
March Sadness, I would say it’s
time to take a step back. Let the
room clear.
plan should be
broader than
pushing back
the season, can-
celing spring
training games,
washing your
hands and
keeping the media out of the club-
One MLB official told me Thurs-
day that any player who doesn’t
feel comfortable in the work envi-
ronment can leave, and that’s a
good thing. But baseball is a peer-
pressure sport. Players want to
work. It is in their DNA. Most of
them are relentless, and this gen-
eration of players probably works
too much, they don’t give their
bodies the kind of break they
For a little while it would be
wise to see the Mets and the other
teams say, “That’s enough.”
Fred and Jeff Wilpon should take
a leadership role and tell their
players, “See you in a week or
two.” By then we will know more,
and hopefully everything will be
getting better.
That extra session of batting
practice or bullpen work doesn’t
mean much right now. Playing
simulated games isn’t needed.
Take a break. Clear the room.
Clear the clubhouses.
If you get sick, take care of your-
self with the procedures that have
been drawn up by the CDC. It’s
not worth it right now. The season
is on hold. Workouts should be on
hold, too.
This is not a panic move. This is
a keep-calm move. Keep as many
people as healthy as possible. This
is much bigger than baseball. It’s
bigger than the NBA, the PGA,
boxing, the NHL, March Madness
and all sports.
Be safe. Be smart. Shut it all
[email protected]


By Dan Martin

PORT ST. LUCIE — Utah Jazz
star Donovan Mitchell’s positive
test for coronavirus brought the
international crisis much closer
to the Mets on Thursday.
The Jazz played the Knicks at
Madison Square Garden on
March 4, and Donovan Mitchell
Sr., the Mets’ director of player
relations and community en-
gagement, attended the game
and will be tested for the virus,
the Mets said.
He returned to Florida the fol-
lowing day and had been regu-
larly at work at the Mets’ spring
training complex through
Wednesday. No other team em-
ployees were scheduled for tests
as of Thursday.
“We have been in regular

communication with medical
professionals and public health
authorities over the past several
weeks. When news surfaced
[Wednesday] night of the situa-
tion involving the Utah Jazz, we
immediately contacted Dono-
van Mitchell Sr. to advise him to
not report at our facility this
morning,” the Mets said in a
statement. “Upon learning to-
day that his son, Donovan
Mitchell Jr., tested positive for
the Coronavirus, we brought
that fact to the attention of our
medical team, who recom-
mended, as a precautionary
measure, that Donovan Sr. be
tested, and we are making those
arrangements. We will continue
to closely monitor the situation
and the medical staff will advise
us if any additional testing be-

comes advisable.”
Mitchell Jr. became the second
professional U.S. athlete known
to have tested positive for the
virus. Jazz teammate Rudy Gob-
ert tested positive Wednesday
night before a Utah-Oklahoma
City was canceled. That was the
trigger that led the NBA to sus-
pend operations. MLB and other
leagues throughout the country
followed suit Thursday.
It is not publicly known when
the Jazz players contracted the
coronavirus, but the Knicks are
among the teams that the Jazz
had played in a 10-day period
before the revelation about
Gobert, and players from those
opposing squads have been told
to self-quarantine, according to
It was part of an unprece-
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